THQ: We'll crush pre-owned threat

Publisher to use 'premium online' model to damage second-hand market

THQ plans to ramp up its output of "premium online play" and downloadable content - in a bid to stamp out the threat from the pre-owned market.

The news came in the firm's Q1 earnings call last night - and arrives just a week after Activision highlighted its intention to devalue second-hand games at retail.

THQ CEO Brian Farrell revealed that THQ had an online content strategy for each major release in future - with which it planned to deliver "robust downloadable content and premium online play".

He added: "We believe this will increase our digital revenue, engage players with our games for a longer period of time and reduce the impact of used games."

It's likely some of this DLC and online content will be 'blocked' to users without a code; free to buyers of new games, but requiring further cost for pre-owned purchasers.


THQ trialled the model with UFC 2010 earlier this year.

EA was the pioneer in the area, implementing its controversial Online Pass across its Sports portfolio - which also requires gamers to enter a one-time code for important in-game content.

Ubisoft has publicly supported the idea.