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Bad News For Renters And Used Buyers


The new business model for games often includes downloadable content, but many are experimenting with also having players pay for things like unlocking equipment, like in Bad Company 2 where you can now buy gear that you’d normally unlock by leveling up. There are also some move to have player pay for access to online content. We saw that with Mass Effect 2, with Bad Company 2, and now it’s come to NCAA 11 (come to think of it, all of those games are put out by EA…so I guess EA is doing most of the experimenting with new online purchasing models).

This is just a heads up for those of you who may be renting NCAA 11 through something like GameFly or will buy the game used; you need a code to play online, and if you don’t have it, you need to pay to play online. I put in my GameFly copy of NCAA 11 and was told to enter the code on the back of my manual. Of course, I don’t have a manual, and therefore I don’t have a code, and therefore I can’t play online. I can start a trial period to play online, but once that’s up, I’ll have to purchase the ability to play college football online or to use the online dynasty mode.

My first reaction was bitterness and frustration. I don’t think it’s fair that just because I’ve chosen to rent the game rather than buy it that I shouldn’t have the same online access as those who do buy it. I mean, sure I’m just renting the game, but online dynasty is awesome, and I want to play it. Just because I plan to move on to Madden in about a month shouldn’t mean I have less access, right? After I worked through my initial frustrations, I tried to think about things more objectively After all, I do get a trial period to play online, so I’m not completely locked out. I suppose there’s a certain amount of sense in…no, no there’s not. I can understand asking player to pay for things like a pipeline state for recruiting or other perks along those lines, but denying access to one of the key modes in a game (yes there’s the trial period, but it’s the principle of the thing), not so much.

Finding other sources of revenue in an age where games are sometimes prohibitively expensive to make is fine; I get that. I also understand making new map packs or new missions can’t be the only way to make money with DLC. Locking out key features for renters or people who buy used feels like a misstep in that business model to me. But there you go, if you plan on renting or buying NCAA 11 used, just be aware that in order to play online you’ll either have to just be satisfied with the limited trial time, or you’ll have to pay to play. What say you about this situation? Smart move? Dumb move? Are you okay with this type of online business model

8 Responses to “NCAA 11”

  1. Ben Enyart  

    If EA has complaints they should go after Microsoft. This isn’t going to change the number of people who buy the game. It’s only going to prevent people from renting it more than once.

    We pay for X-box live to play these games online. Making us buy a game to play online is in essence charging us twice for the same product.

    We pay X-box live to play online and now we have to pay EA as well. These two companies need to resolve this issue. I can’t see this lasting.

  2. Yo  

    I agree with you. We already pay for Xbox Live to play online, paying again doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, even if it is just an issue for those who buy the game used or just rent it. I’ve heard similar rumblings of a pay for play plan with Modern Warfare and Call of Duty. The thinking is people spend so much time playing online they don’t spend time buying or playing new games, ergo companies should try to make some money from where the gamers are. It’s an interesting idea…I don’t think it’s a great one, but interesting.

  3. at0ne300  

    so this means we are going to pay for Madden 11 also if you dont buy it this sucks

  4. Yo  

    Well, I don’t know for sure if Madden 11 is going to have a similar scheme for online play. I wouldn’t be surprised, though. However, I plan on buying Madden 11 anyway, so it’ll be less of an issue in that regard. However, if you’re planning on renting or buying used, it’s certainly something to consider.

  5. zippo  

    I think it is sorry that they keep ripping us off and we don’t stand up a do something about it i have MW2 but iam not buying any map packs because they went up in price which is real crazy and it will be the same with all the outher games so if u see this make a srand be4 every thing gets out of hand.

  6. Yo  

    The map packs for MW2 have certainly stirred the waters because of their high price point while including maps from the previous game. I understand developers and publishers needing to find new revenue sources, but not all of these recent attempts are the best of ideas. However, as you point out Zippo, if people pay for it, they’ll keep doing it.

  7. Tyler  

    I chose the trial part first not realizing that I had the code when the trial period is up will I be able to type in the code so I can play online or am I screwed out of it

  8. simon  

    if your used copy has a manual,ie a code. can you reuse it to play online for free. thx.

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