Homefront next title to use online pass
The upcoming release of Homefront developed by Kaos Studios and to be published by THQ will be the next title from the publisher to restrict online access through the use of THQ’s online pass that is only included with the purchase of a new copy of the game.
This marks the second release from THQ that will use its online pass strategy, following the lead of rival publisher Electronic Arts (who has been using the strategy for almost a year). The first title from THQ to use the online pass strategy was the release of UFC 2010, but many felt that the poor sales of the title made it difficult for the publisher to determine the actual impact the online pass (included with new purchases of the title) had on sales.
What is interesting is that apparently not all of the online experience will be unavailable without the online pass. Instead, players without the online pass will be able to access at least some of the online features, but it will be “a capped experience” without the $10 online pass. The capped experience is said to include all of the multiplayer maps, but players will not be able to pass beyond level 5 out of the 75 levels of experience.
While it is our understanding that both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 releases of Homefront will use the online pass program, it is unclear whether or not the PC version will. It would be interesting to see if the online pass makes that much of a difference on the PC platform where used game sales are not as much of a problem, but piracy is more the issue. The online pass could be helpful for THQ to deal with some of the piracy issues.
So far, the early buzz on Homefront has been very positive; and despite comparisons to both Call of Duty and Battlefield, the title seems to hold up pretty well. We will have to wait and see if the decision to use the online pass strategy impacts sales when the title finally makes its way to release later this year.