Activision Intent On Combating Used Game Sales

August 10, 2010Written by Paulmichael Contreras

Every industry has a second-hand market  to it, and the videogame industry is no different. People do not mind buying something used if it saves them some of their hard-earned money. Activision appears to be intent on changing that, or at least recuperating some of the revenue lost to a used game sale in upcoming titles.

EA Sports started this war of sorts against the used games industry – developers and publisher do not make any money off of a used game sale, so EA created something called an Online Pass which entitles the user to be able to access the online portion of a game. With a new copy of the game, a one-time use voucher is included at no additional charge. But used copies of the game will not come with one, forcing the gamer to either pay up $10 or go without online functionality in that particular game.

Activision is looking to follow suit. In a recent investor call last week, Thomas Tippl, COO for Activision stated that they were increasing the significance of DLC on upcoming titles in an effort to persuade customers to keep their copies of games longer, thus shrinking the second-hand games market:

“We are still evaluating various possibilities for greater participation in the used-games business. What’s been working the best so far is providing additional content and therefore limiting the supply to used games…Today [we have] more resources than ever dedicated to creating additional content for Call of Duty, whether that’s map packs, whether that’s game modes and the whole host of new features that we’re going to talk about when we get close to the launch of Black Ops.”

So, does this approach make sense? Will we someday see an “Online Pass” for every major developer/publisher out there? Should games even continue to be priced at $60 if premium DLC is being developed at the same time as the main game, and presumably could have been included at launch? Sound off below and stay connected with PSLS for any more news about this subject.