It’s bad enough when companies like THQ and EA implement programs to combat used games, but it’s even worse when platform holders like Sony consider it. Speaking to GI.biz, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe CEO Andrew House said that Sony is taking "a serious look" at implementing something similar to EA’s Online Pass for its first-party games.
"On the principle of making online portions of the game available or unlocked from the disc-based release for a fee, we’re broadly supportive of that," House said. "And we’re exploring actively the same option for our own content."
House admits that implementing such a program would be seen as contradictory to the free precedent set with PlayStation Network.
"In terms of just a charge for basic online play, that’s something that we have to talk about a lot more," he said. "We struggle with [that] a little bit because we feel very vindicated and base a lot of the success of PSN today — a 70 percent connection rate across consoles — on the fact that we’ve removed that major initial barrier to entry."
While this news is a bit disheartening, there’s no data available to tell how these extra charges for used games are affecting the actual sales of used games. This is probably because – at least according to what GameStop says – only 25 percent of used game buyers are interested in playing online.