News

Homefront Online Pass Revenue To Allegedly Fund Dedicated Servers

Posted by: Peter Skeritt at 2/1/2011 2:27 AM
As the console gaming industry continues its assault on the preowned game market, one game that is using an Online Pass to generate revenue from used game buyers is getting a different kind of justification from the head of its development studio. David Votypka, head of Homefront's development company at Kaos Studios, recently disclosed in an interview with CVG that the Online Pass isn't all bad.

"I think digital media is a little different, however, and one of the things that takes Homefront even more down that path is our dedicated servers. It's expensive to run those, we want to supply them for the best experience and if a lot of the sales are going just to distributors and not to the publisher that doesn't help us to support the community."

Taken at face value, Votypka is complaining about the lack of revenue the publishers receive from used game sales. Unsurprisingly, he isn't complaining about the revenue generated from sales of new copies, and that a portion of that revenue is generally designated for the online component of console games these days. He's trying to make the Online Pass program seem less punitive, but the math doesn't support him here. If the original purchaser sells his game to a friend, or to a game store from which another consumers buys it, the level of stress on the dedicated server doesn't change. In basic math: (-1) + 1 = 0.

At least Votypka isn't taking the same route that THQ Creative Director Cory Ledesma took last year. Ledesma complained that used game sales cheat developers, sparking a firestorm of internet controversy. 

The "good" news with Homefront's Online Pass strategy is that consumers can take a preowned copy of the game online. Unfortunately, player levels for players without an Online Pass activated caps at 5... out of a possible 75. The online pass will be an extra $10USD (or 800 Microsoft Points). As for the game itself, Homefront invades retail stores on March 8th.