News: Mass Effect 3 and Batman: Arkham City Are the Latest To Use Online Pass Technology

Batman Arkham City Box Art
Batman Arkham City Box Art

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.

21 comments

  1. Oh. Oh, that’s bad. You know what? I really wanted to get a PS3 and buy Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, but now I think I’ll probably avoid it. Arkham Asylum and Arkham City look amazing, but I have absolutely no respect for any company that thinks that sort of DRM is acceptable.

  2. I have made a little deal with myself that any game which uses this sort of DRM will have to be under $30 before I will buy it.

    This year I was looking forward to buying both Arkham City and Uncharted 3 on release – and now I can’t because of this selfish bullshit!

  3. What SN just said, but much louder, and repeated over and over again, at day and night, in the ears of those making these decisions, UNTIL THE END OF TIME.

  4. I don’t see how companies will eliminate piracy, anyhow, especially with DRM that will drive people away. Companies need money, but gamers don’t need their games. There will be other games without DRM for them to play.

    There are also many things that are not video games for them to occupy their time with. Board games, trading card games, and hanging out with friends are all things without DRM.

  5. The only people who are hurt by DRM are PAYING CUSTOMERS. Pirates can and will crack any DRM and remove it. The more draconian the DRM, the more aggressive pirates and hackers will become. One needs only to remember EA’s Spore to see why aggressive DRM strategies do not work.

  6. @Slab: This has NOTHING to do with eliminating piracy – it is about wrecking the second hand game trade, because the game industry doesn’t believe that customers own a game after paying $60 for it!

  7. Also, slab, though some people in present company might be of well enough fortitude to ignore DRM, the average person will not. DRM will not keep the lion’s share of gamers from buying must-haves like Uncharted 3 or BF3.

  8. @SN The gaming industry can go jump into a lake of flaming acid. The idea of purchasing something that you do not own is patently absurd. Perhaps if games were instead rented at low prices, like say $5 per week, and then returned to the company afterward, then I would agree with the companies that customers do not own the games.

    Just like a movie: I bought it, I own it. It’s still the intellectual property of the company in so far as I can’t legally copy it or do anything else to violate copyright law, but if somebody pays $60 for a game, they damn well better own it and if the law sides with the companies and says consumers don’t own property they purchase, then the law is stupid.

  9. Nice to see I’ll be saving money on my Mass Effect 3 playthrough! Is EA just shitting up the multiplayer thing I don’t care about or doing that “YOU MUST BE ONLINE” to play single player shit?

    I will still gladly plink down $90 for the Fable Railshoother, however.

  10. The more aggressive the DRM, the more unlikely it is that I will buy the game.

    Note: the threshold is very low.

  11. I like DRM quite a bit. I have so little money to spend on games these days, so DRM is an EXCELLENT way for me to decide where to save my money.

  12. I’m with Deimosion. There are so many games vying for my currency this November that I will give very little thought to a lack of Uncharted 3, Mass Effect 3 or Arkham City.

    I was already going to give Mass Effect 3 a miss anyway, due to the Origin requirement.

  13. Know what makes this worse? Apparently WB and Gamestop have worked out a deal that makes the DRM irrelevant to them. Anybody that buys Arkham City used from Gamestop gets a code to download the Catwoman missions on their receipt. So if WB doesn’t care if Gamestop sells their game used, then what’s the point? Who are they targeting?

    Me. You. Anybody who simply wants to simply loan the game to a friend. Anybody that wants to rent it before dropping $60 on it. Smaller, independent game stores. Targeting these while exempting Gamestop is just a dick move.

    What I don’t understand is why developers continue to give Gamestop preorder bonuses and such if their business practices offend them so much. It doesn’t add up.

  14. You know what makes this totally better? A number of the Catwoman DRM codes were faulty, and thus were paying customers treated as common used game thieves!!!

  15. My new solution with games such as these after discussing it with some people is to buy the game then pirate it. The company gets their money and I get a version of the game that doesn’t have all sorts of stupid restrictions. It’s a win-win, really.

  16. YOU SIR, ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM!

    You are the reason that we can’t have anything nice!

    The company shouldn’t get their money because you are paying them to violate consumer rights!

  17. Support games that deserve your support – by paying for these games you’re only fucking over the rest of us!

  18. But if EVERYONE buys the games that have DRM and then pirates copies that don’t have DRM, everybody wins! The companies get their money and people get DRM-free games.

  19. No, the companies don’t deserve money and the consumer looses.

    That is only a win for evil and greed.

    It is flawed myopic thinking like yours which is condemning me to a future of peverse DRM imposts.

    If you want to play a DRM game then you should just torrent it, or do what I do and wait till it reaches the bargain bin.

    I didn’t want to abstain from Arkham City and I am not at all looking forward to sitting out Uncharted 3, but until these greedy companies can start acting ethically I don’t really have much choice in the matter – because not everyone is so quick to accommodate this corporate bullshit.

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