Ed Boon, the executive producer of Mortal Kombat, has defended the use of an Online Pass system in a recent interview with Eurogamer. Mortal Kombat, which hits store-shelves across North America today, is the first game that uses an access code that limits access to online components for consumer who either rent the game, or buy it on the second-hand market.
In the interview, Boon indicates that the system is essential for developer NetherRealm Studios to recuperate the overall investments that went into the game. He states that when “somebody is re-selling our game and cutting us out of the sharing of the profits of the game, […] we need to do something to protect our investment.” All users are given 2 days of unlimited access to the online component of the game, but if players wish to gain unlimited access to the multiplayer, they will either need to purchase an online pass, or redeem the code that is included with all new copies of the game.
Publishers EA and THQ have been making use of a similar system for some time now, but Mortal Kombat is the first fighting game in which the system is included.