Electronic Arts Kills the Online Pass

Andy Chalk

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Nov 12, 2002
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Electronic Arts Kills the Online Pass


Saying it has "listened to the feedback," Electronic Arts has decided to ditch the hated Online Pass.

Return with me now to the golden days of yesteryear, specifically 2010, when EA threw the world into a tizzy with something called "Online Pass [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/98497-Retailers-Warn-Project-Ten-Dollar-Will-Hurt-Consumers], which would soon become a generic term for in-game content that gamers must buy separately when purchasing a used game. Publishers claimed online passes were meant to protect them from losses incurred by preowned game sales, from which they receive absolutely no revenues, but many gamers saw it as nothing more than a straight-up cash grab.

They swallowed it, of course, because that's what gamers do, but they didn't like it, and while time passed, that burning anger and frustration didn't fade. Even so, the practice grew more and more widespread, and today it's just about everywhere: Sony, Square Enix, Bethesda, Ubisoft and others have all incorporated it into their games at one time or another. But soon there will be one publisher who won't be using it, and that publisher - as you already know if you read the headline - is none other than the one that inflicted all of this on us in the first place.

"Yes, we're discontinuing Online Pass," EA Senior Director of Corporate Communications John Reseburg told VentureBeat. "None of our new EA titles will include that feature."

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

There's no arguing the point that gamers didn't respond to it, but while this is good news for those who were staunchly opposed to the concept, it does leave one rather important question unanswered: What comes next? I don't believe that EA is so institutionally evil that it will be compelled to come up with something even worse than Online Pass, but there's no question that it's going to come up with something. "We're still committed to creating content and services that enhance the game experience well beyond the day you first start playing," Reseburg said.

Boy, I can't wait to see what's next.

Source: VentureBeat [http://venturebeat.com/2013/05/15/ea-kills-its-controversial-online-pass-program/]


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Erttheking

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.....WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH EA!?

I mean...Jesus Christ. They're listening! They're actually fucking listening!
 

Compatriot Block

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Jan 28, 2009
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Kudos to EA. This is pretty great.

Which is why I will be so sad about how this thread will probably be virtually nothing but complaining anyway.
 

Double A

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Jul 29, 2009
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This is exactly one and a half months late, but I guess Andy couldn't wait till next year.
 

L34dP1LL

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Yay? I'm with Andy, who knows what new brand of evil machination they'll spawn next. I doubt they did it just because of customer feedback.
 

Antari

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They listened to the spreadsheets, not the gamers. And if that isn't the case, one logical decision slipping through the cracks is not about to have me jumping for joy. They have decades of repairs to catch up on.
 

Fiz_The_Toaster

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First Microsoft is dropping the points thing and now this.

The hell is going on?

I'm not complaining mind you because this is pretty damn awesome, but I'm scared to turn on the facet because there might be blood!
 

Lucane

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Maybe they noticed a down turn in purchased DLC on games that have Online Pass(after the getting the pass) and/or a faster decrease in player bases that had it meaning no one's online to play anyways?

Since some are guessing at new evils: Maybe they'll raise price standards of their DLC or make them smaller. More vanity style gear for sale/rent?
 

Cecilo

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I think you are all underestimating EA. It's clear they are just going to make all their games Always online anyway. I mean, Sure they said the Sims 4 will be offline. But they said the exact same thing about Simcity being offline.

I sadly cannot find the exact article right now, because anything I type into google with Simcity and offline comes up with mods, offline crack questions, or simcity reviews. I am sure someone remembers however. And if they would be so kind as to post it I would appreciate it.
 

GonzoGamer

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L34dP1LL said:
Yay? I'm with Andy, who knows what new brand of evil machination they'll spawn next. I doubt they did it just because of customer feedback.
Maybe it was just a mix of them not selling online passes or more new copies. Or maybe they realize it was misguided because the used game buyers weren't the ones making the massive profits from the used game market.
Either way, I agree, something worse is probably on the way.
 

PoolCleaningRobot

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ALL MY WHAT!?!?

The only time EA ever pissed me off personally was when I bought Uncharted 3 and the online pass was missing from the fucking manual. And now they're just going to stop with the bullshit?
 

ShirowShirow

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Holy crap this is great. Very surprising and great.

I want to know what prompted this exactly. Online passes didn't make them much money directly, but their whole point was to encourage people to buy new. I guess that didn't happen.
 

Shaidz

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Hmmm, i have a feeling i know what the next JIMQUISITION epp will be about... But MY GOD! What happened, what did i miss, when did hell freeze over (probs while i was trying to enter an online pass with a xbox controller)?
 

Tortilla the Hun

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May 7, 2011
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I knew they'd come around eventually. Although it does raise the question of what they'll think of next. Hopefully something that'll actually be worth ten dollars.
 

Bobic

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So, being voted worst company in America twice in a row, and insulted in every remotely gaming interested part of the internet does have an effect on the old ego then eh? Coolio.

That or the whole, consoles locking out used games thing is about to rear it's head so there's no point in the online pass anymore, so that should be a laugh.

Luckily I'm a PC gamer so this doesn't affect me either way, though that's a very broad definition of luck given the complete cull of used games on the PC anyway. D'oh well.
 

Nowhere Man

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I applaud EA for this and really appreciate it. I just hope it's not replaced with something just as bone headed.