THQ gating off Homefront online modes

Publisher confirms secondhand players of near-future FPS on 360, PS3 get limited multiplayer unless they pony up for $10 online pass.



Last May, THQ announced that UFC Undisputed 2010 would be its first title to make use of an online pass, which would charge secondhand game buyers to access the game's online modes. By August, the functionality was also confirmed for WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2011. Now, the publisher has indicated that it won't just be its sports titles that will be subject to the secondhand surcharge.

Players content with stopping at level 5 of Homefront multiplayer are unaffected.
Players content with stopping at level 5 of Homefront multiplayer are unaffected.

As first reported by Shacknews, GameSpot has confirmed with THQ that new copies of its near-future first-person shooter Homefront will come packed in with a single-use code to access the game's multiplayer component. However, those who do not purchase the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game new--acquiring it through rental or the secondhand market--will be required to pay $10 to unlock the game's full online component. Unfettered access to online modes will be available to all PC purchasers.

Gamers without a new copy of the game will still be able to access a portion of Homefront's online component. Specifically, secondhand users will have access to every map and can spend as much time as they wish in Homefront's multiplayer modes. However, they won't be able to advance their characters any further than level 5--out of a possible 75--unless they purchase the online pass.

Due out on March 8, Homefront is a story-driven shooter that is set after a North Korean occupation of the continental United States. The single-player component sees the player as a member of the American resistance fighting the Korean People's Army in an attempt to regain control of the ruined nation, while the multiplayer is set earlier, letting players engage in military scenarios from the invasion itself. Manhattan-based Kaos Studios is handling development on the console iterations of the title, while Ontario-located Digital Extremes is in charge of the PC version.

For more on the shooter, check out GameSpot's most recent hands-on preview.

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