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Shocker: 5 dollar ‘pay for online play’ system sucks

THQ’s cocksuckerish attempt to squeeze a few more bucks out of UFC 2010 customers is already pissing everyone off. Here’s how it works: those who buy the game get a code on the back of the manual they can use once to unlock online play. Everyone else (including other gamers on the same xBox) have to spring $5 for another code. This makes getting online a giant pain in the ass, not just for those who are renting, borrowing, or buying second hand, but for new owners as well. Gaming site extraordinaire goes over how many UFC Undisputed buyers have actually had to buy another code because the menu to redeem the manual code is buried in some deep dark anus of the xBox Live system:

Gamers have complained that THQ’s messaging on the one-use code – which can be bought in the PS3 and Xbox 360’s online marketplace – is unclear or incomplete, and has in fact led to purchases of the $5 code even by those holding a free, valid one printed on the back of the instruction manual. Of course, these purchases are nonrefundable.

Further, if you go into the game’s online menu and it asks if you want to redeem your code, selecting “Yes” directs you to a purchase window – not a code redemption screen – and the purchase window contains zero information that you may actually own the thing you’re about to buy.

Kotaku has copies of both games, and the code redemption process for both gives an impression that THQ made the decision to wall off multiplayer behind a one-use code very late in the game’s production cycle. We’ve made these complaints known to a THQ spokesman, and have heard nothing so far.

It’s my opinion that a regular customer who bought the game day of release, took it home, and got the patch could get the UFC Online download notice without visiting the online menu, which is the only part of the game that tells you that you have the code for free. There have been unconfirmed reports in forums, message boards and comments of confusion about the redemption process, and even some customers buying the code at the prompt, either unaware they had a free code or how to redeem it.

THQ has posted up a how-to in their forums to explain how to get online. I think the whole system is balls, not specifically because I disagree with the ‘concept’ that gaming companies should be able to make some money off second hand sales and rentals of games but because their attempt to do this makes life more miserable for people who actually buy the fucking thing new. It’s like punching the fan who paid 60 bucks for your game in the junk because you want to make $5 off the cheapo who never pays full price for anything.