EA Makes $10 – 15 Million Off Online Pass

According to a Gamasutra report cover comments from Electronic Arts CFO Eric Brown, EA's "Online Pass" has made the company $10-$15 million since. Interestingly enough, the company categorizes that figure as "not a lot of money." I suppose to a company the size of EA that amount of money is chicken scratch to them.

"The revenues we derive from that haven't been dramatic. I'd say they're in the $10-$15 million range since we initiated the program," he said.

He went on to say that while the amount of money gained from the program has not been dramatic, all this "found revenue" has come from consumers who were consuming "bandwidth for free."

EA launched its Online Pass earlier this year as a way to earn some money off of used game buyers who wanted to play their games online. The Online Pass typically cost used game buyers an additional $10 – which, oddly enough, puts the price of a used game + Online Pass near the cost of a new game, typically.

Source: Gamasutra

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  1. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    Interesting way of looking at it but the sensible business model would then account for the used market and understand that, thanks to second hand sales, the total number of users might not wane as quickly.

    And to be clear, I have exactly zero problems with the "online pass" idea.  Thanks to GameStop's absurd used pricing, I think it's an excellent way to make buying new a more attractive prospect (unless the used buyer didn't care about online in the first place).  I would expect GameStop (and I don't shop there so maybe they do this) to knock an additional $10 off the used price of games that do the "online pass" thing.


    Andrew Eisen

  2. 0
    kurifu says:

    Any sensible business model would account for the average life time of a game for a single player. In other words, costs allocated from the sale of the title would generally account for the fact that the purchaser of the game will see their gameplay wane. When you resell a game this behaviour changes such that there is likely an increase in the amount of network service usage per disc sold and I would expect this increases with every second hand sale of the game.

    Game publishers/developers have to absorb a huge amount of risk for any game they publish, EA is no exception here. Personally I don't have an issue with them charging for online access so long as the fee is reasonable ($10 is reasonable), the fact that you are paying close to new disc rates after the purchase isn't the fault of EA, it is the price gouging that occurs by the reseller. Your beef should be with GameStop (or where ever you bought the game), clearly the second hand value of the game is not inline with your expectations.

  3. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    …all this "found revenue" has come from consumers who were consuming "bandwidth for free."

    Uh, you do realize the original owner of the game is no longer consuming your bandwidth, right?


    Andrew Eisen

  4. 0
    CyberSkull says:

    Bandwidth consumed via communication with your end user is just another cost of business, like say, electricity. In the long run, trying to recoup such costs from your customers is bad for your business and infrastructure.

    If you are really worried about bandwidth, get a connection to a tier 1 ISP (a penny a gigabyte) or become an ISP to yourself.

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