EA Sports president Peter Moore claims that gamers "appreciate the need" for his company’s Project $10 anti-trade technology and Online Pass. This despite the fact that others in the company have said that these initiatives are not about fighting used game sales, but providing better online services and additional content for free.
Online Pass went live with Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11. It requires that consumers who buy EA Sports games must pay an additional fee of right around $10 in order to access online play. EA Sports will use this method for all future games.
Speaking to Kotaku, Moore said that gamers "recognise the business model implications of new versus used." He added: "Whilst I’m not sure they’re angry, they absolutely look at what’s going on in the marketplace and understand totally what it is we’re doing. One thing I have to do, and it’s my job, and my development team’s job, and my marketing team’s job, is make you not want to trade the game in."
EA Sports claims that approximately 70 percent of access codes in new games (Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11) featuring the online pass have been activated and that only a single digit of consumers have bought the access code to play online. Perhaps that can be chalked up to the game being Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11. A real test will be the new Madden game.
On a related note, anecdotal evidence suggest that THQ’s version of the Online Pass, which cost $5, is doing pretty well. The "add-on" for UFC Undisputed 2010 has at least broken the top twenty on Xbox Live’s "Best Selling" list. You can buy the game used for $44.99, according to Gamestop.
Moore goes onto say that this new initiative is conditioning players:
"From our perspective, [it’s] conditioning you to punch a code in, to get you going, get some digital content, and conditioning you to look at digital content as a value-add to the game experience itself," said Moore.
Of course, conditioning is really needed with this kind of stuff; after all you have to be conditioned to pay for something that once didn’t cost you a thing like online play.