Against Creator’s Wishes, Twisted Metal Gets Online-Pass Restriction

Gamers that planned on buying the forthcoming Twisted Metal PS3 revival used can anticipate being snapped onto a short leash that ends right outside the PlayStation Network. Against series creator […]

Gamers that planned on buying the forthcoming Twisted Metal PS3 revival used can anticipate being snapped onto a short leash that ends right outside the PlayStation Network.

Against series creator David Jaffe’s apparent wishes, Kotaku reports that the vehicular mayhem series’ current-generation resurrection will be subjected to many a player’s most reviled dirty word: “online pass.” It’s a veritable curse word among jaded online multiplayer aficionados, so having it even mentioned in the same sentence as such a beloved Sony icon as the Twisted Metal line was bound to be akin to calling some fan-boy’s sainted grandma a gutterslut.

Jaffe claimed this past December that Twisted Metal is one of many games that’s made to become a multiplayer party favorite. That being said, Jaffe argued, keeping the online play barriers minimal couldn’t be much more essential to any franchise’s success than it would be to a game like this one.

Now, before the requisite pissing and moaning that follows the words “online pass” almost everywhere begins, take a couple things into good, long consideration.

First of all, have you examined the growing list developers and publishers that now rest in peace? Think of the game industry, just this once, not like a big shackled beast that exists to pander to you and you alone, and instead like a source of sustenance on which your livelihood depends. Think of it that way just this once, because for many, many people, that’s not hypothetical. It’s reality.

Those people? They’re engaged in a constant chess match with used-game dealers like Gamestop. When the game sells the first time, that’s the only time the publishers and developers get paid. If that same game gets sold used, it costs those same publishers and developers the revenue from the sale of a brand new copy.

That being said, publishers must survive by creating either incentive to buy a brand-new copy, or disincentive to purchase a used copy. Hence, the online pass. Want to enjoy the privileges and perks of playing online with friends? Do right by us, who slaved to make this for your ungrateful ass, and just fork over for a new copy. Remember, if the people making the game can’t feed their families from the fruits of their labors, what incentive do they have to continue? Simply the good feeling of knowing they’re entertaining somebody?

That’s a great intrinsic motivator, but I’ve had Chinese buffet food that’s more filling.

The alternative to buying new is to buy a used game, then purchase an online pass – in this case, it would be done via PSN for about $10. Guess what? Even if you buy used and then buy the online pass, even if it’s not as cheap as you’d like, it’s a discount off buying it new. Want it even cheaper still? Trade in a game.

This article will get some hateful comments. Truth be told, I honestly don’t care. I’ve read the other arguments.

“But I can’t afford to buy new games!”

And I’m truly sorry to hear that. Most of the time, I can’t afford new games either. Sometimes, I can’t even afford used games. But when one comes up that I want, I sock away money beforehand so that I have it when the game comes out.

It’s called “budgeting.” It’s called “being responsible.”

“But this impacts the rental market, too!”

Again, I refer to the point of this whole rant: it’s about creating incentives to buy the game. It’s nothing personal. It’s a matter of business. The video game industry is a business first. It’s how people feed their families. It’s how they keep clothes on their backs. And currently, they have to do it in an economy in which many households’ disposable incomes have dried up and where video games are an expendable luxury.

“But you’re really supporting the publishers more than the developers!”

Hey, ass-hat: what, exactly, is the point of developing a game if no one, including the developer, has the means to publish and distribute it? The publishers are needed, too.

This, however, may be my favorite. And by “favorite,” I mean proof that despicable people have been placed on Earth so that when the rest of us screw up, we realize we could’ve turned out a whole lot worse. This was an actual comment on the Kotaku report that Twisted Metal would be getting an online pass. It is reprinted verbatim.

VegetarianZombie (@jupiter.is.sentient) – oh, you’re damn right I’m naming names – wrote “No. I’m not buying new to support anyone. When did playing games become a case for charity? If a developer can’t survive a used market – you know, something that exists for every other industry out there – then they shouldn’t be in business. Especially in the console business.”

Oh, you sanctimonious son of a –

You’re not going to buy new to support the people who make the things you enjoy? You Sam’s Club family-size bag of douche. This is the same kind of person that will be the first to bitch, piss and moan if developer after developer continues going bankrupt, because sales trail off after the initial release because copies get filtered onto the used market, when suddenly there are fewer studios making games because it’s just that much harder to be profitable.

We’d all love to inhabit a crap-sunshine-and-fart-cotton-candy world where we can pay our way with the love we have for what we do. Unfortunately, the world doesn’t work that way. Unfortunately, it can’t be said that all members of the gamer community act like adults all the time with a concept of understanding the concept of what constitutes a mutually beneficial relationship. There comes a point in the gaming business where we, the consumers, must meet the people who make the things we love halfway. Nothing in this world comes free. It would indeed have made more sense for Twisted Metal, and multiplayer-emphasizing games like it, to be free of online passes. But just remember the arithmetic: Typical Used-Game Price+$10 Online Pass=STILL Cheaper Than Buying New.

If nothing else, remember this much: nobody’s forcing anyone to make the online pass available for purchase outside buying the new game. That, in itself, is somewhat of a concession.

Note: [All opinions expressed herein are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of GamerXChange]