Peter Moore has said EA decided to implement Online Pass due to the rising cost of its online infrastructure, and in order to provide better service to its customers.
Speaking with Edge, Moore defended the fee EA charges secondhand buyers of its sports titles, while allowing those who purchased the game new online access for free.
“We’re looking at 5 million game sessions every day on EA Sports servers, but [looking] at digital delivery, maintaining servers able to support that volume of people every 24 hours, a solid billing infrastructure and customer support – it all takes time, effort and money and we’re at the cutting edge of that,” he said.
“Online Pass is a way of bringing more digital experiences quicker from day one, getting people new content – it will start with Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11, roll into NCAA Football and then probably Madden.
“It’s up to us to create compelling fresh content 365 days a year if it’s gonna be successful…there’s a cost to serve that. [Developers] deserve to get compensated for their work, and Online Pass will help us achieve that.”
Apparently, Online Pass is working, because EA COO John Schappert said previously its keeping consumers from purchasing its sports games used; however, it’s still too early to tell how the system has affected revenue from new and used EA game sales.
Other companies are thinking of jumping on the used fee train as well, with Sony researching its own variation of Online Pass, and THQ going to far as to offer a one-time use code for online play in UFC Undisputed 2010.