THQ will be joining Electronic Arts in raising the purchase of its multiplayer access pass to $10 if you don’t buy the game new and get the free online access code within the game. The company first experimented with selling online access for $5 with its previous release of UFC 2010 that was released earlier this year.
The first THQ title that will move to offering the online access pass cost to $10 will be WWE Smackdown Vs. Raw, which is slated for an October 26th release. The use of the multiplayer online access pass codes contained within the purchase of new titles has apparently done little so far to curb the sale of used titles, but it does appear to have brought down the cost of these used titles, as retailers have responded to the use of these codes by selling used copies of these titles for a bit less.
Despite a lot of grumbling by many about this move by developers and publishers, it does seem that the majority of those complaining are those who rent games rather than buy them. An analyst that we spoke with told us, “It does seem to have made little difference in used sales yet, other than the fact that those who want to be able to play multiplayer are buying the titles new if multiplayer access is something that they have to have.”
While other publishers are watching Electronic Arts and THQ very closely to see what impact this decision has on the bottom line, no other publisher has yet announced that they will be moving in this direction. In the meantime, however, it seems that all publishers are in agreement that they need to examine every way possible to increase revenue from the titles that they release. We do suspect that more publishers will join Electronic Arts and THQ in moving in this direction. It seems to only be a matter of time.