Uncharted 3 Multiplayer Possible Because of Online Pass, Says Developers

October 17, 2011 -

Uncharted series developer Naughty Dog says that without the money from Sony's PSN Pass, the company wouldn't be able to afford to include as much online content as it has with Uncharted 3. In fact, they say that if they didn't implement Online Pass, they would have had to split the game into two different games - single and multiplayer. Uncharted 3 director Justin Richmond made the comments in a recent interview with TheSixthAxis.

"We're giving out a huge amount of content," said Uncharted 3 director Justin Richmond, "and part of the reason for the online pass is that when that stuff goes online, it isn't free. We have to pay for servers and all this different stuff to maintain it, and so at some point, you know, games have to make money." Richmond also said that besides bandwidth costs, the actual content - which he said was different from anything else in the industry - had taken a lot of time, and presumably money, to create.

He added that the multiplayer portion of the game was a whole lot more than some lame throw-away DM multiplayer and that cooperative mode was like an entire alternate history. He added that the sheer amount of the content was worth the price of admission.

Uncharted 3 comes out for PS3 on November 3. Obviously if you buy it used you'll have to buy a code to play online. At least Sony isn't locking single-player content away like Warner Bros. did with Catwoman in Arkham City...

Source: The Escapist


Comments

Re: Uncharted 3 Multiplayer Possible Because of Online Pass, ...

IF online pass is some kind of lynch pin then why don't they just start charging a subscription for it and be done with it?

It seems to be that Sony is just lamenting that other companies are making more off their online features, but know if they suddenly began charging to even use PSN it would cost them customers.

Re: Uncharted 3 Multiplayer Possible Because of Online Pass, ...

but with online passes their customers are being charged no wonder online multiplayer isnt nearly as popular as its made out to be.

Re: Uncharted 3 Multiplayer Possible Because of Online Pass, ...

its been said that games are too expensive that most just arent worth full price. developers/publishers say the used game market is killing them. many only buy used due to games not being worth full price.

theyre saying they cant implement multiplayer due to costs and need to use an online pass or they will have to separate the two halves of the game.

 

you know what I say? separate them cut the cost of both to make them more affordable so Im not buying the bits of the game I have no intention of ever playing I hate paying for multiplayer when I dont play multiplayer.

we get games cheaper the used game market gets some competitive prices to deal with Im not paying for something I dont want they get their sales and we all live happily ever after.

Re: Uncharted 3 Multiplayer Possible Because of Online Pass, ...

It's been pretty obvious for a long time that the second-hand market is damaging (especially as it is becoming more abused, like major supermarkets in the UK trying to get in on the act).

But why the need for every game to have multiplayer? Even RPGs like Mass Effect believe that they need multiplayer. Most of the time it's pointless, but it seems that people these days don't seem to be able to play a single player game any more.

Re: Uncharted 3 Multiplayer Possible Because of Online Pass, ...

How is it obvious? The publisher and developer have made their money. I've yet to see developers closing up shop en-masse because of used game sales.

Plus if a game is showing up on used shelves days after release, or isn't selling, the used market isn't the problem, it was simply a bad game.

Are used car sales damaging to the auto industry. Is selling CDs at a yard sale damaging to the music industry? Are thrift stores damaging the furniture industry?

Re: Uncharted 3 Multiplayer Possible Because of Online Pass, ...

Ah, the good-ol Used Cars argument. The used car industry is factoring into the equation with all manufacturers who make a lot of money out of the second hand market. The sell all the parts and repairs for the cars which are of an inferior quality to a new car.

Both the second hand CD, DVD markets are not large (nowhere near the size of the used games industry), plus the pricing of such items is around a quarter to that of games. Whereas with games gamers are told by stores that they need to forever sell their games and that they shouldn't keep them.

Regardless games companies are closing down, prices of new titles are going up and the used games market grows in size. Coincidence?

Re: Uncharted 3 Multiplayer Possible Because of Online Pass, ...

And if the used games market is ever eradicated then the prices will NOT go down. Game prices are going up due to development costs, not because someone wanted to save a little money on a game they weren't sure about

I've yet to see 2K games or Insomniac announce that they're going to close their doors because of used games.

Re: Uncharted 3 Multiplayer Possible Because of Online Pass, ...

Makes perfect sense.  I mean, with all the success they had with Uncharted 2, I can understand the lack of funds to make a complete game and thus needing the online pass.

Re: Uncharted 3 Multiplayer Possible Because of Online Pass, ...

I see what you did there.

Re: Uncharted 3 Multiplayer Possible Because of Online Pass, ...

This guy is an idiot. I have spelled this out before but here we go again:

When someone sells off their game to another person, the number of people needing online support does not go up.

10 million people buy the game new. That is all you have to account for at any given time playing multiplayer. If 1 million of those people sell the game and 1 million more buy it used, guess what? You still only need to support 10 million people. The number has not gone up.

If it costs $10 per game to support multiplayer (which this is as much as the publishers themselves value multiplayer), then they can support multiplayer an d still have money left over. Why is this? Because 1) not every person who buys new will play online. 2) not everyone who buys used will play online 3) not everyone who plays online will play online for the full life of the game servers.

In fact, they say that if they didn't implement Online Pass, they would have had to split the game into two different games - single and multiplayer.

I am all for that. In fact that is something I have advocated for in the past. I would love it. Why? Because I never play online and only want the single player.

Re: Uncharted 3 Multiplayer Possible Because of Online Pass, ...

Even ignoring multiplayer, it costs developers (publishers really) more money.

Let's say 10 million people buy a game.  Those 10 million people put the disc in their console and boot it up.  They download an update.  Publishers pay for the bandwidth/server load associated with those downloads.  1 million people sell their games.  1 million buy used.  They also download the update.  Those downloads also cost the publisher.

This ignores any multiplayer support the publisher is also paying for, which, as already noted, does go up.

It's not fair to say that there aren't costs for the publisher associated with used games sales.  And obviously they're not getting any money directly from that market.  I also don't think that Online Pass-esque methods are really a good solution.

Developers need to produce high quality games that people want to keep.  And they need to do things like release DLC to keep people interested and playing.  That by itself would dramatically reduce this "problem".

However, producing high quality games is neither easy nor cheap.  New prices go up.  Used looks more attractive.  It's a catch 22.

===============

Chris Kimberley

Re: Uncharted 3 Multiplayer Possible Because of Online Pass, ...

A fair point, but that is also a good reason not to release a game that requires extensive patching after release. Also, high quality games need not necessarily cost the earth to make. Case in point: Minecraft, Super Meat Boy, Angry Birds and many, many games from previous console generations.

Re: Uncharted 3 Multiplayer Possible Because of Online Pass, ...

Let's say 10 million people buy a game.  Those 10 million people put the disc in their console and boot it up.  They download an update.  Publishers pay for the bandwidth/server load associated with those downloads.  1 million people sell their games.  1 million buy used.  They also download the update.  Those downloads also cost the publisher.

That "additional cost" is absolutely no different than those 1 million people reinstalling the game. As I said before, the 1 million people selling the game will never tax the servers again and thus are no longer counted. Only those who currently own the game (whether new or used) should be counted. Thus no more than those who bought the game new will ever tax the servers.

10 million - 1 million + 1 million = 10 million

Re: Uncharted 3 Multiplayer Possible Because of Online Pass, ...

Sorry, but you aren't being fair. I'm an ardent defender of the resale right (and used sales), but even I can see the flaws in what you say.

You're falling victim to the fallacy of the odds, something media love to do. It goes as follow:

You play a game where you must roll a 6 on a 6 faced dice to win. You can either roll a 6 or roll something else. Thus,you have 1/2 chances of winning, right? Wrong. Of course not. It's quite obvious each time you play, on a fair roll, you have 1 chance out of 6.

The same applies here. Those that will resell will ALL need to install the update. However, the 1 million, if not reselling, would in most case just leave the game laying around. Some might reinstall it, but nowhere near the 100% scenario we see here. Also, the bandwidth would no longer be taxed for gameplay. As a developer, you take into account the life and death of your titles (this is where THEY fail, not taking every variables into account). Furthermore, while ridiculously small, you have added things like stored saved games and accounts.

So no, it is not as if the original players all kept their game. Not at all. It is a heavier load with some people that might have bought it new that choose to buy it used. Is it fair? Certainly. Should we expect it? Of course! Are there ways to develop around it so that it is no longer a flaw but a advantage instead? Why yes! By using dlc, lowering initial game costs (freemium if possible) and collecting elsewhere, etc.

Re: Uncharted 3 Multiplayer Possible Because of Online Pass, ...

Your statement is based on the flawed premise that supporting online is a fixed cost and that publishers do not factor the time an average player will use the online service into their budgets.

Re: Uncharted 3 Multiplayer Possible Because of Online Pass, ...

Of course it is not a fixed cost. The cost of supporting servers has a huge peak near the beginning of a game's life then it drops slowly at first and then sharply as the new shiny comes out.

But you don't seem to address that I point out that there will never be more than the total number of new buyers potentially playing the game online.

 

Re: Uncharted 3 Multiplayer Possible Because of Online Pass, ...

That is because this isn't the only factor in determining the operating cost of the service. The cost of operating online services would be closer to (players * number of days playing) so when a title is resold, while the number of people playing does not increase, the maintenance life of the service will.

Re: Uncharted 3 Multiplayer Possible Because of Online Pass, ...

I still call BS on the online pass. Uncharted 2's MP was great on its own, and they didn't have to charge for it. Even Demon's Souls has a very active base, and nobody's charging. They even recently announced that they're keeping the servers active well into 2012.

They're obviously trying to justify using the online pass by giving this BS story about how it couldn't be possible without the stupid thing. It's sheer greed, pure and simple.

 
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