New SOCOM Game on PSP Requires PSN Activation, $20 Fee To Play Online If Bought Used

New copies of the just-released SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 3 for the PSP include a PSN authentication code that must be activated in order to play the title online and publisher Sony Computer Entertainment is requiring gamers to pay $20 to a new one if they purchase the game used.

The move is evidence of a new trend among gaming publishers to try and persuade gamers to purchase new copies of games rather than used copies.

The publishers are moving towards such incentives because they don’t receive any revenue from sales of used games. While new copies of games draw in revenue for the publishers, when the game is re-sold the only people drawing in revenue from the sale are the vendor and the customer who sold the used game to the vendor. While not illegal, game publishers have recently begun to provide benefits for purchasing new games.

Mass Effect 2, from BioWare and EA, includes a code to gain access to the Cerberus Network, which allows gamers to download free and purchased DLC content. The game came with day-one free DLC and EA revealed today that new copies of Battlefield: Bad Company 2, being developed by DICE, will also include an activation code and day-one DLC. Purchasers of used games will have to pay $15 to gain access to the Cerberus Network in Mass Effect 2 or to Bad Company 2‘s download network.

In addition, the move is also seen as a way to try and combat piracy, which is rampant on the PSP. Owners of pirated copies won’t be able to play online because they won’t have access to an authentication code and they also won’t have access to DLC.

SCEA Hardware Marketing Director John Koller said in an interview with IGN, “SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 3 is a trail run for a new initiative we are exploring for the platform. We will continue to explore this as an opportunity for the platform going forward, but we have no announcements to make on future iterations at this time.”

Source: Gamasutra