Some retailers have utilized the practice of purchasing used or second-hand games from consumers at cheap prices and sell them back to other consumers at slightly lower prices than the price of a totally new game. This allows the retailer to keep all the money and doesn't obligate them to give any of that money to the publisher or developer. To combat this, companies like EA, THQ and Microsoft have begun to put forth some incentives in their high profile games so that the customer will either purchase the game new or buy a used game, but get the game without the content, like DLC or an Online Pass, that came with the new game so extra money would have to be paid for that content. For instance, EA offers an Online Pass in all of its major sports games which can either be obtained by using a code gained through a new copy of the game or by buying one from EA for $10.
New Purchase Incentives only really come in one form. They come in the form of one-time use codes, that the first owner can use only once, and the second owner, if the first owner decides to trade it in, couldn't use it. The code can either provide an essential part of the game, such as an Online Mode in EA Sports' Games or extra bonus content like the Cerberus Network Card in Mass Effect 2.
2013 signaled somewhat of a decline to NPI. In May of that year EA suddenly announced a stop to their strategy of including online passes with their games Sony also announced similarly that they'll also stop using such passes claiming that with Playstation Plus now being required for online play it would be redundant to make players pay for online twice.
Note that this only applies to console games, because PC/Mac games cannot be bought second-hand as they all have CD-keys which prevent multiple people from owning the same copy and therefore, there are no new purchase incentives for them.
List of Current New Purchase Incentives
- Skate 3 - Film, Photo, and Replay Upload Pass.
- Battlefield: Bad Company 2 - "VIP Code".
- Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 - Online Pass.
- Dragon Age: Origins - Voucher to download "Blood Dragon Armor" for Mass Effect 2 and "The Stone Prisoner" DLC.
- Mass Effect 2 - Cerberus Network Card.
- Assassin's Creed II - Voucher to download Family Tomb DLC.
- Madden NFL 11 - Online Pass.
- The Saboteur - Voucher to download "The Midnight Show" DLC and unlock partial nudity; installed by default in all copies of the PC version.
- Gears of War 2 - Voucher to download Flashback Map Pack.
- Dante's Inferno - Voucher to download "Dark Forest" DLC (PS3).
- Forza Motorsport 3 - Voucher to download "Motorsports Legends Car and Track Pack" DLC.
- ModNation Racers - Sackboy Mod and Kart.
- UFC Undisputed 2010 - Online Pass.
- Alan Wake - Voucher to download "The Signal" DLC episode.
- EA Sports MMA - Online Pass.
- NHL 11 - Online Pass.
- WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2011 - Online Pass.
- Mafia II - Voucher to download "Betrayal of Jimmy" DLC (PS3).
- Medal of Honor - Early access to shotguns ( TOZ-194, 870MC2), Exclusive access to MP7, exclusive skin for multiplayer, and access to Battlefield 3 Beta.
- Fable III - Voucher to download DLC that contains a "Raise Dead" potion, a "Slow Time" potion, the "Scot" male or female outfit, the "Highlander Tattoo Set," and the "Red Setter" skin for your dog..
- The Sims 3 - Online Pass, despite there being no multiplayer mode.
- Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit - Exclusive access to 2 cars (Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione, Ford Shelby GT500), Early access to 4 cars (Audi TT RS Coupe, Chevrolet Camaro SS, Porsche Cayman S, Dodge Challenger SRT).
- Nail'd - Voucher to download more tracks and extra parts for the ATVs.
- Tron: Evolution - Voucher to download to multiplayer maps and a skin of the film Tron: Legacy's protagonist Sam Flynn.
- Crysis 2 - Bonus experience points in multiplayer, SCAR Hologram Decoy, SCAR Weapon Skin, In-game Platinum Dog-Tag.
- Dead Space 2 - Online Pass.
- Bulletstorm - Bonuses to use in Bulletstorm's multiplayer mode, 25,000 EXP and "visual upgrades" for the leash, Peace Maker Carbine, boots, and armor (PS3, 360) Access to Gears of War 3 Beta (360).
- Dragon Age II - In-game DLC delivery service called the Black Emporium, similar to the Cerberus Network in Mass Effect 2.
- Homefront - Online Pass (allows progress past rank 5).
- Mortal Kombat - Online Pass.
- SOCOM 4: US Navy Seals - "SOCOM Pro" Access.
- Alice: Madness Returns - Voucher to download American McGee's Alice (console versions only).
- Resistance 3 - Online Pass.
- WWE '12 - Online Pass.
- Driver: San Fransisco - Online Pass, however due to an error during launch, Ubisoft instead decided to make the online portion of the game available to everyone.
- Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception - Online Pass.
- Batman: Arkham City - Optional Catwoman levels.
- Ratchet and Clank: All for one- Online Pass needed to play online co-op. Player's can still play local co-op without the code.
- Battlefield 3- Online Pass needed to access the game's multiplayer modes.
- Saints Row: The Third- Online Pass locks out the game's online co-op and whored mode.
- Kingdoms of Amalur Reckoning- Online Pass. Players with an online pass will get access to seven additional quests in the House of Valor faction questline. According to EA this online pass is only relevant to the XBOX360/PS3 and PC players who purchase Reckoning at digital retailers online including Origin, Steam and more, will receive the House of Valor quest line at no cost.
- Twisted Metal(PS3)-Online Pass. Online multiplayer requires the online pass to play.
- SSX- Online Pass. Compared to other new purchase incentives SSX's online pass does not look out multiplayer but instead locks out players from earning credits in the game's 'global events' mode which are used to unlock content. EA however confirmed to Game Informer that credits earned will be banked on their servers until the player pays $10 for the online pass.
- Mass Effect 3- Online pass used to unlock the game's multiplayer mode called Galaxy at War.