Rumor: Warner initiating 'Online Pass' program for core titles, beginning with Mortal Kombat

A tipster has shared an email with Shacknews that NetherRealm's upcoming Mortal Kombat reboot will include an one-use code to enable online multiplayer.

According to the email, Warner Bros will now utilize a "1st purchaser reward program," comprised of one-use codes included in new copies of upcoming games. Mortal Kombat is the first game Warner plans to feature for the new direction. Those without access to a one-use code (purchasing the game used, for example will be able to purchase an online pass for $10, the source notes--similar to other "Online Pass" enabled titles throughout the industry.

The Shacknews source says that users without a code will be able to play Mortal Kombat's online multiplayer for free for two days before being forced to purchase entry into the online features.

Other titles Warner Bros. plans to attach to the new program include FEAR 3 and Batman: Arkham City; however, it's unclear how the single-player Batman sequel will benefit from the promotion at this time.

Rumors of an online pass for Mortal Kombat have been swirling since gamers peered into the raw code of the recently released Mortal Kombat demo.

All attempts to confirm the information with Warner Bros. have yielded silence.

Joystiq reports, via its own source, that Warner has no plans to promote the inclusion of the pass. Instead, the publisher is attempting to educate retailers on the new model.

Joystiq's source added an email excerpt being distributed to retailers that explains the promotion in relation to Mortal Kombat:

Mortal Kombat, available on April 19 for the PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system and the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, includes a one-time-use registration code that gives players access to all online modes in the game. Players who do not have a code will get a free two-day trial of the online play and then be able to purchase the online modes for 800 Microsoft Points on Xbox LIVE Marketplace and $9.99 on the PlayStation Network.