Buying used is legal and moral because the publisher already got their cut from that used copy of the game. They got their cut when that copy was originally new and sold to the first buyer in stores. First-sale doctrine makes it legal to resell what you buy. It is a fundamental consumer right. You are allowed to sell not only your house, your car, you computer, etc. but also your music CDs and movie DVDs. I don't see why you shouldn't be allowed to sell your videogames too. You can't use the "games are durable because optical discs and cartridges are pretty durable" here because Music CDs and Movie DVDs are also on optical disc.
Seeing as how gamers are legally allowed to resell their games, Sony, EA and THQ have now decided to resort to a loophole: Making the online component DLC (which will be bundled free for those who buy new but those without the bundled code have to pay $10. $5 in case of THQ).
Do I think these companies have a right to do this? Yeah sure do. Just as much as they have the right to jack up the price of games to $100 if they really wanted to.
But do I think this is a positive thing for consumers? Absolutely not. And consumers have every right to give EA, THQ and Sony negative feedback for implementing these policies. For gamers who like to buy used games, this is effectively a price hike for them. They won't be able to buy as much with their gaming budget and as a result, they will have less games to play.
And for gamers who like to buy new but sell/trade-in their games afterwards? They will be getting LESS money from selling their games. And you know what that means? Less money to buy new games! And so they too will have less games to play. And so you, the gamer who buys games new, loses out too (unless you never resell your games).
And as for rental subscribers, they get fucked over even moreso because all of a sudden, renting games is no longer a $25 or whatever/month expense but a $25/month + $10 for every rental we wanna play online expense.
Now tell me why as consumers, we should be happy about getting less bang for our buck? If there was a shortage of videogames out there, then yeah, I'd be more concerned about the health of the industry. But in case you haven't noticed, there are a shitload of quality games out there and if anything there is over-saturation, no where near a shortage. Ultimately it is in the consumers interests to want to get a good deal, especially in this economy, provided they do so through legal means.
Personally I'm gonna say no to these online fees. I'm not much of an online multiplayer player anyway. And with the EA Sports games I'm interested in playing (EA Sports MMA, Fight Night Round 5, FIFA 11 and *possibly* NHL 11), I could just use the 7 free online days and that's more than enough for a rental (at least for me). Not gonna bother with UFC's online. And even if I had a PSP, I would skip over Modnation Racers and rent a RPG instead rather than give Sony $10. Zero interest in Socom on my end.
At the end of the day, gaming is a non-essential entertainment hobby. Gamers, unless they are foolish, are not gonna spend beyond their means. So this is why the online pass method will fail. Gamers aren't going to spend anymore on gaming than they already are. They're mostly just gonna end up buying less games overall to make up for the increased costs of gaming. And the game industry won't get any more revenue than they did before. No one will win. I spent $700+ on gaming this year thus far (a good chunk of that is from hardware and accessories though). If I had bought every game I rented thus far this year brand new and kept them(after all selling games makes the evil used game market exist in the first place right?), I cringe at the thought of how much I would be wasting on videogames.