Every now and then a company releases some “great” game changer that completely fails at everything.
Instead of becoming a money-making mechanic that benefits the gamer and the publisher, it becomes something that is more of a hassle than anything else and just gets scrapped.
These are the short-lived gaming features that didn’t last that long.
PlayStation Network Pass: 2010 – 2013
In an effort to combat “piracy”, Sony Computer Entertainment introduced a PlayStation Network Pass that required players to redeem a voucher online before they could access online features on all their first-party titles released after 2010.
The first title to use this was SOCOM: U.S Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 3 for the PlayStation Portable.
The PlayStation Network Pass was redeemable only once and required an additional $20 purchase if you bought the game second hand and did not have online access.
Although Sony never officially eliminated the PlayStation Network Pass, it was obvious they would not make it a mandatory feature on the PlayStation 4 after PlayStation Plus was required for online play.
The last PS3 game to feature the PlayStation Network Pass was PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale for the PS3 and PS Vita.
EA Online Pass: 2010 – 2013
EA Games decided if a game contained an online component, then players will need a network pass to access this feature.
This pass could only be redeemed once and if you sell the game, or decide to trade it in, the poor soul who purchases your game would have to purchase the pass for R95.00.
The worst thing about this network pass was that any online access, even connecting to the Cerberus Network on Mass Effect 2, meant you needed a pass.
Late in 2013 EA decided to scrap the online pass despite it generating $10 million in its first year.
Club Nintendo: 2008 – 2015
With every new Nintendo console or video game purchase gamers received a code where they could go and earn stars on Nintendo’s Star Catalogue.
Here you could rack up stars and purchase cool branded items like figurines, T-Shirts, and bags. I have a Luigi’s Mansion 2 Diorama.
Unfortunately Nintendo has smashed all the dreams of future collectors. As of 30 June 2015, the Club Nintendo store will cease to exist.
Uplay Passport: 2013 – 2013
Ubisoft had an idea: release Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag with one passcode per title which will unlock all the game’s online features.
This unfortunately did not last very long as even after the code was redeemed, players still could not access the online features that Assassin’s Creed IV offered.
Ubisoft felt bad and scrapped the entire Uplay Passport system just two days after the release of Black Flag, and decided to not include the code in any future titles
PlayStation Home: 2008 – 2014
Sony had a dream to create an online hub where gamers could live in a virtual world. As much fun as this seemed, most of the predominant features failed to satisfy users.
PlayStation Home might have lasted longer than many of these dreams, but the idea of PlayStation Home was not fully realized as Sony failed to release the features and mechanics promised, and instead swarmed it with in-app purchases and ridiculously overpriced clothing.
PlayStation Home was killed off in November 2014, with the servers going offline on 31 March 2015.