The concept of an online pass has proven to be a new topic of controversy. For example, there's THQ's Homefront, which contained a special code that would unlock most of the game's multiplayer. If the game was bought used, the code wouldn't be there, and gamers would have to pay an extra ten dollars to get the full experience.
Whether an attempt to discourage the purchase of used games or just to get a few extra bucks out of players, suffice to say, the method is not a well-received one. But a disturbing rumor going around may indicate that Warner Bros. could follow suit with their upcoming triple-A titles.
The Mortal Kombat reboot may contain an online pass token as well, which would be used to unlock the various online modes the game has. Basically, if you want to play the game online with your buddies, you need this pass. If you don't get this pass by purchasing a new copy of the game, then you would have to buy the code the pass has online for 800 Microsoft Points on Xbox Live, or 10 dollars on PSN. Not exactly a good way to earn popularity amongst fans.
What should also be noted is that the Mortal Kombat pass doesn't appear to be heavily promoted by Warner Bros. In fact, according to the story, the pass isn't even detailed on the game's package. Warner Bros. is however, informing retailers of the pass, as well as how to purchase one if a player bought a used copy. Although gamers will get a free two-day trial of the online play if they don't have the code, it still doesn't seem very welcoming for gamers and when EA did the same for their sports titles and other major releases, fans also weren't impressed.
But what may be even worse news is that this may not be the only game made by Warner Bros. that will do this. The story further tells that two more games under their umbrella will have passes as well. Both F.E.A.R. 3 and Batman: Arkham City are rumored to be doing the same as Mortal Kombat. While this may seem questionable, due to the latter's lack of multiplayer, there could be other features locked out to players without a pass.
What are your thoughts? Is the concept of an online pass a valid attempt to dampen the used game market? Could Warner Bros. implement this into some of their games?
Mortal Kombat is coming out April 19, 2011 for the Xbox 360 and PS3 and F.E.A.R. 3 hits April 21, 2011 for Xbox 360, PC and PS3.
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