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Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning’s “Online Pass” Is Day-1 DLC, Explains Curt Schilling

Recently gamers have been in uproar over the announcement that 38 Studio’s and Big Huge Games new action-RPG Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning would be using the dreaded Online Pass. it was reported that this online pass, which would be free to anyone who bought the game new, would lock gamers who purchase the game second-hand out of seven singleplayer quests, requiring them to purchase a code from the Marketplace to access them.

For obvious reasons this became a hot topic on the magical Internet with gamers angry that a chunk of the singleplayer would be locked away unless pre-owned purchases were willing to pay some extra cash. But now Curt Schilling, head of 38 Studios, has arrived on Amalur’s official forums to clear a few things up in a refreshingly honest manner.

Firstly, he confirmed that seven quests are in fact day-1 DLC and were never originally part of the game, alleviating fears that EA were starting to lock away chunks of the original game as incentive to purchase the game new. He also confirmed that anyone buying the game new would receive this DLC for free, while those buying it second-hand would have to get the DLC from the marketplace.

“DAY 1 DLC, to be extremely and VIVIDLY clear, is FREE, 100% totally FREE, to anyone that buys a new copy of Reckoning, ANYONE.

If you don’t buy new games you buy them used, and in that case you will have to pay for the Day 1 free DLC content the new copy buyers got for free.

It’s clear the intent right? To promote early adopters and MUCH MORE IMPORTANT TO ME, REWARD fans and gamers who commit to us with their time and money when it benefits the company.” He stated to Reckoning fans.

“Every single person on the planet could wait and not buy Reckoning, the game would hit the bargain bin at some point and you could get it cheaper. 38 Studios would likely go away.”

But he wasn’t finished there as he carried on and, in a surprisingly direct manner, explained to fans why it must be this way:

“That’s just how business works. We MUST make a profit to become what we want to become. THE ONLY way we do that is to make games you CANNOT WAIT TO BUY! If we do that, and you do that, we want to reward you with some cool free stuff as a thank you.

You can TOTALLY disagree with this and I am sure many do, so we’ll agree to disagree. This is not 38 trying to take more of your money, or EA in this case, this is us REWARDING people for HELPING US! If you disagree due to methodology, ok, but that is our intent.”

If nothing else, it’s nice to see that some developers can still be direct and honest about their intentions. Mr. Schilling went on to talk briefly about the pre-owned market:

“The industry is in a very odd place. The data coming in on used game sales is not saying the things many thought it should, or would. But companies are still trying to figure out how to receive dollars spent on games they make, when they are bought. Is that wrong? if so please tell me how.

Again, you can argue with methods, or process, and you absolutely can bitch and gripe about ANY DAY 1 DLC you are charged for, because I think I agree with many on that, but we are trying to create something here, product and company wise, and it takes dollars to do that”

So, now that you’ve heard from the man himself does it change your views? If nothing else I’ve personally gained some considerable respect for Curt Schilling for being honest with the fans and for actually communicating with them, rather than ignoring them.

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4 replies »

  1. … Well… It is a complex situation, but damn. Schilling seems a little upset about this, just a little. The truth is, I want to believe that what he’s saying is true, I really do. But given that it’s still being published by Electronic Arts, he should be expecting this reaction. It’s not something I feel comfortable judging anyone on.

  2. One of the most idiotic trends these days, is that extra bit of DLC offered to people who buy a game at launch date for free. It’s like selling a selling a car without a door and offering a car without the door plus the door at launch date. And if you miss the launch date, you’ll have to settle with the door-less car and buy that damned door separately. Not to mention the extra DLC that will probably come later on, making the version sold on launch date even more incomplete. Not to mention that stupid Online Authentication practiced by EA, even for the single player campaign, included in the item price, unsurprisingly higher with around 20% than the regular price. And they expect good reactions and understanding?

    • Sorry, but i disagree. Your analogy about the car and the door would be a great one if it were not for a key piece of the article “Firstly, he confirmed that seven quests are in fact day-1 DLC and were never originally part of the game”. A better analogy would be to say it is like buying a car but the people who bought the car on the first day got an upgraded set of wheels free. It is not like they are doing what for example battlefield did with the online passes. That was a joke but this was never meant to be part of the original game so it’s simply rewarding people for buying the game new and supporting the company. It is getting more and more difficult for quality studios to make a profit with all the shit COD games getting pumped out every five hours and the people who torrent the games free.

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