Indie Game Store Owner Anti-Online Pass

May 24, 2010 -

While GameStop might be on board with it, the owner of a Columbus, Ohio independent videogame store (Level One Games) is “completely appalled” at Electronic Arts’ Online Pass and claims the introduction of the measure is “about destroying the buy, sell, trade business.”

EA's initiative will see new games come with one-time use codes for online play. Anyone who purchases a used game that features Online Pass will need to pony up $10 in order to access online features.

The owner outlines his take on how EA’s Online Pass will affect his business and consumers, saying “I have to assume that most businesses, knowing that you’re going to have to pay an extra $10 to buy an Online Pass for that game, are going to give less in trade and sell the games for less used. At least that’s the way I would do it.”

The store owner reads quotes from EA and GameStop in regards to the Online Pass and calls them, “propaganda.” After noting that he tries not to swear in his videos, he drops f-bombs on EA, EA Sports and GameStop, and calls for a boycott of all EA titles that implement the Online Pass.

He notes that he might be forced to sell the games in his store, but he will order less of them and tell his customers all about Online Pass. He fully admits to being against Online Pass because of how it could impact his business.

While the Level One owner didn’t start a petition, he asks users to “spam” the EA forums with “hate,” and to send emails to the publisher letting them know how you feel about the Online Pass.


Thanks Bobby!


Comments

Re: Indie Game Store Owner Anti-Online Pass

Eh, online pass is about two things and two things only.

Hurting the used market and hurtign Indie devlopers. If it's not making them money, they want it gone.

Re: Indie Game Store Owner Anti-Online Pass

If game companies wanted to sell the single player game for $30-40 and then tack on another $10-20 for online play, I would be perfectly happy with that. This however, doesn't wuite do it for me.

I don't play online. I have had enough bad experiences online that I have been burned out. I would much rather just pay for the single player experience. If local multiplayer comes with that, that is another plus. But don't expect me to shell out extra for online play.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Indie Game Store Owner Anti-Online Pass

So don't buy the online pass? Honestly I find it funny people even think GS won't lower their used game prices by the same amount to make them cheaper then new still. That is where they make the majority of their profits. TO think otherwise is laudible.

Re: Indie Game Store Owner Anti-Online Pass

I would if any of the games that use this model interested me. But if I do want to support the developer and buy new, I will be purchasing a part of the game that I will never use. I would much rather buy only the part I will play. If online play would cost $10 seperate, then EA should cut $10 off the rest of the game and not give me online. I think that is fair.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Indie Game Store Owner Anti-Online Pass

yeah instead of selling them at £40 cut off £10 (or whatever $10 is in pounds) and not include online I never wanted that @#%& anyway.

anyone think this might back fire on them? if this forces used games prices down and those who buy used dont normally play online. wont that mean used sales will go up? doesnt that mean less need to buy new and less money to do the buying with? (since gamers will keep buying used). trouble is not alot of people will sell them for so little then again considering you cant sell em people will think twice before buying new at all. arent alot of people going to wait for price drops before they buy?.

they wont want to buy new they wont want to sell what they buy they are going to want lower prices new or used this cant work surely?.

Re: Indie Game Store Owner Anti-Online Pass

(this is in response to everything up from here to my last)

I think a lot of gamers will do exactly what you are stating, and the thing is that won't make much of a difference at all to the developer. If a gamer is buying used now to save money and buys used and doesn't get the online multiplayer the only entity it hurts is the retailor (which frankly are the evil ones in my book).

For people who like multiplayer GS and other retailors will probably lower used prices to match current after the fee, so no net change for the consumer and the publishers now get a cut.

The end result is that if anyone is going to take a hit from this, it will be retailors, customers may see no change or an actual price decrease and publishers will see a slight increase in profit/returns. In my eyes that's a pretty damn good solution to the drama surrounding the used market and I support it.

Re: Indie Game Store Owner Anti-Online Pass

And that's the bitch about this: it's going to hurt indie stores a whole lot more than it hurts GameStop.

When I was a kid, there used to be a neat little indie game store a mile and a half or so from my house.  Used to rent from there all the time -- they had an imported PlayStation which I checked out months before the US release.  It's long gone, but hey, now I've got 3 GameStops in a 5-mile radius.

And it's not that I hate GameStop or anything.  I shop there, and their employees have always been friendly and helpful (though one time one of them didn't know the difference between NES and SNES games, and that made me feel old).  It's just that the big, shiny corporate stores never quite have the feel of a local business run by somebody who really just loves games.

Re: Indie Game Store Owner Anti-Online Pass

We had a nice store near our place for years. Only recently they had to close up because 2 EBGames (EB = GameStop) stores opened nearby and sucked his business dry. Ironically, he usually had better prices for all his stuff, and he was also one of the only local retailers who sold Magic: The Gathering cards.

After watching EB swallow up a great indie store like that and a pair of Walmarts only a few miles apart kill off much of the local business, I have really come to look down upon the "American Dream".

Re: Indie Game Store Owner Anti-Online Pass

 Oddly enough, this whole 'online pass' thing would probably encourage me to buy used games even more.

One can think of the cost of a new game being 'game+pass' while the used game is now just 'game'.  Since I never use on-line play, I can think of this as finally having a way to not pay for a feature that gives me no benifit.

 

Granted I know that we are not going to see the drop in used prices that would make sense here, but I can dream....

Re: Indie Game Store Owner Anti-Online Pass

I agree. Sounds like a good thing for me. I buy my games used because I get more gaming for my dollar that way, and not having to pay for an on-line experience that I never use works just fine for me.

Re: Indie Game Store Owner Anti-Online Pass

I agree with you there. I never (or rarely - pretty much only for Left 4 Dead) play online, and I often find that games these days are heavily weighted towards online play, but it's hard to know that on initial purchase. Often I find I pay $60 for a game that has minimal single player content. With Online Pass, the used game market would hopefully factor in the online bias, giving me a greater discount for games that were intended to be mainly online games.

As for Gamestop getting on board with this, I think they're cutting their own throats. Folks like EA are going entirely digital - that's how this is going. Soon there won't be game boxes. We'll just have an online account and every game we buy will be a digital download. Heck, I'm for it in one sense - it will reduce costs and be good for the environment. But it will also mean that video games will all be controlled by a shrinking number of massive conglomerates who become less and less grassroots oriented. I worry about that because I like playing niche games. If all we have is a cartel, I worry that the only games we'll get will be Halo clones.

Re: Indie Game Store Owner Anti-Online Pass

Eheh, it'll hardly cust costs. They'll do their best to charge as as much or more for the same product weather it has a box and a disc or not.

Sure it'll save them the money of stamping discs and printing labeles, but the problem is they won't be willing to lower prices as the'yll just want even more money.

Re: Indie Game Store Owner Anti-Online Pass

 While they will still charge the same, the reduced cost of distribution will likely come back as more money for actual development.

Let us also not forget the hell that comes along with the last month or so of development before the master goes out to the printer.  Every bug becomes more expensive to fix, and costs get really nasty if you are right up against the printing deadline.  Removing those costs alone would let developers fix more problems and release a more stable (not to mention, usable) product.

Re: Indie Game Store Owner Anti-Online Pass

 StarDock actually had an interesting writeup a while ago (as did an interview at Firaxis) talking about the development costs of multiplayer games.   I think it came down to something like eating up 30% of the development budget while only being utilized by 10% of the player base.  It is one of those features that has a high marquee value, but the actual value to the player base has traditionally been very low.

I think again we run into the problem of 'developers writing games for themselves' and 'developers wanting to work on sexy projects' problem.  Multiplayer tends to make the people who are very social happy and thus you hear a lot from them in forums and hard core circles, and those are the people the developers want to be acknowledged by....

Re: Indie Game Store Owner Anti-Online Pass

Yeah, I can easily see that. I've never had any interest for online gaming, and to be honest none of my friends or family play online. I've always suspected that the online market is smaller than the industry makes out. Good to see some confirmation of that.

Re: Indie Game Store Owner Anti-Online Pass

I've hated Gamestop for a long while now, but I've never noticed just how EVIL they could be until their recent comments on EA's Online Pass.  Once again EA has reclaimed their title as the most evil games publisher in the industry.  From now on, I'm just going to buy my games from an indie store.  This is just fucking rediculous.  EA and Gamestop, really?  You just lost one more customer, Gamestop.  Not to mention the only EA-branded game I really like is Rock Band, but that's only distributed by EA.  EA is making a huge mistake.  Good-bye, Gamestop.  Rot in Hell!

Re: Indie Game Store Owner Anti-Online Pass

 This is the same guy that did the AT-AT Gamecube mod back in the day. Dude does a ton of videos in which he rants and whatnot, this isn't really uncommon.

Re: Indie Game Store Owner Anti-Online Pass

 lol. Muzz is at it again.

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