Last year, a few video game publishers (Notably EA and THQ) started charging a fee for online multiplayer from used video game buyers for $10. Sony Computer Entertainment America goes beyond the pale this week by charging gamers who dare buy SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy Seals used extra. Those who buy SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy Seals used will miss out on special guns, game types, and other perks that will be added to the game at a later date. To get these features as a used game buyer, you’ll have to pay a $15 fee.
Sony is marketing all this as "SOCOM Pro," an suite of enhancement for new game buyers. While some might argue that these extra enhancements are rewards for buying new, it is also hard to deny that they feel like punishment to anyone who can’t afford to buy the full game. Basically if you are a used game buyer, you start out at a disadvantage online. Further, that $15 activation fee nullifies the savings of buying used.
Is this the future of how publishers deal with used games? Sadly, I think this is just the tip of the iceberg.