EA doing away with Online Passes

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In an announcement that is sure to receive praise, EA will be doing away with online passes for their games. EA senior director of corporate communications John Reseburg confirmed to GamesBeat via e-mail with “Yes, we’re discontinuing Online Pass, None of our new EA titles will include that feature.” This is great news for gamers that share their games or purchase used games. With the current online passes, buying a used game or borrowing a copy from a friend required you to purchase a pass for $9.99usd. The announcement apparently comes as a result of negative feedback from users. Roseburg added “Initially launched as an effort to package a full menu of online content and services, many players didn’t respond to the format. We’ve listened to the feedback and decided to do away with it moving forward.”

Online pass was most publishers’ answer to an ever increasing market of used games. With Gamestop making a killing off their business model of purchasing used games for a fraction of what they sell them for (usually a few dollars less than the price for a new copy) companies like Best Buy and Walmart followed suit. Unfortunately publishers don’t make money off the sale of used games. With online passes, publishers forced customers that bought used copies to pay a fee to the publisher to be able to play the game online or access certain online features. This has been met with negativity from the public.

EA will most likely be moving away from online passes to continue with their new model of microtransactions. EA was recently criticized after their CFO commented “We [EA] are building into all of our games the ability to pay for things along the way; to get to a higher level,” He later went back on that comment and clarified that it will be implemented into games but not “all”.  Whatever the case may be, we can probably expect more DLC packs for miscellaneous items in future games.