PS3 News: Curt Schilling Explains Amalur's Online Pass Incentive - PS3 News

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Curt Schilling Explains Amalur's Online Pass Incentive

The Online Pass program is always capable of inciting arguments.

And when it was revealed that Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, a single-player role-playing game, would feature EA's Online Pass, gamers were a little miffed.

It's designed so that those who purchase the game new will receive seven extra House of Valor faction quests, plus a Mass Effect 3-themed in-game item (if you're wondering, they teamed up with BioWare in a cross-promotion deal). If you buy Amalur used, however, you have to pay for this stuff.

Many gamers are saying it shouldn't have anything to do with an "Online Pass," so 38 Studios boss and ex-Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling has been forced to explain in the Reckoning forums. In a lengthy post, he first clarifies that we should view the content as Day 1 DLC, which is free for anyone who buys the game new (and of course, they all would on Day 1). He went on to add:

"It's clear the intent right? To promote early adopters and MUCH MORE IMPORTANT TO ME, REWARD fans and gamers who commit to us with their time and money when it benefits the company. Every single person on the planet could wait and not buy Reckoning, the game would hit the bargain bin at some point and you could get it cheaper. 38 Studios would likely go away.

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."

Schilling also tackled the thorny subject of the used game market, and simply asked if it was wrong for publishers to figure out how to make money on such a gigantic piece of the pie. The bottom line is that it takes cash to succeed and grow-

"Again, you can argue with methods, or process, and you absolutely can bitch and gripe about ANY DAY 1 DLC you are charged for, because I think I agree with many on that, but we are trying to create something here, product and company wise, and it takes dollars to do that."

Related Game(s): Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

Tags: kingdoms of amalur, reckoning, reckoning online pass, curt schilling

1/30/2012 10:10:38 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (34 posts)

frylock25
Monday, January 30, 2012 @ 10:30:03 AM
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at least this guy says it honestly and doesnt bs about it. i would have to agree with what was said and think it is a good idea in the way they are doing it.

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RaYz89
Monday, January 30, 2012 @ 10:39:03 AM
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Love his straight on your face "We're doing business here!" comment~

Agree with this comment 9 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

TheAgingHipster
Monday, January 30, 2012 @ 10:51:25 AM
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"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!"

I agree 90% with this. The other 10% is making games that gamers don't want to sell. Make a product so amazing that we have to get it day one, and you will make your money. But make a product that that we love so much that we can't bear to lose it from our shelves, and you will continue to make money long after the initial release love affair, when the price drops and stragglers are forced to buy new copies because no one trades theirs in. A difficult task, to be sure, but regular updates, free DLC, and a rock solid gaming experience are the ticket to keeping a strong fanbase!

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Underdog15
Monday, January 30, 2012 @ 1:52:18 PM

That game doesn't exist. Doesn't matter how good a game it. It will hit bargain bin. The ones you can't find, are rare games... that aren't bought by many.

I bet that you can find ANY 9+ rated game in the last 3 years used in any gamestop you walk into.

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Palpatations911
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 @ 12:16:19 AM

good point. I remember Demon's Souls being $54.99 used at Gamestop nearly a year after it's initial release date for that same reason - People didn't sell it!

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Underdog15
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 @ 9:52:56 AM

@Palpatations

You definitely saw wrong. lol Even now, it's $15 used, and if you go to Gamestop or Amazon's website.... there are PLENTY of used copies to choose from.

Last edited by Underdog15 on 1/31/2012 9:55:33 AM

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TheAgingHipster
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 @ 10:39:52 AM

@Underdog, remember, he said "nearly a year after release". I had the same experience in my local stores back home. I hopped on the Demon's Souls bandwagon about 1 year after launch, and I was forced to buy new because none of the 10 or so local stores had a single used copy. That's my point about how to make your money on a game--make something so varied and replayable that no one wants to sell it, and late adopters are forced to buy new!

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Underdog15
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 @ 12:37:00 PM

Well, I'm either in a strange region or I just had insanely good luck, perhaps. And the game is still sold used now and it moves used.

Anyways, you've found 1 game. Bear in mind, it's a niche game for the hardcore, and it wasn't chart topping despite it's critical acclaim.

I still challenge you to make this point about any other game, or even more than 4 or 5.

Go to Metacritic's website and look at all the best PS3 rated games 9.0 and higher (none of which are Dark Souls or Demon Souls, by the way). I bet if you go down that list, you will find either annualized titles and/or games that ALL can be easily found on a used shelf.

My point still stands that it doesn't matter how well you make a game, it WILL hit the used game market. And further still, any game that sells well, regardless of quality, will hit the used market by the boat loads.

Look at a game like Atelier Totori, for example. Like Demon Souls, it is niche (although perhaps more niche). Better yet, look at all the Atelier games. All pretty decent. None chart toppers. (Include other niche games like Star Ocean: TLHI.) You CANNOT find them in used stores easily. But not because they aren't resold or are so good no one would sell them. It's because they are rare titles that simply have limited copies out on release.


To place the blame on developers is like putting handcuffs on them. Saying they need to make a game no one wants to get rid of is forcing them into specific genres and making them create a game that is not what they want to make.

Look at Uncharted, for example. An excellent game that no one with a clear head would say is a poor title or not very good. (See also GoW3, Metal Gear Solid 4, Little Big Planet, and more) ALL of them can be found EASILY in the used game market. They are absolutely good enough to keep forever. I know I'll never sell them, for example. But they are so popular that there are lots of copies. They hit the used market easily.

I dunno... I just think saying it's the devs that gotta make better games (which would apply to over 99% of the gaming market by your standards) is sort of a deflection. You know what I mean? There are plenty of people that wouldn't touch Demon Souls with a 10 foot pole for it's difficulty alone, let alone not being someone's preferred style! I don't know... I don't think an example like Demon Souls has as much to do with it's quality so much as the style of game that it is.

There are just too many other variables to consider before I can accept your theory. That's all.

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Cesar_ser_4
Monday, January 30, 2012 @ 10:53:53 AM
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I didn't know it was allowed to have the word b*tch in the article...

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Underdog15
Monday, January 30, 2012 @ 1:52:55 PM

u gonna be ok? ;p

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firesoul453
Monday, January 30, 2012 @ 11:15:54 AM
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This is probably the first online pass that I'm perfectly fine with


Its like a pre order bonus that you can get even if you wait a bit!

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CrusaderForever
Monday, January 30, 2012 @ 12:44:12 PM
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Still classy I see. Straight up in the face honesty. I love Curt Schilling even though I am an avid Twins fan!

Even though I have known this about gaming devs forever, it's nice to see it put on the net. If the games suck there will be no buying it. If it gets good reviews then you should buy it if you are interested in the subject matter.

Unfortunately, I am not able to buy every single game that comes out that I want on D1. Since gaming now makes more money than movies there are more and more games being made. All devs know if their game sucks there is a good chance they won't make their money back or get an opportunity to make another game with the current company. I really want to play Resistance 3 but won't be able to get to it until this summer. Resistance 3 will probably be $30 by then. I sincerely feel bad that I am not giving Insomniac $60. But it's just the way it is because there are so many games available and so little time.

I have to agree with him though, as I want devs that make truly great games to be rewarded. I love having my games in hand but wouldn't mind digital only so all devs can get their just rewards.

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Underdog15
Monday, January 30, 2012 @ 1:56:19 PM

No problems liking Schilling!

As far as I'm concerned, you can like any player that isn't playing for one of your team's rivals. ;P

I'm a Jays fan, but I like a lot of players on the Cardinals and Phillies. I also like to see the Mets do well. But they're in the NL and not rivals of the Jays. For example... I will always love Roy Halladay and Chris Carpenter. (That head to head 1-0 game in the playoffs made me giddy)

My point? No issue liking Schilling! He isn't a rival of the Twins! And for me? Well... bosox are rivals... but now he's retired. So he can hang up his bat, and I'll give respect where respect is due now that his career is over.

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MMaLuFF
Monday, January 30, 2012 @ 12:59:38 PM
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I do not wait because I want to purchase it for a cheaper price, I do wait because I do not want DLC on my hard drive, I rather wait for the complete version with all DLC ON DISK!!! Promise me you will do like Rockstar and release all DLC on bluray for a 25 maybe 30 dollars, and I will purchase this game day 1 no doubt!

Agree with this comment 6 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

dmiitrie
Monday, January 30, 2012 @ 8:11:31 PM

You do realize that moat GotY editions these days just give you a code so you get the DLC for free. You still have to download them to your hard drive.

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Beamboom
Monday, January 30, 2012 @ 1:03:50 PM
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I too love this no bullshit attitude. It doesn't change my opinion about these passes but at least he's straight with me.

Is it just me or are RPGs all of a sudden *the* genre now? Deus Ex, Skyrim, Amalur, Mass Effect 3... What other genre has had four giants like that since last autumn? It's no doubt good to be a rpg fan these days!


Last edited by Beamboom on 1/30/2012 1:04:14 PM

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Ichigo40
Monday, January 30, 2012 @ 1:15:19 PM
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I like the up front honesty and I completely see his reasoning for the online pass. I hope this entices some people that are on the fence to buy the game early because I would like to see 38 Studios do well. I for one will be pre-ordering this game.

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Underdog15
Monday, January 30, 2012 @ 1:57:35 PM
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It certainly is interesting, that not only here, but on other sites as well, when he says it the way he said it there, people are almost ok with the online pass, whereas in another thread, they might threaten to give up gaming altogether!

lol

Agree with this comment 8 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

bigrailer19
Monday, January 30, 2012 @ 6:22:29 PM

Thanks underdog I was just thinking the exact same thing, now I don't have to explain that. I think it's hilarious the way people act in different circumstances.

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 1/30/2012 6:23:22 PM

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BikerSaint
Monday, January 30, 2012 @ 3:04:48 PM
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I hate the online pass concept, especially for SP mode games, but I can understand Curt Schilling's reasoning to help build up an upstart company.

And at least he's straight up non-BS about it too, so I just see it as a Curt Schilling course on about "Tough Love".
And at least he added a whole lot of extra gaming incentives to soften the pain of online passes.

BTW, when Schilling was playing with the Philadelphia Phillies, almost everyone mistakenly took the both of us as being closely related because we both have the same last name & we both lived within 50 miles from each other(and although I wanted to, I never had the good fortune to actually meet him in person though)

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NoSmokingBandit
Monday, January 30, 2012 @ 6:21:28 PM
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So the only way he can make a game so good i HAVE to have it on day one is to give away free DLC? The game, on its own merits, is not worth buying right away except for the dlc? Because thats how i read it.

Heres a radical idea: make better games that sell because they are better, not because you had to coax people into buying it by giving away free stuff.

But that would require people to put more effort into things and this is america.

Last edited by NoSmokingBandit on 1/30/2012 6:22:53 PM

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bigrailer19
Monday, January 30, 2012 @ 6:25:28 PM

No, he's saying they want to make a game good enough to buy on day one, and if the consumer does so, they will get rewarded on day 1 with DLC...

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MyWorstNightmar
Monday, January 30, 2012 @ 6:53:01 PM

I don't have a problem with it. I see it similar to Target or Best Buy giving a free gift card for buying a game at full price. It is their way of giving you free stuff to come to them to buy the game.

Same concept here. He can't give you a gift card, but it is sort of like that. "Come buy the game from us (not used at Gamestop), and we will give you free stuff." If the DLC will cost someone $9.99, well, he basically just gave you a $10.00 gift card for buying it new.

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NoSmokingBandit
Monday, January 30, 2012 @ 9:09:48 PM

If they were confident in the quality of their game they wouldnt have to bribe... erm... "reward" people for buying it on day 1.

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bigrailer19
Monday, January 30, 2012 @ 9:21:01 PM

It's not a "bribe" though... I'm actually confused where you got that idea. Anyways I can't count on both hands the many, many games that do this, it's no different. They are promoting the game. Not the DLC. By reading the article clearly the point is that EA was calling it an online pass, which caused some frustration in consumers because it is more of access to DLC. all Curt Schilling is saying is this is more of day 1 DLC than an online pass. It's more of a clarification statement than anything. Still confused where your getting that they are trying to bribe people into buying their game?!

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Underdog15
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 @ 9:57:45 AM

@NoSmoking

It's no different than buying a collector's edition used. The DLC codes are all used up. Which is funny, by the way, that people sell collector's editions after using them... because... it's an edition for collectors.... which they clearly are not. lol

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dmiitrie
Monday, January 30, 2012 @ 8:29:44 PM
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This is something I've wished devs and publishers would say for a long time. As people have been proving here, if you're upfront and honest with people they can accept things even if they dont necessarily agree with them.

I actually like online passes, but I'm not sure how I feel about if this game doesn't have much of an online component, like I've heard. I'm sure I'll still support it, since it looks like the lesser evil, at least, but it still feels slightly off.

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maxpontiac
Monday, January 30, 2012 @ 8:37:17 PM
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I am all for online passes because I don't mind supporting a Developer who makes games I enjoy.

Anyways, all the complaining in the world isn't going to change a thing. These "passes" are here to stay. Did people actually think the used game business would go unnoticed by hardware and software manufacturers?

Welcome to world we live in.

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bigrailer19
Monday, January 30, 2012 @ 9:23:23 PM

Agreed. I'm ok with the online pass also, because the majority of my games are bought new. I like to show support especially to te developers that truly deserve it. I only buy used games if it's something I'm not sure of, I'm getting it months after release, or it's a great price.

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Ludakriss
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 @ 9:53:58 AM
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Enough said aint it? The guy sounds pretty smart.

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Underdog15
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 @ 9:58:53 AM
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I'm not sure I like some people's mentality that devs should make a game good enough that I want to buy it new and keep it... it's kind of silly... Why would you buy a game you don't want in the first place.... used or new?

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Beamboom
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 @ 10:05:21 AM

Ahhh well... There's *plenty* of games that I wait for the bargain bin before I pick up. That's almost the same thing. They are not worth the full price, still for a few bucks it could be worth it.

Alice Madness Returns is my prime example there. To charge full price for that game is daylight robbery, it just is not good enough. But a charming little game it is. Worth the bargain/used price.


Last edited by Beamboom on 1/31/2012 10:05:41 AM

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Underdog15
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 @ 12:38:21 PM

I agree. The best way to deal with less than AAA quality games is to wait for a price drop. That's the smart thing to do, for sure.

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Rogueagent01
Thursday, February 02, 2012 @ 9:25:49 AM
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I have no problem with this. It is a good idea to put incentives in the games to entice a day 1 purchase.

That is the problem with a lot of games this generation. They are not worth the $60 dollars to many people so they won't buy them day 1 and then the publishers get all up in arms about it. By going this route your at least gonna have a better impact on the people that aren't to sure about your game, as they will get DLC or In-game items for other games that make them want to purchase the game. Don't get me wrong I can see how this will backfire at some point with certain games/companies as it is inevitable.

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