Square Enix decides to assassinate the feature, making online multiplayer available to both first-time and pre-owned gamers alike for no extra cost.
Ubisoft cancelled the Online Pass for Driver: San Francisco and it seems that Square Enix is going down the same route as well.
The Online Pass was accepted by publishers as they saw a new way to create a post-launch revenue stream. The Pass is basically nothing more than a code that players need to redeem in order to access the game’s online features.
FIFA 13, Battlefield 3, Resistance 3, Uncharted 3 and pretty much any triple-A title released in recent times, barring the Call of Duty games, have seen the feature implemented. The code is available for no extra cost for first time buyers and the code can be found inside the cover of the game.
Early reaction from gamers was against the move, however, the publishers emphasized on the importance of maintaining a revenue stream apart from just the launch period sales. Heavy Rain, the experimental title lost Quantic Dream, the developer, more than $2-million as second hand sales of the game were high but none of the money made it to the dev.
The Pass feature, however, was implemented only for the online features with the Assassin’s Creed series adopting it as soon as they had a multiplayer mode to release. It has now become common practice in the industry.
However, anyone who purchases a pre-owned copy of Hitman Absolution will not have to part with any extra cash to take part in the game’s online mode, known as Contracts.
A statement from Square Enix read:
“We’d actually planned to have this mode accessible via a code in the game’s box, but we really want to make it available to anybody that plays the game – so we want to take a new approach.”
The statement went on to explain how players could access the feature without having to pay for it or entering any code. The instructions are simple enough, “If you’re in North America you’ll see the mode automatically appear in the game menu. If you’re elsewhere, you can redeem the code inside the box, or you can simply select the BUY CONTRACTS PASS option. From there, head to the store where CONTRACTS will be free to access.”
The game has received mixed reviews since its release, although all reviews seem to agree that Hitman Absolution does bring back the series imaginative enemies, inspired hits and overall bad-behindery. However, a lack of execution seems to be the biggest complaint so far.
What about the readers though, have you played the latest instalment in the Hitman series or is it a game you aren’t all too interested in? let us know in the comments section below.