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Sony "Exploring" The Idea Of An Online Pass System For First-Party Titles

Posted by Sammy Barker

Currently, both EA and THQ actively use an Online Pass model for their multiplayer titles

The model allows the publishers to reclaim some money from the used game market, as those buying the game second-hand will need to purchase an online pass for the multiplayer component of the game. It's a practice Sony's already dabbled in — PSP shooter SOCOM: Fireteam Bravo 3 combated piracy and used game sales by implementing a similar pass for its multiplayer component.

And it's something Sony are looking into further. Speaking with GamesIndustry.biz, SCEE's Andrew House said: "On the principle of making online portions of the game available or unlocked from the disc-based release for a fee, we're broadly supportive of that. And we're exploring actively the same option for our own content."

House was keen to stress that he understands such a system could be perceived as contradictory, especially considering Sony's long-running "free" PlayStation Network pitch. "In terms of just a charge for basic online play, that's something that we have to talk about a lot more," he said. "We struggle with [that] a little bit because we feel very vindicated and base a lot of the success of PSN today — a 70 percent connection rate across consoles — on the fact that we've removed that major initial barrier to entry."

Does the online pass model bother you? We're curious, there's a lot of mixed response to this kind of stuff.

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