The trend towards including codes in new games to unlock multiplayer or launch “DLC” is getting pretty irritating. At least GameStop and Warner Bros. are offering free Catwoman codes to anyone who buys used copies of Arkham City.

Kotaku reported that the Catwoman Bundle DLC code will be printed on the back of customer receipts. Good for GameStop and Warner Bros, and good for gamers.

Listen, Arkham City looks like it’s going to be an amazing game. The reviews are off the charts at major gaming publications, and it will probably go on to sell  a boatload of copies. However, is it really necessary to charge for content in the first place that was announced right alongside the game itself (from day 1, we knew Catwoman would be in the game)?

GameStop is pretty cool for offering these codes, but I could get used copies of Arkham City for much cheaper elsewhere. Unfortunately, I’d have to pay an extra $10 to unlock Catwoman.

A copy of Arkham City that was already paid for in full and that WB got a cut of.

A copy of Arkham City that I may not have had any intention of buying brand new, so a new sale wasn’t lost to the company.

I’m using Arkham City as an example only because it’s part of the news story, but you could substitute this game and publisher for a few others, and the point is still valid.

"You can't have me, Batman! . . . unless you pay $10"

Yeah yeah, I know: if I don’t like the price, I can 1) buy the game new or 2) don’t get the DLC at all; no one’s forcing me. However, when that argument is relied upon too much (as it tends to be in quite a few places on the Internet), then the status quo is established and reinforced; we begin to let developers get away with quite a bit because it’s capitalism and, well, we don’t HAVE to give in. So then how does great change come about? How do we improve things for ourselves as gamers? Sure, we could get the message across by collectively not buying games that require online passes. But don’t we have a right to let developers and publishers know verbally too that we’d like things to be different?

So what’re my points?

1) Gamers shouldn’t have to pay more for a used copy of a game so that the developer or publisher gets their cut. It isn’t done in other used industries, so games should be no different. You got your cut from the original copy; be happy.

2) Gamers who express their disappointment over “online pass” prices or used game DLC prices are just as entitled to make their arguments as those who believe you should just not buy the game or pay for the DLC.

/end mini-rant :)


What are your thoughts on the Catwoman codes, used games, and developers who want to get a cut of used games? Don’t be shy!