Happy times ahead for fans of digital rights management, with both Batman: Arkham City and Mass Effect 3 set to feature some of the industry’s finest DRM! The flavour of DRM utilized in both instances is the value detracting industry darling: the Online Pass. It is set to restrict players access to the four single player Catwoman levels in Batman: Arkham City as well as the superfluous four-way multiplayer mode in Mass Effect 3.
The multiplayer content set to be restricted to used owners of Mass Effect 3 is not the standard deathmatch fare common to so many AAA titles of the current generation, but rather it is a four way co-op mode where players team up in order to fight off successive waves of enemies. Given the gameplay of the previous Mass Effect experiences, this restriction is unlikely to prove too burdensome to Mass Effect fans or the Bioware faithful, yet the same is unlikely to be said of Batman: Arkham City. The content blocked by Batman: Arkham City‘s Online Pass consists of four lengthy stages of the game’s single player campaign wherein players get to control Batman’s slinky sometimes nemesis, Catwoman. Unlike Mass Effect 3‘s tacked on multiplayer these Catwoman stages are obviously going to be a huge draw for players, moreover this sets a troubling precedent in that it is unusual for single player content to be locked to used game consumers.
While it is currently unknown what the implications of this will be for the forthcoming horse simulation spin-off entry in Peter Molyneux’s super popular Fable series, further details will be reported as they are made available.