EA Discontinues Online Pass System

Electronic Arts has decided to do away with its controversial online pass system for used games, the company confirmed with GamesBeat last night.

"Yes, we’re discontinuing Online Pass," EA senior director of corporate communications John Reseburg confirmed to GamesBeat in an e-mail. "None of our new EA titles will include that feature."

Electronic Arts instituted the online pass code as a way to access online multiplayer features of several games including Battlefield 3, and many of its sports titles like Madden. The online pass system used a code that shipped inside each copy of a retail game. If a consumer used that code and then resold the game the next person to buy it would have to buy a new code to play online for right around $10.

Consumers hated this entire process meant to combat the used games market that the publisher wanted a piece of. Most saw it as a cheap money grab.

"Initially launched as an effort to package a full menu of online content and services, many players didn’t respond to the format," Reseburg said. "We’ve listened to the feedback and decided to do away with it moving forward."

Reseburg added that the company will still find ways to add value to its titles that keep consumers engaged.

"We’re still committed to creating content and services that enhance the game experience well beyond the day you first start playing," Reseburg said.

Other publishers including Activision and Ubisoft also use online passes in their games. Hopefully they will follow EA's example…

Source: GamesBeat

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