Ubisoft 'Will Probably' Start Bundling Free DLC with New Games 'Sometime in the Future'

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Assassin's Creed, Ghost Recon and Splinter Cell maker Ubisoft is "looking very carefully" at how rival publisher Electronic Arts offers free downloadable content to those that buy new then charges those that play a second-hand for that content and "will probably be following that line sometime in the future," CFO Alain Martinez has revealed.

"We have the system in place to actually generate more revenue on the second-hand market," added Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot, as transcribed by Kotaku. "We have been using keys starting last year on our products. Those keys were allowing some customers to have content if they were buying the product in specific stores."

Used in such Electronic Arts games as Mass Effect 2 and Battlefield: Bad Company 2 along with Microsoft titles like Alan Wake and Forza Motorsport 3, the strategy sees new copies of the game come with a one-use code for free downloadable add-ons.

Meanwhile, those that play a second-hand copy of the game--rented, borrowed, used--must pay an additional fee for that same content, a move that helps publishers recoup the lack of revenue from used sales. According to Electronic Arts, the system also helps fight piracy and makes gamers more aware of the add-on "ecosystem."

Electronic Arts recently announced an extension of the program, dubbed "Online Pass," that restricts the online multiplayer component of participating games to those that either buy them new, pay an additional $10, or make use of a free seven-day trial.

From The Chatty
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    May 19, 2010 11:07 AM

    Huh. Guess they finally realized it was the 'buy used' market that has been fucking them all this time, and not so much the pirates.

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      May 19, 2010 11:10 AM

      Though it'll be interesting to see if they find out eventually that the used market was actually helping them.

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        May 19, 2010 12:04 PM

        Yeah, I don't think it's hurting them as much as they're saying. I'm sure there is an impact, but just as there is an impact in the used sales of anything. However, I would think a lot of times that the money people make on selling games will more often than not go back into the purchase of other games.

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        May 19, 2010 12:09 PM

        how is it helping them?
        they receive 0% of used sales.
        unless you're talking about charging for dlc, then this changes nothing, except make buying new look better.

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          May 19, 2010 12:36 PM

          Two possible ways. First, people trading in their old games allows them to purchase more new games. Second, people trading in their old games gives them more of a reason to buy the sequel. I mean, if you look at PC, a lot of people are playing games that are pretty old. Generic Console Shooter 2 comes out and people trade in GCS1 to get a few dollars off the sequel.

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            May 20, 2010 1:44 AM

            A person who plays used games then trades in those used games is likely to just buy another used game and not a new game. After all, people go after used games because they're cheaper, and won't be swayed by extra content, unless it's the same price.

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              May 20, 2010 9:37 AM

              But people initially trading in those "new" games are likely to put it towards other new games. While I don't like what shops like Gamestop are doing, killing off the second market is not likely going to improve the situation. If people can't sell their games they will likely end up just buying less games. Overall I think this practice could end up hurting the industry more than it would help.

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      May 19, 2010 11:35 AM

      Apples and oranges. Piracy is a pc problem, and the used market is a console problem.

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        May 19, 2010 11:36 AM

        Xbox 360 piracy is getting more and more popular.

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          May 19, 2010 12:09 PM

          And it now has her group of friends who are all posh bitches and won't invite "ugly girls" to their drinking parties.