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THQ: We won't punish used game buyers

Is "trying to make it work for everybody".

Publisher THQ has promised not to "punish" gamers who buy second hand games.

THQ has come in for a bit of stick after creative director for wrestling titles Cory Ledesma said he didn't care if the Online Pass, as it's called, upset gamers.

Upcoming wrestling game SmackDown vs. Raw 2011 will come with a single use code printed on the back of the manual which will unlock the game's online features and provide a DLC pack for free.

"I don't think we really care whether used game buyers are upset because new game buyers get everything. So if used game buyers are upset they don't get the online feature set I don't really have much sympathy for them," Ledesma told CVG.

However, core games boss Danny Bilson told Eurogamer the Dawn of War and Homefront developer wants to make all gamers happy.

"What I care about the most is building great games people are excited to buy," Bilson said.

"If all of that revenue is going outside of the people who are making the games, it's really tough for us to fund them It's that simple.

"But we also don't want to punish the used gamer.

"So one of the things you're going to see us do, in addition to what is called the online lockout, which sounds a little punishing, is we're also going to be giving some downloadable content with that card.

"For instance, on our next WWE title, if you buy it used and there's a $10 fee to unlock all the online. It also unlocks the first DLC pack. So the used consumer feels they're getting something for their money, not just a getting out of jail card.

"We're trying to make it positive. But really what we have to be concerned with is new is premium, used is used. We've got to build our software to demonstrate that."

Bilson said that the "online lockout", as he calls it, is designed to ensure THQ can continue to build big budget games.

"It's a serious issue for us, because I want to make thirty, forty, fifty million dollar games that are awesome, but if I'm not making the money on them, I can't," he said.

"And then what happens? Then it gets really squishy.

"It's simple and difficult. But at the same time, we don't want to punish our consumers, either. So we're trying to figure out how to give those used guys something for their money, not just unlock the lockout.

"I'm trying to make it work for everybody, so we have a happy consumer base whether they're buying used or new.

"They are who I care about, the game fans. I just want to be able to service all of them in a good way, yet have enough money to make the games they want to play and I want to play."