The trend of major game publishers charging secondary purchasers for access to online features seems set to continue, with THQ's upcoming first-person shooter Homefront
limiting online features for players that don't purchase a new copy or buy a $10 Online Pass add-on.
Those that play a rented, borrowed or used copy of Homefront
will be able to use all of the game's online multiplayer maps for free, but will not be able to progress their online character past level 5 (out of 75) unless they purchase a $10 Online Pass, Shacknews confirmed with THQ
It's not yet clear what, if any, in-game abilities and weapons will be unavailable due to this level cap. New purchasers will have full multiplayer access, and the single-player portion of the game won't be affected by the Online Pass, according to ShackNews.
EA was the first major publisher to charge for secondary purchasers' access to online features in its EA Sports games last year
, a move THQ mimicked first with a $5 Online Pass for UFC Undisputed 2010
and again with a $10 pass for Smackdown vs. Raw 2011
In an August interview
, THQ creative director for wrestling titles Cory Ledesma argued that developers are "cheated" when customers buy a game used.
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe president Andrew House has said his company is actively exploring a similar payment option for online access in used copies of its games.