Sony Online Entertainment has disclosed that copies of its PS3 MMORPG DC Universe Online can only be linked to a single account, effectively preventing users from reselling, trading, or renting the game.
Video game publishers have long sought to limit secondary sales of their titles, which cut into the profits generated by new sales. Some publishers, with Electronic Arts perhaps the most notable, have battled the practice in recent years by packing new purchases with single-use codes for unlocking features and content.
SOE is taking this practice a step further by allowing DC Universe Online's PS3 discs to work with only one user account. "Once the PSN key has been consumed with a disc, it cannot be resold/replayed with the second user adding a [subscription]," an SOE representative told consumer site Lazygamer.
"Only the original consumer can use that [account]," the SOE representative continued. "Disc and account are one." The publisher currently has no system in place to offer activation codes for consumers who have bought a second-hand copy of DC Universe Online.
Launched in North America, the UK, and Australia in mid-January, DC Universe Online is SOE's fastest selling game ever. Standard edition copies of the MMO are priced at $60 for PS3 and $50 for PC, and come with a 30-day trial -- after that, players will need to spend $15 for a monthly subscription.
Users with the PC version can still transfer their account between machines.