Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

38 Studios Defend Controversial Online Pass for Kingdoms of Amalur

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Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning's online pass contains content which will be locked away from those who buy the game used. It's a revelation that has prompted an angry response from fans and a spirited defence by one of the game's creators, Curt Schilling.

The RPG's online pass unlocks a series of single-player missions called the House of Valor faction quest, as well as some Mass Effect-inspired cross-promotional armour. As is the way, if you buy Kingdoms of Amalur new from a retailer a code for the pass will be included in the box. If not, you'll have to dish out extra for it.

Potential consumers, however, are not happy. On top of the usual antagonism faced by online passes, the issue was compounded by the fact that Kingdoms of Amalur is a single-player game and therefore does not have a fully-fledged online component to speak of.

In response to the outburst, co-creators 38 Studio's Curt Shilling posted on the game's forum, attempting to calm angry fans and explain that an online pass is essential to his studio's survival.

"It's clear the intent right?" he said. "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.

"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.

"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."

It's not just 38 Studios who are struggling at the moment, either, said Schilling,

"The industry is in a very odd place," he said. "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."

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is out next week. You can watch a brand new video detailing the game's world below, courtesy of EA.


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Game Info
38 Studios
Electronic Arts


US February 07, 2012
Europe February 10, 2012

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