THQ's near-future military shooter Homefront has been the subject of a lot of scrutiny since its release this past Tuesday. With reviews for its latest game scoring lower than originally expected, THQ's stock plummeted by the end of Homefront's first day on the shelves. The very next day, the price of the game dropped
If THQ wants to reach its break even point of 2 million games sold, its going to need more than just an early sale. THQ has been vocal about how it wants to reduce the number of pre-owned purchases of its software, but they insist that this doesn't mean that want to eliminate the market for used games. In an interview with MCV, THQ CEO Brian Farrell recognized that consumers want a market for used games.
"The most important thing is we have to participate in the value chain in used games. We understand, given our focus on the gamer, that consumers like to be able to monetize their game library. So it is an ecosystem between publisher, gamer and retailer that just has to sort itself out. Part of it is monetizing but the bigger win is keeping our gamers engaged with DLC and robust online play, and that keeps the disc in the first purchaser’s hands."
THQ's current strategy for Homefront to deter the purchase of used copies of its game is to force players to obtain an online pass if they want to fully experience the online multiplayer component of the game. Players who do not have a pass are still able to take part in Homefront's mutiplayer, but are not able to level up past level five.
If a retail version of Homefront is purchased, there is an online pass included in the box. Players who purchase a used copy of the game have to obtain their own online pass from THQ for $10. This may be a small price to pay for anyone who purchases the game at a low enough price, and should help THQ recuperate the lost profits from the sale of the used copy of the game. This does, however, mean that gamers hoping to borrow their friend's copy of the game also have to shell out the extra cash.
Do you think that THQ's strategy still leaves buying a used copy of Homefront as a viable option, or does it unnecessarily inflate the cost of a product that should by the very nature of having passed through other hands be cheaper?
Homefront was released in North America earlier this weekfor the PC, PS3, Xbox 360, and OnLive platforms with the European release dropping today. Our review of the game should help you make up your mind about whether or not you want to join the resistance.