Game publishers are increasingly turning to one-time use codes to encourage consumers to buy new games versus used ones. Electronic Arts has used the codes to lock out preowned buyers from the online modes of its sports games unless they pay a $10 fee. (THQ has also done something similar for its UFC and WWE games.) EA has also used codes to offer access to special downloadable content for two of its most popular recent role-playing games, Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age II.
Now, Sony is getting into the one-time use code game. Via the PlayStation Blog, the publisher revealed that its shooter SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy SEALs, which was released today, will come with a code to access an option called "SOCOM Pro." Anyone picking up a used copy of the game will have to pay $15 on the PlayStation Store to get their own code, effective April 26.
What exactly is SOCOM Pro? According to developer Zipper Interactive, the special option will offer exclusive multiplayer maps, various co-op additions, dedicated leaderboards, and more options down the line. However, at launch, it will offer access to a several custom game queues, which will be ranked. The queues will be "regularly" updated with content, including various custom game types only available through SOCOM Pro. The first batch of custom game types include:
--Community Day Classic, which features variations on the Suppression, Uplink, Last Defense and Bomb Squad game types with increased movement and zero ranged explosives.
--Last Defense Run 'n Gun, which reduces the Last Defense game type's arsenal to submachine guns and shotguns only, increases player movement rates and decreases weapon damage.
--SCRUM, a Suppression variation with a strict set of rules: no respawn, no sniper rifles, no grenades, higher damage, and faster character movement.
--Sniper Alley, an 8-vs-8 Suppression mod, which also boasts higher damage but a severely limited arsenal featuring sniper rifles first and foremost.
In addition to the specialized game types, SOCOM Pro will offer players exclusive weapons. The first two will be the AK-47 (for Insurgents) and the M-16 (for Spec-Ops).
For more on SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy SEALs, check out GameSpot's full review of the game.