THQ’s Homefront is taking a note from EA’s playbook as well as THQ’s own UFC 2010 by using what is called the “THQ Pass”, which will be included in new copies as a one-time use code. Much like EA’s “EA Pass”, the system is designed to help persuade more gamers to buy the game new, as buying used will have restrictions in place. Unlike EA however you won’t be completely restricted from playing online with a used copy. Instead, you’ll have a level cap which stops your advancement at Level 5 (rather than the full 75 available). If you want to get a pass with a used copy, you’ll have to cough up $10.
I have to admit that I can’t really blame the companies for taking this approach, and I think this is definitely a far better idea than flat out restricting access to multiplayer, though I wonder still if this is the best solution. One unfortunate victim of this however is going to be rentals, which won’t have the code included (or if so, only one person for each game will get it).