Game publishers have been complaining for a long time that they aren't getting their fair share of the second hand game market. They feel that they should be given a piece of the second hand game sales pie. The co-founder of Blitz Game Studios, Andrew Oliver, even went so far as to say that used games are worse than piracy.
Now it seems the publishers are starting to find ways to tap into the used game by charging gamers access to play online after they've bought a used game. It started with EA and Project Ten Dollar; all future sports game are going to come with a one time use code which allows you access to online play, features, and bonus content. When you buy the game used you won't have access to the content or features unless you pay EA ten dollars for an access code. EA will be starting Project Ten Dollar with Tiger Woods 11 and soon after NCAA Football 11, NHL 11, Madden NFL 11, NBA 11, FIFA 11, and EA Sports MMA will all have the one time access code in the new game box.
According to GamesIndustry.biz THQ will be the next game publisher to start charging used game buyers extra to play their games online. They will be starting the one time use codes with UFC Undisputed 2010, if you choose to buy the game second hand it will cost you five dollars to get an access code that enables online features. The access code for UFC Undisputed 2010 turns on a mode called Fight Camp which allows up to 40 players to train online together.
GamesIndustry.biz also said Ubisoft CFO, Alain Martinez was on a conference call and stated that they will be likely following EA's plans to charge extra for online content and features. "Most of the games that we release next year will have from the start downloadable content available," said Martinez. "And we are looking very carefully at what is being done by EA regarding what we call the 'ten dollar solution' and we would probably follow that line at some time in the future"