Online pass is “necessary for games,” insists Mortal Kombat creator

Tuesday, 19 April 2011 15:26 GMT By Stace Harman

NetherRealm Studios head and Mortal Kombat co-creator Ed Boon has said that use of the online pass system is right for all games, including his gory fight franchise.

Speaking to Eurogamer about the inclusion of the online pass system in Mortal Kombat – the first fighting game to receive such treatment – Boon reasoned:

“When we sell a game, we need to recuperate the cost of development. These games cost many many millions of dollars to produce. If somebody is re-selling our game and cutting us out of the sharing of the profits of the game, to pay for our games we need to do something to protect our investment.”

The system is implemented by a one-time redeemable code that comes with all new versions of the titles that support online pass systems. Its most popular function is to grant access to the online multiplayer mode, and it has been included in recent titles like Dead Space 2 and Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit.

It offers some revenue protection to developers and publishers because if the game is sold via the pre-owned market the new owner must purchase another code in order to access the online portion of the game. Codes typically cost $10.

All versions of Mortal Kombat come with two days free online play. Boon has dismissed concerns that the online pass system could restrict Mortal Kombat’s online community.

“The people who only rent games or people who only buy used games probably go through a lot more games in a shorter period of time. We feel like in order for us to continue to make games, we need to get enough back to pay for it. That’s the motivation there.”

The latest instalment of the Mortal Kombat franchise launches today for 360 and PS3 in the US, and on Thursday April 21 in Europe.