David Jaffe is infamous in the video game industry as being one of the most outspoken game developers. The Twisted Metal creator doesn’t shy away from sharing his opinion, most recently on the topic of online passes.
Online passes have, unfortunately, become very commonplace in the gaming industry, and Jaffe hopes that his upcoming reboot of Twisted Metal won’t be hoping on the bandwagon. The reason for this is simple: Jaffe hopes that allowing players to purchase the title used without fear of an online pass will help the game build up a fanbase for later releases.
As any Twisted Metal fan knows, multiplayer is the most integral aspect of the game. On PlayStation One, the franchise was famous for its couch co-op. Now, Jaffe and team are looking to make a splash in the online scene with the game’s intriguing Nuke Mode. Still, despite the new game’s online focus, Jaffe has his reasons for wanting to omit an online pass.
“I’d actually prefer that we don’t do it, even though it’s probably good business, only because we have such a mountain to climb in terms of gaining people’s good faith, especially in Europe, and really letting people know that this is a title that’s worth getting excited about. I’m okay with the fact that we might lose sales on this first game if, because of it, we generate a lot of fans that otherwise wouldn’t have played the game. The online is so much the bread and butter of this game, so I’m okay with it because it means we’re setting ourselves up for a possible return to the franchise one day.”
However, the developer also knows that he doesn’t have any say in the matter.
“It’s not my call and I’d totally understand if Sony as a company said ‘Look, this is a mandate that permeates all of our titles. We’re not making selective choices’. Those are decisions that I’m no longer privy to as I don’t work for Sony any more.”
Sony’s PSN Pass program, which is effectively an online pass, has pretty much been mandated for all future first and second party PS3 titles. Resistance 3 was the first game to make use of it, followed by Uncharted 3, so we can likely expect Twisted Metal to join in on the 12-digit code entering fun!
Jaffe does have a point in that online passes can pose a barrier to increasing a game’s fan base. I could go on about how online passes also hurt new buyers, or how the threat of used games isn’t as significant as we think, but those are thoughts that have been shared numerous times in the past. For now, let’s just hope that publishers pay attention to Jaffe’s ideas, and that Twisted Metal ships pass-free.
Twisted Metal releases February 14, 2012, exclusively for the PS3.
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