Engines are off for PS3 owners of DiRT 3 because of the VIP Pass.
DiRT 3′s VIP Pass for the PS3 is causing all sorts of problems for gamers. The game released yesterday, but PS3 owners aren’t able to race online or use other features like YouTube uploading because they can’t redeem its VIP Pass. The VIP Pass enables players to use features like online multiplayer in DiRT 3.
Until the PlayStation Network Store returns, players can’t redeem DiRT 3’s online pass and dive into the game’s online multiplayer. Sony has said the PSN Store is supposed to return to full functionality by the end of the month. It’s not certain if the company will meet that deadline.
Mortal Kombat, which also uses an online pass, temporarily disabled its Kombat Pass activation last week and let players fight online for free until the PSN Store is back online.
In the meantime, Codemasters claims it can’t do the same for DiRT 3. In a statement to Eurogamer it said, “We’ve looked into doing something similar for DiRT 3 but it’s not technically possible. It’s hard-coded into the game.”
Codemasters further explained why patching the PS3 version to enable online play isn’t an option:
Changing this would require considerable development time and a patch which would need to go through the submission process. This in itself would be a longer process that waiting for Sony to bring the PSN Store back online.
Players aren’t getting the full product they paid for. Many are upset, and went to the official DiRT 3 message board to voice their complaints.
One player said:
Some blame can go towards Sony but most should be directed at Codemasters. They didn’t have to implement the online pass.
In response to Codemaster’s statement, one user said:
How about don’t impliment this stupid online pass crap in the first place. I mean way to screw people who want to try the games online features through rental first. I guess I will just wait till the game hits the bragain bin. Sad day when you only get to try out half of games when renting.
One player felt Codemasters are misleading people with the VIP Pass. They said:
It’s blatant mis-advertising. There is no information on the packaging that says you need a pass code to activate multi-player and that it’s only valid for 1 use. On the other hand the packaging clearly states that there’s online multiplayer across all game modes.
Ben Bateman, a community manager for Codemasters, responded to angry players and said:
Whether you agree or disagree with online passes we had absolutely no control over this situation. We’re obviously devastated that it’s stopped so many of you jumping online and joining in on the fun. We have the upmost faith in Sony and know they’re doing everything in their power to bring the PSN Store back online in a secure and stable state (and as fast as they can).
The Xbox 360 version of DiRT 3 is able to use online multiplayer. However earlier today the 360 was experiencing issues with the Xbox Live Marketplace due to “internal errors” that may have affected some users’ ability to redeem the VIP Pass. A few hours ago the system was completely restored.
The PC version doesn’t use the VIP Pass. DiRT 3 retails for $59.99. The VIP Pass costs $9.99 or 800 Microsoft Points.
Photo by Codemasters