With developers and publishers constantly seeking a means of gaining additional revenue in a market that’s moving more and more used units (read: no profit for the developer), online passes have become significantly more common in new copies of games. It’s surprising, then, that IO Interactive, developer of Hitman: Absolution, has made a late-game decision to get rid of the pass for their game.
Online passes are included usually as a means of deterring consumers from purchasing a used copy of a game. The pass, which generally runs around $10, ends up negating the money saved from purchasing the used copy, therefore (ideally) driving the consumer to purchase a new copy. This translates to additional profit for the developer. The online pass for Hitman: Absolution had been planned, right up to the point where copies of the game have been shipped with that little slip of paper. However, IO has chosen to nix the pass, blogging earlier today:
We’d actually planned to have this mode accessible via a code in the game’s box, but we really want to make it available to anybody that plays the game – so we want to take a new approach.
If you’re in North America you’ll see the mode automatically appear in the game menu. If you’re elsewhere, you can redeem the code inside the box, or you can simply select the BUY CONTRACTS PASS option. From there, head to the store where CONTRACTS will be free to access.
Contracts is Hitman’s version of a pseudo-multiplayer mode, in which players create unique hits from odds and ends in each level and challenge other players around the world to match or beat them.
It’s nice to see a company act with the customer in mind. Will you be picking up the game? Tell us in the comments, or discuss your favorite Hitman levels in the forums!