Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Warning: EA is now a Sith Lord

It's been speculated prior, but today's launch marks EA's making good on threats to cut into the used video game market. The problem: Autolog, from Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit. Autolog, for the uninitiated, is the expansive online component for the aforementioned title, providing access to races, tracking your friends' statistics, and providing unique challenges as play the game. Simple, right? No. Should you buy this game used don't expect to find an unusued activation code for Autolog in the packaging. Without this code you cannot go online or do any sort of interactive gaming inside of Need for Speed. Additionally, if you should chose to upgrade your console, your Autolog access will not move with you due to the terms and conditions currently stated upon activation. $10 bucks, buddy.

Needless to say, this is an act of pure greed on the part of Electronic Arts. The only give here is the first console used to activate Autolog will allow all Xbox Live Gold members on said console to access and play online freely. Move consoles? You're screwed. Want to pick up a used game because your budget dictates as much? Add $10 to the sticker price. Paid for your year of Gold for the multiplayer? That is so 2009 - pay again. Want to loan the game out to a buddy? Hope they enjoy solace.

I am disgusted by this practice. While I understand publishers do not make money on used games - that's too damn bad. Consumers have, will, and are legally entitled (in the US) to sell their property at any time of their choosing, without the meddling of the manufacturer. The system has been designed to work like this - to allow a fair share of consumer rights to exist. EA's greed is spit in the face of every gamer out there.

Microsoft and Sony have an obligation on the part of all Xbox Live and PSN users to step in and put a stop to this practice, immediately. XBL and PSN multiplayer cost money and have little reason to allow this practice. To pay for multiplayer and then be slapped with an additional fee for the same multiplayer is not something that should be tolerated by the console manufacturers - used game or not. This is wrong. Period.

EA, you are (pardon my french) greedy assholes.