The Hazards of Buying SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy Seals Used

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.

Source: Technologizer

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  1. 0
    olstar18 says:

    Lets call it what it really is. Game companies putting perks into the game for people who buy it brand new rather than used and at the same time letting players that bought it used get the same perks for a fee. It sounds fair to me. New copies come with it and used copies aren’t left out.

  2. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    How so?  If I buy the game new, I don’t lose out on anything, and I don’t have to pay extra.  If I buy the game used, I’m not a customer of the game company, so that game company isn’t selling me anything.

    Until now, that is.

    With the first link, the chain is forged.

  3. 0
    Grif says:

    They are. Gamestop has already been charging $45-48 for used games that use the online pass, instead of the usual $5 markdown. On the other hand, they’re also giving less for trade-ins of said games. Haven’t seen a SOCOM 4 traded in yet, since it came out yesterday, so I don’t know what they charge for it use…. errr… "Pre-Owned". It should also be mentioned that you save another $4.50 or so if you have their Pro rewards card.

    "Power means nothing without honor and pride." My video game review site.

  4. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    "Further, that $15 activation fee nullifies the savings of buying used."

    I take it used game retailers are not marking down their used games to counter these types of deals?


    Andrew Eisen

  5. 0
    SpiralGray says:

    I generally don’t play on-line so these types of things are actually a benefit to me. The used game retailers will have to start lowering prices of used games even further to offset the extra fees, which means I get my single-player experience even cheaper! Yay!

  6. 0
    eston says:

    The problem with this is that it effectively kills any chance of longevity for these games’ online community. After the initial wave of first-day purchasers is done with the game, it loses its appeal because you can’t find anyone online to play with. It essentially becomes a game that there is little or no reason to buy. And you certainly can’t hinge your online community on the assumption that people are willing to pay an extra $15 to get into a game a year or two after its release.

  7. 0
    trueneutral says:

    I’m wondering how many used gamers actually pay these sorts of fees? I’ve made it a habit to never use activation codes on new games, just to make sure Publishers are not encouraged by it.

    On the other hand, I bought the PS3 version of Portal 2, BECAUSE of all the features it offers for buying new. You get cross-platform licenses and cross-platform play and achievements. That sort of thing is something I want to support, and so I bought new.

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