WTF is up with this Online Pass shit??

Seriously. First EA and then THQ.

For those who don't know, Online Pass is EA saying that if you don't buy a game new, you have to pay $10 to access their online servers. THQ has also adapted a similar model, but they haven't named it yet.

This is basically a way for game companies to get paid twice for one product. They say it's to "Offset server costs" but I call bullshit on that. If you buy the game new, then you get to access the servers for free. If you buy it used, then you have to pay. Even though if you buy a game used, then EA has already gotten money for it. The servers can't be overrun with people playing the used game because, if you bought it used, then that means the original buyer isn't using it any more!

Gamestop has sorta offset this. If you buy a copy of Madden 11 used, it's only $47 compared to $60. Sounds good right? Except when you add in the $10 in order to play online, you come to a grand total of $57. Plus tax of course.

Gee, I really don't see people going "Hmmm. I'm going to get the used version because it's $3 cheaper!"

It gets even better if you have an Xbox 360 though. Because unlike Online RPGs like PSU and FFXI, you NEED to be a gold member to play these games online. Which means you have to pay for a gold membership and then pay AGAIN to play online. Most people buy XBL in order to play multiplayer games online. You're seriously telling these people that they have to pay TWICE?

This is all an extremely transparent way to cut into the used game market. It's one thing to offer an incentive to buy a game new. Preorder bonuses, DLC bonuses. It's all fine and dandy. But when you start disabling core features, ESPECIALLY if people have already paid for the privilege, then something is wrong.

Granted, you don't need to play online most of the time. However it's pretty stupid to give the first person who buys a title full privileges, but then hinder the next person who buys that same copy. So I don't matter because I don't think your game is with the full $60? Well guess what? I'm not going to pay you twice. Especially when the difference is only $3

Another reason you can tell this is bullshit. If they were really worried about servers for older games, then they would charge to access those older servers. That would make more sense. The games are already dirt cheap and I can understand needing costs to keep older servers up. Of course EA closed down all of their old servers so that's not an option. On top of that, you really don't get any special privileges for accessing their servers. It's no different than the companies that don't charge you to access online.

It's a sad trend I see happening nowadays. Companies care more about money than games. And maybe they've always been like that, but they're using stuff like this as an excuse to be lazy. "Oh, lets throw something stupid together and charge for it. Or even better, lets put things on the game disc and charge to use them! No! Wait! I got it! Let's DISABLE an aspect of the game and charge to use it! BRILLIANT!"