EA Online Pass system put out to pasture

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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.

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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

Gavin Mannion

I for one welcome our future robotic overlords

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