Crysis 2, the soon to be released first person shooter developed by Crytek and published by Electronic Arts, packs what promises to be a long campaign and an extensive multiplayer mode into a visually stunning experience. In a break with other recent EA published games, Crysis 2 won't require gamers to purchase any sort of Online Pass to take advantage of its multiplayer component.
The decision to forgo any Online Pass requirements allegedly comes straight from Crytek. The developer was apparently offered the option to include such a pass early in Crysis 2's development. At the time, Online Pass was still a relatively new initiative, and Crytek was disinterested in Crysis 2 becoming a testbed for the program.
More importantly, Crytek recognized that such a pass could potentially keep players away from Crysis 2. Hoping to establish a long term online presence for their premier console outing, the developer understandably backed away from the perceived barrier that such a requirement would present.
Online Passes for games have become something of a de facto standard of late. Most recently, news made the rounds that THQ's upcoming Homefront would be joining the ranks of Online Pass required games.
The idea of the Online Pass originated as EA's project "Ten Dollar" and was designed to combat perceived lost revenue due to the sale of used games. Mass Effect 2's Cerberus Network is a prime example, as is Battlefield Bad Company 2's VIP code. Ideally, such passes reward gamers who buy new games. In practice, they nearly as often punish players who can only afford to buy used games.
Kudos, then, to Crytek for taking a stand in favor of their game, and for ensuring that all gamers have equal access to it. Further Kudos are in order for Electronic Arts, for allowing and supporting Crytek's decision. Electronic Arts is on something of a roll lately, in terms of gamer friendly practices, having just today released the Severed DLC for Dead Space 2 at the all but unheard of price of $7 dollars.
Ranters, how do you feel about the decision to omit any kind of Online Pass requirement from Crysis 2's multiplayer? Does it make you more likely to buy the game? Can it help make Crysis 2 competitive with Black Ops and Halo?
Crysis 2 releases March 22, 2011, for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC.
Source: Gamertag Radio