EA CEO John Riccitiello has defended the company’s Online Pass system by saying it was designed to provide additional value to the customer instead of squelching used game sales.
Speaking with IndustryGamers, Riccitiello admitted that a few years ago, once a game was finished the developers moved on without looking back.
Now, with the implementation of Online Pass, a team remains on the project in order to provide more experiences to the consumer.
“Ten years ago, five years ago, we’d gold master a game, the dev team would move on to something else and no one was there,” he said. “Today, what happens with a game is a team is there where you [use data] to improve it, provide great post-release content, new services like we did with FIFA and Madden recently with Ultimate Team.
“I mean the project is only half done when we ship it. It keeps going. We’re selling services.
As far as folks believing EA is being “disingenuous” regarding its motives behind Online Pass, Riccitiello said that the company plans to “prove” that is not the case.
“Look, I think what can happen in the game industry is there’s some small number of people that carry a cynicism about publishers in general, and they’re always going to,” he said. “God love their hearts, they’re dedicated to our industry and they want to see us do all the best things for them. But our business is moving.
“And we’re going to continue to experiment with smart models to support the heavy, heavy use that people are giving our games, not for two weeks like they used to be, but for a year or more post-release. And you know, the fact we’re providing a service you can expect ongoing evolution of the business model in ways that best support that service.
“And so the fact that each of these evolutions takes place and involves different business models for different service levels and different support levels is not a surprise. And only the people that read game blogs have ever asked me about that. I think it’s sort of centered on a universe of people that are the most dedicated fans, and to answer your question it’s incumbent on us to prove the value, and that’s what we’re going to do this year in spades.
“We’re going to prove that what we say is not disingenuous. I get that you can believe that it is.
“I mean look, we’re in a political hot season in California. You turn on the news, tell me who’s not lying to you.
“I get the point.”