Developer id Locking Out Single Player Game Segments for Used Buyers

Developers have turned to locking out single player content as a supposed "bonus" for new game buyers.

By , Contributor
There's a movie called Idiocracy, a comedy depicting a future where societal intelligence has slowly been chipped away and corporations rule. The populace has been convinced it's okay to give their crops "Brawndo," an energy drink, because it has electrolytes. Water? That's for the toilet. At least, that's what the marketing told them.

Sadly, Idiocracy comes across as more of a horror film these days. Tim Willits, the id Software creative director, stated to Eurogamer that they will be keeping parts of the single player shooter Rage exclusive to new buyers, and subsequently defending the decision to use an "always on" system of DRM for Diablo III.

The Diablo decision has been discussed prior, although the gaming populace has staggeringly seemed to have taken a passe approach to it, mostly because Blizzard (makers of World of Warcraft) could never do anything wrong. As someone in the comments of the Eurogamer interview stated, "No one plays games after ten years anyway," in reference to what happens when the servers go offline. Right, because no one still plays Diablo II, right? Or Nintendo NES games? Ooh, what about Sega Genesis games? Exactly.

Back to Rage for a moment, which is doing nothing but inciting "rage" in those that realize the gaming consumer is being taken advantage of, here's Willits defense:

"Those hatches are all over. Most people never find them. But as soon as you do, you're like, oh. And then you start to look for it. That's our first-time buyer incentive."

With Rage, secret, hidden areas of the game are designed as sewers full of loot, and will forever be locked except for those new buyers. Never mind if two brothers pool their money together for the game and want to play it separately; the one time use code is forever tied to one online ID despite the game being a new copy.

Never mind if in ten years someone wants to go back and play Rage minus the authentication servers being online, because hey, no one wants to play games that are ten years old, right?

For the record, if "most people" never find them, which is a broad statement considering so few have traversed the game's landscapes, then how is that any incentive? The actuality of the statement is something like, "Hey, buy our game new and you'll spend hours looking for sewer grates! Give us $60!"

How about not until you learn how to properly treat your consumers?

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Matt Paprocki is a 13-year veteran of the video game, movie, and home media scene. He has written thousands of reviews, has been published on a variety of websites, and contributes his thoughts daily on a diverse range of topics.

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