Remember the last time you brought home a new EA game (or even Ubisoft) and started it up? The game instantly wants you to redeem it’s “Online Pass” code to unlock features such as multiplayer and additional goodies. Now what if you bought that game used, or rented it, or are borrowing it from your buddy? Well you can’t access those features unless you purchase the pass for $10, but don’t worry because that’s all going to change.
EA justified the Online Pass by claiming it would cut down on used-game sales, which developers get zero profit from, and piracy. While you could say it did cut down on used sales, EA didn’t make up a whole of money through secondary Online Pass purchases. Only $10 to 15 million in revenue has been generated from Online Pass sales since it was first introduced in June 2010. That’s not necessarily bad, but the figure’s not outstanding either. So EA has decided to do away with the Online Pass for future releases.
This news comes a surprise to some considering EA has a track record of never doing things that please their customers. Let’s not forget that EA was voted Consumerist’s ‘Worst Company In America’ two years in a row!
Although, maybe this is a sign of good faith. Maybe EA is finally realizing they can be heartless bastards sometimes. A more logical reason for the death of the Online Pass is that it won’t be needed anymore. Rumors speculate that all games will have activation codes on the next gen consoles making used games obsolete anyway. What’s most worrisome is that this news comes just days before Microsoft’s press release on May 21st. We’ll find out more later this month and be sure to keep you tuned in.