Kingdom of Amalur: Reckoning online pass is 'fan reward,' studio head says

38 Studios founder Curt Schilling has responded to complaints regarding the online pass for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. It was revealed last week that the pass would unlock single-player quests.

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Online passes are a staple of the games industry, and we can expect more and more games--regardless of multiplayer functionality--to take advantage of content that is locked via DLC. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, an exclusively single-player experience, has a number of quests locked behind an online pass, which has some fans up in arms.

Developer 38 Studios' founder Curt Schilling has chimed in about the controversy, saying the intent is to "promote early adopters" and "reward fans and gamers who commit to us with their time and money when it benefits the company."

"Day 1 DLC, to be extremely and vividly clear, is free, 100% totally free, to anyone that buys a new copy of Reckoning," Schilling said on the Reckoning forums.

"That's just how business works. We must make a profit to become what we want to become. The only way we do that is to make games you cannot wait to buy! If we do that, and you do that, we want to reward you with some cool free stuff as a thank you," he said. "There is no nefarious attempt to do anything under handed here."

Many Shackers, including SinisterInfant, support the move, largely aimed at preventing used game purchases. "I don't see the problem. You get more game if you buy it new. They aren't penalizing used game purchaser's they have provided incentive to buy new."

This is similar to the recent controversy over the Catwoman downloadable content in Batman: Arkham City, which was also single-player DLC. In that case, some fans felt betrayed by the content being such a large part of the marketing message, as opposed to these quests that were never particularly hyped before. However, the hardest-hit will be the players who don't have an online connection, which is probably the reason they'd want to pick up a large-scale single-player game in the first place.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    January 30, 2012 5:45 PM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Kingdom of Amalur: Reckoning online pass is 'fan reward,' studio head says.

    38 Studios founder Curt Schilling has responded to complaints regarding the online pass for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. It was revealed last week that the pass would unlock single-player quests.

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      January 30, 2012 5:56 PM

      The big problem with the Catwoman thing was that the gameplay trailer was released on July 1, 2011: http://www.shacknews.com/game/batman-arkham-city/videos/9636/batman-arkham-city-catwoman-gameplay

      ...and then months later, in mid-October, a week before the release, they said, "Catwoman's only available as online pass!" http://www.shacknews.com/article/70604/catwoman-in-arkham-city-reportedly-vip-pass-exclusive

      That's called being mean with PR. Back in July, WB didn't say anything about the availability of the Catwoman gameplay, so the expectation was set that it would be in the base retail game. At that time, did WB even consider Catwoman to be part of the base gameplay, though they considered it a core part of the story, and reviewers said that the game experience felt less complete without it.

      I haven't been in tune with the Kingdoms of Amalur news since I'm not that interested in fantasy RPGs, but I don't remember them announcing "House of Valor" months prior to release. Still, the gut reaction to "Online Pass" lockouts is that a part of the game that could've been in the base retail box is now walled off only to those who shell out $60 on release day, or wait a couple of weeks and hope that GameStop or Best Buy didn't understock themselves.

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      January 30, 2012 6:00 PM

      [deleted]

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        January 30, 2012 6:02 PM

        I really do not understand why people equate published by EA = Shit , don't bother ignore?

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          January 30, 2012 6:28 PM

          [deleted]

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            January 30, 2012 6:31 PM

            Blahh I get it :) never mind, I am just so used to people pissing on this game and EA games in general I assumed that was your point, my bad.

            Yeah the DLC EA thing, I am pretty sure that's what you meant, in that case totally agree with you.

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          January 31, 2012 12:08 AM

          published by EA = full with hoops, bells and whistles to maximize profits

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        January 30, 2012 6:18 PM

        brickmatt, this is only funny because you made a thread about preordering mass effect 3 recently

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          January 30, 2012 6:29 PM

          [deleted]

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            January 30, 2012 6:51 PM

            oh, i was assuming you meant how valcan thought you meant it

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            January 31, 2012 12:06 AM

            It's an EA Partners game, so it's a bit surprising. Have any of those had a season pass yet?

            It's self published on Steam, but then every PC game has a key so season passes are not required.

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              January 31, 2012 12:07 AM

              derp online pass, not season pass.

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        January 30, 2012 9:41 PM

        I solved it by not buying any of their shit. No I haven't gotten to play Mass Effect yet, but I still have backlog I'll never get through

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      January 30, 2012 6:02 PM

      Oh man that's the same Curt Schilling jackass from the Red Sox who was all gung-ho for George Bush

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      January 30, 2012 6:08 PM

      Most anticipated RPG of the year for me hands down, runner up would be Risen 2 and Torchlight 2.

      I can not wait for the 7th(been in love with it from the first E3 vid and verified my feelings by the demo), the ban wagon may be half full for now but when the game gets released it will get full really fast believe that.

      Ign has a massive review in progress http://ps3.ign.com/articles/121/1216517p1.html (already 9 pages) and will have the review released on Feb 3rd.

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        January 30, 2012 6:16 PM

        I wasn't a big fan of Risen, to be honest. It was really clunky. But Kingdoms of Amalur feels tight as hell.

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          January 30, 2012 6:37 PM

          Totally agree I played Risen 1 lately(wanted to see it on three screens) and it has really aged gameplay wise I really hope 2 will be a massive jump in all areas, from all the devs videos I am sure it will be.

          For sure its the tightest gameplay out of any RPG right now nothing compares its so rad they took my DMC, Darksiders, Bayonetta, Dante's inferno, God Of War, etc and learned from those combat mechanics.

          I really think KOAR is going to be massive after release, I really hope so.

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      January 30, 2012 6:23 PM

      who is sinisterinfant?

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      January 30, 2012 7:10 PM

      I get it's a good business decision because it makes you more money. Just don't play it off like you're doing it for the fans, that is simply bullshit. As a consumer of many games, I share plenty with a group of friends to save money. I guess we will "early adopt" a different game.

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        January 31, 2012 5:35 AM

        With you on this. I'll just trade gamertags with a friend when I borrow their copy of this game so I can play all the DLC stuff.

        There's really no reason for people to complain when this stuff is this easy to get around, ya know?

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      January 30, 2012 8:18 PM

      The fuck would you guys quote somebody with 52 posts? And calling them a Shacker? I won't be surprised at all when the huge sidebanners show up advertising this game.

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      January 30, 2012 9:30 PM

      Making profit is a bad move. If you buy the game used you should get their next game free as a way of saying "We still value you. Even though we didn't see a dime off this purchase." That is how businesses should operate in 2012.

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        January 30, 2012 9:46 PM

        Nice burn of an argument NO ONE HAS EVER MADE.

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      January 31, 2012 12:01 AM

      I don't mind the strategy here, but I guess I don't understand why games have seen huge resistance against the used market versus other goods? There are entire chains devoted to used clothing, and used furniture but you never here PR from designers of Polo or the like railing against the injustices of those used goods markets.

      Why do games devs/publishers think that their product is special compared to other goods, is it that the profit is so slim compared to other goods? I would like to see an editorial or commentary from a dev, about why makes games developers should by excluded from a pretty standard sales mechanic.

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        January 31, 2012 12:10 AM

        It's complicated but one aspect is the fact that digital goods to not depreciate in value after they are used. One copy of a game could be used by 100 people and they'd all get the exact same experience. This causes the used game market to be a much larger one than the used clothing or furniture market, speaking in relative terms to their non-used counterpart market.

        Clothing and furniture, to use your examples, are two items that reduce in quality drastically as they move from owner to owner.

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          January 31, 2012 3:32 PM

          I suppose that makes sense particularly when pared with my earlier examples and if I think to a closer comparison, DVDs and Blu-Rays, I see similar strategies in play. Rental copies that don't include special features or new copies that include multiple formats to "reward" new release purchases. Thanks for providing at least one explanation.

          You mention that its more complicated than that, is there a source that I could look at the deeper arguments? Personally, as a biased consumer the current market structure provides me the widest variety of gameplay. If I was restricted to "new-only" purchases, and the rental market dried up entirely, I would only be able to afford 2-3 titles a year. It seems like this would shrink the gaming market ending up hurting the publisher most in the end.

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        January 31, 2012 12:12 AM

        one possible argument is that the turn around for games is usually very short. So it's only a week or so before people are buying the game used (so a week before the publisher is not seeing any money from the sale). With clothes that's not really the case, people who want to be fashionable have no choice but to buy the latest clothes brand new when they're in season. It won't be until winter, or until the clothes are no longer fashionable that they will go in to the second hand stores.

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      January 31, 2012 6:32 AM

      I'll just buy this game when it's in the bargain bin. Same thing.

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      January 31, 2012 8:17 AM

      Just buy it and stop bitching. If your intent was to pirate or wait for it to be $1 dollar at your local (whorehouse) read: Gamestop then go pick it up, day and date. There is a reason they hype games like 9 months ahead of time. So you can SAVE YOUR MONEY.

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        January 31, 2012 9:44 AM

        I didn't hear a thing about the game until the Bombcast and Weekend Confirmed pimped it out. The shack didn't really talk about it until the Weekend Confirmed episode either.

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      January 31, 2012 8:24 AM

      [deleted]

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      January 31, 2012 10:33 AM

      I'm not a fan of the online pass. I understand the reason for it, but as a gamer dad with three gaming boys, I'm very selective about where my money goes when purchasing games. I use GF as a way to "try before I buy" and when I'm locked out of content because of an online pass, that just sours me completely.

      Fortunately, the demo helped me realize that this wasn't a game I would enjoy. I encountered several glitches in both the PS3 and 360 demos, and a lot of the aesthetic choices in the game didn't look appealing to me. I guess I should feel relieved, rather than disappointed. Yeah, the online pass is a bummer, but at least they released a demo so I could find out their game wasn't up my alley before putting it in my GF queue, or buying it sight unseen.

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        January 31, 2012 3:35 PM

        Before passing final judgement you might want to read the earlier article where the Developer basically disavowed the demo as an abortion. It was old code released to a third party with little input from the actual devs.

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          January 31, 2012 8:29 PM

          Thanks for the information. Crazy that I missed that story, but I have to wonder how many people will ever know that about the demo. Before coming home and reading this, I was out with four other gamer friends and no one mentioned the outsourcing of the demo. They did, however, all mention how the demo turned them off of the game. I'll be happy to educate them on the real deal, but I would venture to guess that the damage is already done.

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      January 31, 2012 3:36 PM

      I'm for it. If you don't want to pay full price for the game, wait till it's inevitably $20-30. The online pass will still come with the game when it's on sale.

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