Sony and THQ look set to follow in the lead of Electronic Arts to make some money from pre-owned games by way of charging for online play and other disc content.
THQ's Smackdown vs RAW 2011
will allow buyers of brand-new copies to use a code on the back of the manual that unlocks online gameplay and a free DLC pack. For those who purchase the game second-hand, an unlock is available for 800 Microsoft Points on the Xbox 360 and $10 on the PlayStation 3.
The move follows EA's own 'Project $10' and Online Pass initiative that aims to encourage first-time purchases and make some of that development money back from people who continue to buy second-hand. Ubisoft has since established a similar measure.
"I think we're following suit with other publishers in having a strategy where we reward new game buyers with bonus content," said Cory Ledesma
, creative director on WWE products for THQ.
Meanwhile, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe president Andrew House told GI
that "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."
Nothing has been announced yet of SCEE's plans, but House said that it will consider many different options, saying that it would be "a mistake" to adopt a "one size fits all" initiative.