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EA will not include an online pass in any future games

Thursday, 16 May 2013 00:54 GMT By Brenna Hillier

EA, one of the most enthusiastic early adopters of the online pass system, has elected to abandon the scheme.

“Yes, we’re discontinuing Online Pass. None of our new EA titles will include that feature,” senior director of corporate communications John Reseburg told VentureBeat.

“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.

“We’re still committed to creating content and services that enhance the game experience well beyond the day you first start playing.”

Online passes are bundled with new copies of games, offering exclusive downloadable content or access to online multiplayer via a one-time use code. Activision and Ubisoft have also utilised the system.

Although unpopular with users who prefer to pick up games second-hand, the passes did represent significant “found revenue” for publishers in a market which otherwise brings no direct financial benefit to them.

EA had seemed very pleased with the scheme’s success, but its top billing in anti-consumer polls for two years straight may have caused it to rethink its policies.

Retailers have argued that the used game market does have substantial benefits for publishers, in that it drives new game sales.

Thanks, Kotaku.

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40 Comments

  1. YoungZer0

    Whut? °w°

    I’m gonna be cynical here and predict that they found a new way to fuck up their games.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Dark

    hmm..

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Moonwalker1982

    @1

    Exactly man. Most of the time when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. salarta

    Maybe now they aren’t more evil than companies that kick people out of their homes and destroy rain forests! Then again, they might have to drop their prices on video games first before their policies aren’t equivalent to making families starve on the streets.

    I hope nobody here is too stupid to figure out the intent behind that last paragraph.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. marijnlems

    @4

    Videogame fans, man. Fucking videogame fans.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Silent Killer01

    Online passes kill the multiplayer popularity and the people who buy new also suffer.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. machy

    i’m with @1 here .. and i’m pretty sure that they’ll lock the whole disk

    #7 2 years ago
  8. LordSkyline

    wat

    #8 2 years ago
  9. SlayerGT

    Looks like trying to save a little face and possibly restore some good will with gamers…since online passes will be soon obsolete with most things going digital. Just like always on, a system that did nothing for the consumer except add some inconvenience. Thanks EA.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Joe_Gamer

    The bigger your multi-player community is, the more value it adds to your game, my guess is that this has nothing to do with “feedback” and everything to do with the fact that this program actually devalues their games far more than the pittance they earned from the few foolhardy participants could justify. Good old fashion bottom dollar business decision.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. DLTDawnlight

    I wonder how many GameStops are overstocked on used copies of Battlefield 3?

    #11 2 years ago
  12. zinc

    CoD has consistently offered solid online MP, with no monied xp boosts, or monied weapon packs and has consistently been on top of MP player charts…

    Considering how hard EA have tried to emulate/ripoff this success, its a surprise they left the unnecessary gouging of gamers till last.

    Or maybe they figure they should make mp worth paying for :)

    #12 2 years ago
  13. woe

    You’re move Sony.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. salarta

    @13: You are move Sony?

    #14 2 years ago
  15. Sanwiches

    hmm interesting. Let’s wait and see.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Dark

    @13 sony = playstation move?

    #16 2 years ago
  17. FrayJoker

    “We’re still committed to creating content and services that enhance the game experience well beyond the day you first start playing.”

    <– Yeah. Get used to more Sim City fiascoes in the future.

    Of all of EA's harebrained schemes I actually thought this was the least offensive. Given that they absorb the cost of servers, moderators, patches whenever they have a multiplayer game these days, I felt that it was entirely reasonable of them to expect some return on second hand games. Especially as this was rarely more than just a verification code.

    I'm not one to throw around about gamer entitlement, the community has a right to demand better of the developers and publishers out there. But at least in this aspect, the developers and publishers have a right to demand better of the community.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. redwood

    I am sure they found an alternate which is less obvious and in-your-face.. oh well we ‘ll see

    #18 2 years ago
  19. redwood

    also with the next gen just around the corner.. they might just be focusing now on having always-on internet,

    #19 2 years ago
  20. tezzer1985

    This just makes me think, that both next-gen consoles will have some sort of disc registration function, and if you want to register a second hand game, you would have to pay a unvirsal fee.

    I’m sure Sony and Mircosoft have listened to developers, and have come up with a way to combat the second hand market.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. DrDamn

    @13
    Aside from the spelling, agree, let’s see what Sony do with theirs now. (Agreeing with woe … /checks hell for ice and skies for pigs). Though I tend to think this is just a precursor to full game activation codes.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. BrahManDude

    Thank You EA

    #22 2 years ago
  23. KineticCalvaria

    Surely I’m not the only one thinking that this is paving the way for dlc passes ala Battlefield premium with every game instead.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. Lengendaryboss

    Amazing how nearly everyone thinks EA has some ulterior motive.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. redwood

    @24 Companies always do, it’s called maximizing profits

    #25 2 years ago
  26. Lengendaryboss

    @25
    The games industry is a business, so anti-consumer tactics is all about “maximizing profits.” Until EA find some alternative for the online pass an ulterior motive does not exist yet.

    #26 2 years ago
  27. GwynbleiddiuM

    I’d be happy to see publishers distance themselves from the money leeching tactics they currently employ, dropping the hideous microtransactions in games that you mostly play offline and charging people for every piece of content. Then again, nothing is that simple when we’re talking about soul sucking publishing firms. They’d come with equally stupid way to ruin it for everyone.

    #27 2 years ago
  28. locus2k1

    If I was to hazard a guess, it’s all going to be about Season Passes from now onwards. They’re not as intrusive as online passes, they save money for those who pay in advance of future DLC releases and it encourages the user to keep hold of the product they have purchase as they have invested for its long-term releases.

    At least, I wouldn’t mind this if it is the case, I prefer this method over online passes :)

    #28 2 years ago
  29. viralshag

    Never saw anything wrong with online passes. But that’s because if I want to play a game and support it, I would buy it new… so I never had a problem. The only time this is a problem, is if you buy pre-owned.

    I wonder if this will be related to games being console locked and the reason they’re dropping it is because in the future they won’t actually need to include them.

    #29 2 years ago
  30. DrDamn

    @29
    Either that or they feel the switch to digital is sufficient enough to cover extra costs. This way they look “better”.

    I never had a problem with online passes either. They were a way to recoup extra costs. This stuff has to be paid for at some point, I saw online passes as the logical place to put it.

    #30 2 years ago
  31. redwood

    @26 am sure they already have..

    #31 2 years ago
  32. viralshag

    @30, Exactly, it seemed like a minor cost to me. Especially if you’re making a saving on a pre-owned copy anyway. In most cases in the UK, you’re still going to save about £5-10 even with the online pass. Funnily enough on the two occasions I did buy pre-owned (BF4 & ME3 for the 360) both the online passes were unused and I didn’t need to buy them anyway.

    #32 2 years ago
  33. Beta

    Considering I rarely play online this has never really bothered me.

    #33 2 years ago
  34. NocturnalB

    @30
    If you are referring to “all digital” that won’t be happening, at least not for many years to come. I’m sorry that America ruins it for the rest of the world in this case, but our infrastructure simply cannot take that on yet, heck it’s just handling what we do with it now. EA isn’t going to alienate their home turf, none of them would.

    Edited Fun Fact: We rank 8th in world net speeds, we even rank below places like Latvia and the Czech Republic.

    #34 2 years ago
  35. DrDamn

    @34
    Not all digital no – that’s still a ways of, but the shift towards digital is happening and will grow as years go by. That negates the need for an online pass.

    #35 2 years ago
  36. viralshag

    @34, I think he means digital purchases in general. If the pricing is right I won’t have any problem skipping the retailer next-gen. I might be wrong though. :)

    Edit: There’s your answer.

    #36 2 years ago
  37. NocturnalB

    @35,36
    In that case i totally getcha.

    #37 2 years ago
  38. CyberMarco

    Hallelujah!

    #38 2 years ago
  39. OlderGamer

    I have been waiting for an anouncment that tells us by paying a yearly subscription fee, we can have online access to all of said companies games. If we pay say…50usd a year, we recieve a log in and PW that we use to play all EA games. Ofc, the purchase price of the games aren’t included in that 50usd. Neither is DLC. But if covers all EA games so long as your subscription is upto date.

    Wait for it, it will happen.

    Also always on seems to have been just confirmed.

    Also keep in mind the bomb shell may not have droped yet: EA exlcusive to XBnxt. Online play included with your paied XB LIve Gold Membership. Wouldn’t that one rock?

    Anyway, no doubt in my mind that if EA let Online Passes go, it is because they have found something they like better.

    #39 2 years ago
  40. Lord Gremlin

    I like my disk games 100% fully functional at any time. Online pass means they are not.
    I hope Sony drops it too. Thanks to this shit I can’t play Senran Kagura on Vita online. And can go online with only one version of Soul Sacrifice. Disgusting… Online passes, region locked stores, fuck it.

    Come to think of it I’ve stopped buying EA games altogether… I think it was after Dragon age 2. Wow I got burned on this shit game, signature edition my arse. I mean, there are games that are considered bad, but I had a lot of fun with (Duke Nukem forever for example), but DA2 was just unpleasant.

    #40 2 years ago

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    The Lady Hammerlock DLC for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel will be released on PS3 and Xbox 360 tomorrow, January 27. The new playable character comes with three skill trees and the action skill Cold As Ice. If you haven’t bought the season pass for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel you can download the DLC for $9.99, you lucky […]

  • A limited edition 20th Anniversary PS4 just sold for $128,000

    Sony has just auctioned one of its limited edition 20th Anniversary PS4 consoles for over $128,000. The model had the serial number 00001, according to the Wall Street Journal. “We appreciate all who participated in the auction and are surprised at the highest bid price, which was higher than our expectations,” said a rep for […]

  • Here’s Killer Instinct’s new Omen and Golem fighters in action

    Microsoft has revealed Killer Instinct Season 2′s fighter Omen in a new trailer. Stick around for the end of the video and you’ll also get a peek at another new fighter, Golem. Omen is a bonus character and as such isn’t available as part of the main season roster. He’s available for free to Ultra […]

  • Digital copies of Far Cry 4 are being deleted from Uplay

    Ubisoft appears to be deleting copies of Far Cry 4 bought through digital third-party retailers. According to the Ubisoft support forums, copies of the game acquired via G2Play and G2A are being removed from Uplay. Users had not been given any warning by publisher Ubisoft that the game will be removed, although it is now […]

  • Gearbox wants “badass” talent for the next Borderlands

    Borderlands 3 may not have been announced at PAX this weekend, but studio boss Randy Pitchford is currently recruiting for the next game in the series. We are recruiting for next Borderlands. This is the big one. Industry badass? E-mail me: heyrandy@gearboxsoftware.com pic.twitter.com/ZG9dLytX1B — Randy Pitchford (@DuvalMagic) January 26, 2015 A recruitment push would suggest […]

  • Destiny: less grind, fairer economy in House of Wolves DLC

    Destiny developer Bungie has said it aims to lessen the grind in House of Wolves, and it won’t repeat mistakes it made with rewards in The Dark Below. Gear rewards will be fairer, according to lead designer Luke Smith in a Neogaf thread. For example, buying from a vendor should not invalidate gear rewarded for […]

  • Halo: The Master Chief Disaster

    Over two months since release and Xbox One’s big Christmas game is still a turkey, says Rich Stanton. “The game has now been available for two-and-a-half months, including the blockbuster Christmas season, and by any reasonable standard it doesn’t work.” Halo: The Master Chief Collection launched worldwide on November 11, 2014. Intended as something of […]

  • Homeworld Remastered Collection dated, first gameplay footage released

    Homeworld Remastered Collection has a release date, and as promised, the gameplay footage of Gearbox Software’s remake has been released along with the news that Homeworld Shipbreaker development continues. The video was shown during the Inside Gearbox Software panel earlier this morning at PAX South. Last year, Gearbox had said hoped to release the title […]

  • Clock Tower spiritual successor Night Cry has landed on Kickstarter

    The Kickstarter for Clock Tower spiritual successor, Project Scissors, recently announced as Night Cry, has launched. A teaser directed by The Grudge director Takashi Shimizu was released for the game earlier this month, and the full short film can be viewed below. Shimizu is also creative director on the project and Silent Hill creative and environment […]

  • Toukiden Kiwami mission trailer released, pre-order bonuses detailed

    Pre-order bonuses for Toukiden Kiwami have been announced for PlayStation 4 and Vita. Here’s the pre-order bonus list for each participating retailer: North America GameStop – Armor inspired by new slayers Reki and Soma’s costumes and classic armor from Toukiden‘s six original NPC slayers. Amazon – 2 exclusive pieces of armor: a set of Tenko […]

  • More Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, Final Fantasy 15 info doled out by Tabata

    Final Fantasy Type-0 HD director Hajime Tabata took part in a Reddit AMA yesterday, and answered a variety of questions pertaining to the game and Final Fantasy 15. According to Tabata, the first playthrough of the game will last around 40 hours, but “the real fun” starts from the second playthrough which contains new events. […]

  • This video gives you an idea of what Borderlands Online is like

    A video for Borderlands Online, the China-exclusive title from 2K, Shanda Games and Gearbox, has been released. Posted on MMO Culture, the video was released to announce the “technical test” which started today. Borderlands Online is an instance-based online shooter, and will probably never reach western shores. Still, you can have a look anyway.

  • Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns is the MMO’s first expansion

    The first expansion for Guild Wars 2, Heart of Thorns, was announced today during PAX South, and ArenNet has posted a few content details for it on the official webiste. Heart of Thorns contains a reimagined progression with the new Mastery system, which provides new training opportunities for characters beyond level 80. Players will be […]

  • Turn-based action platformer Ronin has been polished up, nets a publisher

    Tomasz Waclawek has polished up his freeware title Ronin and will be releasing it through publisher Devolver Digital later this year. The turn-based action platformer stars a vengeful ninja who is determined to kill important memebers of a powerful corporation. Weapons at your disposal include razor wire and a katana, or you avoid combat by […]

  • Footage of cancelled Justice League brawler surfaces

    Footage of the cancelled Double Helix-developed Justice League brawler has surfaced online. The game was supposed to be a tie-in title for the also cancelled Justice League film directed by George Miller, according to leaked images and information from 2012. Jon Gwyn, the game’s artist and now Rockstar San Diego staffer, said at the time […]

  • Free Icona Vulcano DLC for DriveClub releases next week

    Sony has posted a video of the Icona Vulcano, which will be released as DLC next week for DriveClub. The video was posted on Facebook and we’ve embedded the video below courtesy of GamesHQMeida. It was announced earlier this week the Icona Vulcano would be released on the PS Store as a free download.

  • The Bard’s Tale 4 announced by inXile Entertainment at PAX South

    The Bard’s Tale 4 was announced today by inXile Entertainment CEO Brian Fargo during a panel at PAX South. inXile hinted around back in December that a sequel was in the works. Granted, The Bard’s Tale wasn’t mentioned. Still, everyone figured this was the game when Wasteland 2 project lead Chris Keenan stated the team […]

  • Here’s another Majora’s Mask 3DS vs N64 comparison video

    Last week, YouTube user Master0fHyrule uploaded a Majora’s Mask 3DS vs N64 comparison video, and we’ve embedded it for you below. The video shows 4.5 minutes of footage which appears before hitting the start button and the first meeting between Link and the Skull Kid. Another comparison video was released by another user back in […]

  • The Game Awards 2015 already in the planning stages

    The Game Awards 2015 are already in the planning stages, according to Geoff Keighley. The inaugural show took place on December 6, 2014. Keighley announced the 2015 show during his Storytime with Geoff Keighley panel at PAX South this weekend and through Twitter. He said more details will be announced in the spring. You can […]

  • Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered listed for January release

    It looks like Quantic Dream’s Indigo Prophecy is returning in remastered form next week, if an Amazon listing is any indication. According to the listing posted on NeoGAF, the uncut version of the game contains Steam DRM and will release January 29 at 12pm PST/3pm EST for a Linux, Mac and PC download. Titled Fahrenheit: […]

  • Indie Flash Sale kicks off on North American PS Store

    The North American end of the PlayStation Store is hosting a Flash Sale a beefy list of indie games and some films. The sales includes titles such as Resogun, Shadow Warrior, The Unfinished Swan, FEZ, Costume Quest 2, Joe Danger, Brothers: a Tale of Two Sons, and more for up to 80% off. The full […]

  • The Witcher 3 Twitch stream to show 15 minutes of new gameplay footage

    New The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt gameplay footage will be shown Monday, January 26 on GOG.com’s Twitch channel. Along with the footage, the developers will be answering questions from the community as well as providing commentary on the gameplay being shown. Live questions posted via Twitter chat will be answered by senior gameplay designer Damien […]

  • Borderlands 3 information teased for tomorrow’s Gearbox PAX South panel

    During PAX South this weekend, Gearbox Software is hosting a panel titled Inside Gearbox Software which will provide “the latest news and updates on Borderlands and upcoming Gearbox titles.” Yesterday during Gearbox’s panel called Question and Answer Time, CEO Rady Pitchford was asked “when or if” fans can expect Borderlands 3. “I’ll tell you what,” […]

  • Best Buy cancels multiple pre-order units of Limited Edition Majora’s Mask New 3DS XL

    Multiple sources reported overnight Best Buy has cancelled some pre-orders for the Limited Edition Majora’s Mask New 3DS XL. As of press time, it appears to only affect those who pre-ordered more than one system. Only one system was allotted per order, so the cancellation notices were sent out to comply with the restriction. Those […]

  • Rob Huebel is your KillCameraman in this CoD: Advanced Warfare video

    A live-action video for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – Havoc has been released by Activision. Subtitled: Randall Higgins: KillCameraman gives you a look at the action from a different perspective. In the video, Higgins is played by comedic actor and writer Rob Huebel (Children’s Hospital, Parks and Rec, The Mindy Project). The first DLC […]

  • Xbox App features included with Windows 10 January build outlined

    The January build of the Windows 10 Technical Preview includes a basic version of the Xbox App announced earlier this week. With the initial preview release, the team at Microsoft wanted to only include the basics such as high resolution monitor support along with keyboard and mouse input. Additional functionality will be released with each […]

  • Standalone version of DayZ has sold 3 million units

    The standalone version of DayZ sold 3 million units, Bohemia Interactive has announced. Release Just over a year ago on Steam Early Access, the milestone was hit yesterday. The standalone version was created by Dean Hall as a Arma 2 modification which has been updated 24 times since its initial release. In 2014, the development […]

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt video shows gameplay clips, global hands-on events

    CD Projekt has released a video for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, giving a glimpse of gameplay and noting that hands-on impressions of the game will be bombarding the Internet next week. We’ll have extensive coverage of The Witcher 3 on Monday Jan 26 at 3pm GMT. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is coming to […]

  • Microsoft looking into possible HoloLens support for PC, Xbox One

    Microsoft’s HoloLens may be a dedicated device, but the company is obviously looking into how it could be used with PC and Xbox One. Speaking with Polygon, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said should the stand-alone product become a success, “specific scenarios” on how it could be used with Xbox One are already being brainstormed. “We […]

  • Final Fantasy Type-0 HD video compares PSP graphics to PS4, Xbox One

    A video for Final Fantasy Type-0 comparing the upcoming console version of the game to the original PSP version has been released by Square Enix. While comparing PSP graphics to those of PlayStation 4 and Xbox One seems rather unfair, it’s worth a watch anyway. Final Fantasy Type-0 HD releases March 17 in North America […]

  • Payday 2′s The Bomb Heists and Dragan Character Pack released

    In case you forgot, The Bomb Heists and Dragan Character content packs for Payday 2 were released yesterday. The new heist pack is available for $6.99/€6.99/£4.99 and the Dragan character will run you $4.99/€4.99/£3.99 through Steam and other digital distribution sites. Here’s the details: The Bomb Heists A new contact, called the Butcher, brought to […]

  • Rockstar offers tips on scaling GTA Online creations to support 30 players

    Rockstar has posted a tutorial of sorts on how to edit your GTA Online’s creations to support up to 30 players. According to the developer, when selecting Load Creation, users will be able to access any previously published Jobs and edit them in any way they wish. Users can also increase the Maximum Players races […]

  • Video for Life is Strange shows you how to rewind time

    If you could rewind time, would you change the events of your day or leave things be? In Life is Strange, you will make this choice. In the developer diary below, Dontnot Entertainment touches upon the main character’s ability to rewind time. How Max’s ability works and originated is also discussed. The first episode of […]

  • Take a look at one of the historical battles in Total War: Attila

    The Creative Assembly has revealed historical battles for Total War: Attila and shown off one of them. In the latest episode of Rally Point, developer Creative Assembly takes a look at one of the nine historical battles that will be included in Total War: Attila when it launches next month. But before you see the […]

  • ARMA 3 video lists 33 of its features, teases upcoming expansion

    ARMA 3 is an impressive military simulator, but that’s not the only thing impressive about it. In fact, this video lists 33 of the game’s most notable features. ARMA 3′s latest video gives you a tour of many of its strengths. It goes over the number of vehicles, weapons and playable area. But that’s not […]

  • No Man’s Sky dev explains what you actually do in the game

    No Man’s Sky is simultaneously the most intriguing mystery and the most scary. Developer Hello Games is asked some questions and gives some solid answers. Eurogamer asked Hello Games’ Sean Murray a number of questions that are on everyone’s mind when they think about No Man’s Sky. The biggest one being, what do you actually […]

  • Dying Light physical release set for February 27, Be The Zombie mode goes free

    The release date for the physical version of Dying Light has been confirmed for Europe, along with the release dates for all regions. Dying Light developer Techland has confirmed that the PC version of the game will release digitally, worldwide, on January 27. The physical version and the digital PS4 and Xbox One versions will […]

  • Guild Wars 2 is $10 this weekend

    ArenaNet is offering Guild Wars 2 for $10 this weekend only, and hosting a double XP event during the same period. The regular and Digital Deluxe editions of Guild Wars 2 are both offered at 75% off this weekend. The regular edition can be yours for just $10 while the Deluxe is $15. The offer […]

  • Cyberpunk 2077 development still going, but the focus is on The Witcher 3, says dev

    If you’re dying to hear anything about CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077, you’ll be waiting a while still. The focus is on The Witcher 3 right now. Ever since Cyberpunk 2077′s announcement all the way back in 2012 developer CD Projekt Red has been really quiet about the sci-fi RPG. We’ve not seen any gameplay […]

  • Digital pet Animin gamecards get May release

    With AR being all the go, it might be worth checking out virtual pet Animin for iOS and Android. Game-cards for Animin, the virtual pet for iOS and Android, are set to appear at UK retail this May, the developers have announced. Animin sits on your touch device and does cute stuff. The little dude […]

  • You won’t need a new GPU for DirectX 12, except for some features

    Microsoft has clarified that while you’ll need a new GPU to get the full potential of DirectX 12, existing hardware will support it just fine. Microsoft’s Mike Ybarra said in a press meeting following the Windows 10 event that you will need a new graphics card to get “the full benefits” of DirectX 12. “There […]

  • Assassin’s Creed Victory: fans speculate over characters and locations

    Ubisoft has not yet started talking about Assassin’s Creed: Victory, so some eager fans are speculating about everything they can just from those leaked screens. A very popular thread right now on the Ubisoft forums attempts to gather fans’ specualtion about characters, events and story of Assassin’s Creed: Victory. What followed was quite a lot […]