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EA Online Pass system put out to pasture

2 min read

imagesWell that was unexpected. In a shock announcement last night John Reseburg ,the Senior Director of corporate communications for EA, confirmed to Gamesbeat that the much derided Online Pass will not be included in any further titles moving forward.

According to Reseburg

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.

It’s not the least bit surprising that gamers weren’t a fan of having their online service gimped when purchasing a second hand title but what is surprising is that EA are feeling a kick back from that. We hear all the time how the second hand market is basically stealing from the developers and publishers and is eroding the industry. If this was the case then surely EA wouldn’t have noticed any real negative feedback as the only people suffering from this plan would be those who purchased the game second hand.

So does this mean that the second hand market doesn’t actually hurt the industry and in fact aids it’s growth? I’ve said for quite some time that the second hand industry helps the bleeding edge of gamers stay up to date with the latest games. I can pick up a copy of Bioshock: Infinite on release day and then finish it in a month. Then trade it in and throw in a bit of extra cash to pick up GRiD 2.

If I couldn’t see Bioshock then I wouldn’t buy GRiD… and I don’t think I’m alone with that belief or financial way of gaming.

Or more nefariously, is EA’s announcement simply a quick way to win some gamers love before Sony and Microsoft announce built in DRM on both their upcoming consoles? Which would obviously do away with the need for online passes at all as the disc would good for a once-off use only.

Tell us your thoughts, is this a good move from EA and what does it mean for the rest of the industry? Is Ubisoft going to be forced to drop it’s online pass system now as well? And no unfortunately this doesn’t work retroactively, all games currently released with online passes will still require those passes

Last Updated: May 16, 2013


  1. umar bastra

    May 16, 2013 at 10:39

    “Or more nefariously, is EA’s announcement simply a quick way to win some gamers love before Sony and Microsoft announce built in DRM on both their upcoming consoles? ”

    what a conspiracy theory … Very intriguing way of looking at it …. Whatever it may be, this is BRILLIANT NEWS!!!!!!!!!!

    ….very shocking though. are things finally getting back on track……I HOPE SO!


  2. Twakkie

    May 16, 2013 at 10:54

    Wish PC had a second hand market… 🙁
    Then again we get games almost R200 cheaper than Consoles 🙂


  3. CrasH

    May 16, 2013 at 10:55

    If they drop the Price of console games to the same as PC games then i can understand not allowing second hand games being allowed to a degree.
    The justification (or belief that was instilled log ago) was that it is more expansive because it has a value even after you bought and played it. Can lend it to a friend to play, can trade and even rent it out like MR video.

    Pc based games and ports are generally cheaper as you can’t resell the game as everyone has online activation and account registrations and many more ways to stop you from allowing someone else to play the game on any other pc than your own or without your account details.

    But Pc games prices are creeping closer to console prices so soon the new debate will be why i can’t sell my PC game second hand?


    • umar bastra

      May 16, 2013 at 10:57

      PC games are actually cheaper because there are no royalties paid to a single console manufacturer. PC isn’t a console and is not owned by any one company. If a game is released on PS3 then money has to be paid to SONY


      • CrasH

        May 16, 2013 at 11:12

        I am not so sure of that… Yes they pressure the smaller guys to try and squeeze a few extra bucks out of it, but the larger corporations can kill a console by not releasing games for it.

        PS4 will be worthless if they even remotely anger the big publishers who are so money hungry, they fire teams of developers once a game is finished with little remorse just to save a month or 2 salary, to hire them again when a new project starts.
        The same applies to Xbox and Wii U and Nintendo.
        They are the cars and the game is the destination and most of the time, i care more about where i am going then what i am driving in if the trip is exactly the same.


        • umar bastra

          May 16, 2013 at 11:20

          It’s not pressure, publishers actually have to pay money to Sony or MS so that they can release the game on to their console which is why console game cost more than PC.


          • imyou

            May 16, 2013 at 21:24

            im not sure about that becous youve got a oprating sytem when you buy a pc games that only works on microsoft than the make mony from it the still need to pay and pc games arent cheaper the sony consoles can run steam to if microsoft dint make mony then then would exist and even so poeple dont whanna deal whit bugs errors virusses bleu sreen of death pc slowing down seting up your pc i know that pc always out preform consoles if if 1 of thos consoles fall than its gonna hurt every gamer some ppl just dont know how a pc works so the make major problems but theres a few thing im sure i only

            1 developing games is easer for console then pc

            2 pc always out preform consoles

            3 console players dont need to deal whit erors bugs bleu screen of death virruses

            4 pc gaming is easer to handel youve got a mous and key boerd and your rdy 2 go

            i always injoy consoles and pc if 1 falls its gonna hurt every 1
            but most of the mony comes from consoles. becous of the piracy an used games thats why pc games never out sell consoles

            but games are expesive 60 dollars is a real rip of 40 buks sound like a fair price.

  4. Lourens Jordaan

    May 16, 2013 at 10:59

    It shows that EA is mindful of their community. They are not the devil they are made out to be. Besides, a vanilla copy second-hand might lead to more DLC sold… If the person who bought the original copy is bored and sells it second-hand, the guy who buys it might get the DLC and EA gets MOAR MONEYS!!!

    In other words, they only require the publishing and distribution expenses of one physical copy but potentially sell double the DLC… It’s freaken GENIUS. Everybody happy!



    May 16, 2013 at 10:59

    Haha suck our nuts EA. Next up DRM. If we don’t respond to this crap EA will have to drop it to. How does one implement it with an internet conecction! Idiots!


  6. Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

    May 16, 2013 at 11:24

    I don’t know so much. Something seems fishy. EA has never backed down on these things. They have proven time and again they don’t care about the customers with they way they handle them.

    I will wait and see what happens. Pretty sure something else is going to be announced soon which will render this good thing useless


  7. umar bastra

    May 16, 2013 at 11:38

    Want to know what else I didn’t see coming? …. wait until the person starts singing


  8. Rince an repeat

    May 16, 2013 at 11:39

    Right… This is a good thing, now for the microtransactions…


  9. Tasty peas mixed with porridge

    May 16, 2013 at 13:22

    Second hand Battlefield 3, who paid for the on-line pass??? no body!!!. So EA lost out as they could have gained more by having more people play B3 on-line than a quick gander at the single player.


  10. VGTgamer

    May 18, 2013 at 02:55

    as a second hand store i can tell you first hand. If people cant trade into a new title most people cant afford a new title! If we cant sell new title we don’t order new titles. Also a gamer is more likely to buy a new release from a franchise if they can buy the older game from that franchise for cheap. Face it your more likely to enjoy a $10 game then a $60 game.


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