THQ wants to squeeze as much cashflow as possible out of "WWE Smackdown Vs Raw 2011," and in addition to charging used-game buyers for online multiplayer access, they've announced that they'll be experimenting with a pass good toward future "select" DLC. Users will be able to make the purchase up front and utilize the pass for as long as new qualifying content comes out. Dubbed the "Fan Axxess" program, passes will run 800 Microsoft Points or $9.99 on PSN.
"The Fan Axxess program for 'WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2011' offers consumers a very attractive value proposition to significantly enhance the virtual WWE experience," THQ Core Games Executive VP Danny Bilson said in a statement. "We have some of the most passionate fans in the industry, and we are pleased to offer them an opportunity to access premium gameplay content, customization features and recognition for their loyalty for one price point."
Accessible content and features will include "playable WWE Legends, WWE Superstars and WWE Divas, alternate ring gear, playable arenas, a WWE Superstar Attribute Customizer, instant access to all unlockable content and an in-game badge to recognize the videogame's biggest supporters," according to THQ's press release.
The Axxess pass is only about $3 more than the first DLC package that's been planned for the holidays, which will deliver the British Bulldog, Lex Luger, Wade Barrett, David Otunga, Justin Gabriel and Layla, as well as alternate gear for Shawn Michaels and Shad and a playable WWE NXT arena.
For a $3 gamble, it doesn't seem like a bad buy at face value, assuming that future DLC releases are just as loaded. As is the case with the PlayStation Plus program, however, you're effectively getting a grab bag for your money, assuming you make the purchase before future content is announced. I'm not saying I doubt THQ's eagerness to release great new things for "Smackdown Vs Raw 2011," but they are asking consumers to roll the dice to a certain extent.
Does the Fan Axxess program sound like a good deal to you? Would you like to see other games try out similar strategies? Share your opinions with us in the comment section below.