EA Shutters Seven Kingdoms of Amalur Quests Behind Online Pass
Seems publishers cannot get enough of this online pass idea, with even a single-player RPG like Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning getting one.
Electronic Arts’ Kingdoms of Amalur online pass is worrisome, though, signaling a shift we’ve been seeing from publishers — away from holding back things like multiplayer, and toward holding back actual story-oriented content. The Amalur online pass, as Destructoid reports, locks up a full questline made up of seven individual quests; buy the game used and that questline will run you $10, the standard going rate on online passes for other titles.
Amalur isn’t the first game to close off some single-player content behind a pass, but it is perhaps the most troubling. RAGE had an online pass included in the game that gave players access to a few hidden sewer areas, but no actual story content. Batman: Arkham City walled off the Catwoman playable content with a pass, but that wasn’t strictly necessary to get the full story out of the game (although it’s a huge bummer not to have).
It’s worth noting that the Mass Effect 3 tie-in armor content, which is part of a cross-promotion between both games, is also tied to the online pass.
As Jim Sterling points out, this doesn’t exactly sound like a vote of confidence in the game’s staying power from publisher EA, since it seems to think people are going to sell the title back to a used game store if the value of that game isn’t somehow reduced. To my mind, though, it’s more troublesome, showing more and more the control over a product post-sale that publishers think they can exert — always at the cost of the consumer.
I mean, think about it. They’re starting to close off portions of the game you paid for behind a code you have to redeem to pay the game you paid for. Hope your Internet connection is solid (or that you have one). Also, say goodbye to lending things to your friends so they can try them.
Need some help on your fantasy adventure through Kingdom of Amalur: Reckoning? Check out Game Front’s text and video walkthrough right here.