THQ Expands “Online Pass” To SvR 2011

Posted August 20th, 2010 at 10:32 am

WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2011 will ship with a one-time-use code to access online play functionality. The “Online Pass” style program, which THQ has not given their own name to, debuted with UFC Undisputed 2010. However now the company has raised the cost of purchasing access to $10 for those who end up with used copies and there will now be a trial period available. For UFC 2010 it was $5 and no option for a trial period was provided.

THQ faced serious heat over the level of communication and the handling of the implementation as the program was rolled out in UFC 2010. The perception of deception spread as the company hid its existence and didn’t acknowledge it until it was actually discovered by consumers. Then the way in which it was set up resulted in some gamers paying for online access without even realizing they had the key to getting it for free. The online play for the game ended up being severely troubled which just compounded on frustrations. With SvR 2011 it appears the company has learned from the mistakes and at least is being up front with the plan.

It remains in question how successful this tactic has been thus far for EA Sports and THQ. Whether it has an effect on sales of new copies is uncertain, as UFC 2010 and Tiger Woods 11 had drastic declines but NCAA Football 11 had sales rise. Certainly though the companies are benefiting by receiving the $10 from those who purchase used copies, as they would have gotten absolutely nothing in the past from those consumers.