Second-hand copies of DC Universe Online won't work

Sony confirms discs linked to one-time activation codes

Sony has confirmed that anyone buying a second hand copy of its recent MMO DC Universe Online will find that they have to purchase a new subscription account alongside it, making second-hand purchases essentially pointless.

The discs are linked to one-time PSN activation codes, which means that once entered, that disc is attached inextricably to that account. Any use on a separate PSN ID would require the purchase of a second subscription from Sony.

"Once the PSN key has been consumed with a disk it cannot be resold/replayed with the second user adding a sub - only the original consumer can use that acct," Sony said in an email to LazyGamer, adding that "Disk and account are one."

This also means that a shared PS3 console, with separate PSN IDs on it, would require separate discs in order for multiple accounts to play the game, even on the same machine.

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Latest comments (16)

Dave Stansfield Reviewer/Comedian 9 years ago
Isn't this the same with all other MMOs?
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This is where physical media proves itself inadequate for a current form of distribution. Or perhaps it would be more adequate to say that the form of distribution is inadequate for console gaming? Because a game that I buy and my sister can not put in our console, sit and play feels intrinsically wrong.
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Stephen McCarthy Studying Games Technology, Kingston University9 years ago
why can not just have it where you have to buy a new account like mmo on the pc?

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Stephen McCarthy on 14th February 2011 2:10pm

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Show all comments (16)
Ken Addeh9 years ago
depends if those other MMO's have a detaching method for serial key+account. But I highly doubt that because of the nature of MMO's.
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Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D9 years ago
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Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game9 years ago
The problem is that whilst it may not be uncommon for MMOs that require a disc purchase, the console crowd are totally unused to this. As Jehferson said, the idea tothe average mainstream console gamer that a fellow user in the same house can't play a game they own is totally alien, especially as there is so little precident.
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Terence Gage Freelance writer 9 years ago
What would be the harm in allowing a second account to be activated but the user would have to buy 30 days' access for 10 - and surely they could thus monitor how many people bought the game new and continued to subscribe, and how many people had to buy a sub from the off so must have bought it pre-owned. This sort of data would surely help them prepare for future PS3 MMO releases as well as get a better hold on the whole pre-owned market.

I think it seems a bit disingenuous to have not explicitly made customers aware that the game was tied to one account activation - are there no disclaimers on the box, and so on?! I am assuming this is not the case, otherwise I expect this story would have broken sooner.
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Joe Bognar Senior Games Account Manager, Substance Global9 years ago
What I don't understand is why do you have to cash out 40 for a disc which is... well, useless. Look at Guild Wars for example. The discs are way less expensive. This is just not clever because for example I wanted to try it maybe for 1-2 months but like this, I won't throw out (40+10=)50 for a game that I can enjoy only for a couple of months... There must be a better way.
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Yiannis Koumoutzelis Founder & Creative Director, Neriad Games9 years ago
There are trial periods where you can play the game and check it out. Not to mention that most games now are going free to play after a while. (or they are free to play from the get go)
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James Prendergast Process Specialist 9 years ago
I'm sorry, i don't understand this.... Or rather, more accurately, i don't agree with it. The disc holds the content - not the account. Without an account the content is useless..... and an account costs money to run. So why tie a disc to an account? It doesn't matter if two people with two different accounts on the same console are playing the game from one set of content information (i.e. the disc) because BOTH are playing and thus paying.

How stupid.
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@James hence why the way I see it, this business model is unsuitable to the console market right now, at least the way it's being applied
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Private Industry 9 years ago
If you have a shared console why would you want to pay for several subscriptions? In that case it`s just cheaper to get one sub since there are anyway several character slots with each person making their own character without the need to pay for another subscription. Because since it`s shared they can`t play at the same time anyway.

But it would be good if that is written somewhere on the box.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Private on 14th February 2011 7:37pm

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David Amirian Writer 9 years ago
well, the contrast would be you can still buy a world of warcraft cd second hand, but you wouldn't be able to log in without purchasing a license for it. So, its sort of the same but then at the same time, not.
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James Prendergast Process Specialist 9 years ago
@David - it's not really the same at all. As i mentioned in my comment - the disc holds the content instead of making you download it all from scratch - and then you pay for the account to access the content. With WoW it doesn't matter for Blizzard how many people have access to that disc because that means each person is paying for access. In this case locking the disc to an account is to limit resale... which makes no sense because they're potentially denying themselves of many monthly subscriptions. i.e. Someone will buy the disc for cheap second hand (or borrow it) and play and pay for a month or two.... maybe longer. If you get 10 people playing from one disc for one month each that's 40+(15x9). If i were in charge of making this MMO profitable i'd be wanting second-hand sales of this game not the opposite. It also means you can potentially print fewer discs....

To be honest, one of the reasons i don't play MMOs very is because of the silly idea that i have to pay 40 for the first month but then 10-15 for every month afterwards... It makes no sense. I know some MMOs do away with this idea, but still.... it strikes me as very small-minded.

@Werner - I'm guessing that people want to play on their own account as themselves and not be mistaken for another person. Are there achievements/trophies in this game? Strikes me that, if there are, many people would want to have them attributed to themselves as well.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by James Prendergast on 15th February 2011 6:28am

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Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game9 years ago
@James, I agree about your point of charging 40 then subscription is silly. I've always thought any subscription based MMO should allow you to download the client for free, or buy the disc with 2 months subscription, for no more than that would cost, as a second option, and as subs are paid, expansions should be included in that price. It's even worse when they let you download the client for a free trial, but still make you buy the disc after the trial, even though you don't need it for content.
It's always put me off spending 40 on a game that I can't play after the trial if I don't want to pay more, where I may have tried if I could just pay for a month.
Obviously with WoW, they can do it as people are more than willing to pay though.
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Jack Molloy Studying BTEC Level 3 Art and Media In Games Developemt, Derby College9 years ago
Kinda of expected this as many companys are charging to use pre-owned games online such as EA etc
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