So far the controversial online pass programme has only really affected sports games. EA Sports has seen its entire line-up take advantage of the system that only grants new copies of games access to multiplayer, but other titles/genres from the publisher like Bad Company 2 don’t completely block online content. Instead you’ll find if you brought the game new and entered your one-time use “VIP code” you’ll be treated to free maps that others have to pay for.
THQ’s Homefront is taking a similar approach with online pass. It’s not blocking out multiplayer for the shooter completely, rather holding back on the levelling up. Without an online pass code players can only level up five times out of a possible 75. You can keep playing past level five, but you won’t gain any new levels, weapons, or equipment, meaning you’ll eventually start to get left behind. As with any other game, there’s a one-time use code in the box to grant you full access, but anyone picking up a used copy will have to pay $10 to get the whole experience.
Is it fair that publishers are demanding we buy new copies to get the most out of a shooter these days?