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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

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Unity 5 looks amazing, and you can download and faff about with it for free right now. “We’re not nickel-and-diming people. When we say it’s free, it’s free. We’re not charging a royalty, which I think is akin to looking for whales.” Unity Technologies announced the release of the fifth version of its popular, simple, […]

  • Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 may be the end of the series

    Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 released yesterday, and many fans theorise that it marks the end of the series. Five Nights at Freddy’s developer Scott Cawthon has released a new teaser image on his website, but rather than pointing to a new game, many fans believe the teaser signals the end of the series. The […]

  • Source 2 announced, will also be free

    Valve has formally unveiled Source Engine 2, the third major engine to go free to developers at GDC 2015. Source 2 is the successor to the engine Valve has been using since Counter-Strike: Source and Half-Life 2. Valve didn’t have much to say about the technicalities of this long-awaited release. It is apparently focused on […]

  • SteamVR: Valve’s Lighthouse tech allows you to walk around while playing

    SteamVR’s key differentiator is a piece of tech allowing headsets to connect with other devices for extra accurate, room-scale tracking. Valve has announced a new bit of technology called Lighthouse, which it is making freely available to any hardware manufacturer. Like the extra tracking LEDs on Sony’s updated Project Morpheus, Lighthouse improves the headset’s accuracy, […]

  • Steam Machines, Controller, streaming box to launch in November

    Steam Machines will finally become a reality before the end of the year. Valve’s living room PC systems will release in November, the company announced today. Well, I say Valve’s – the idea behind Steam Machines is that a number of manufacturers will offer variously priced systems. Alienware and Falcon Northwest are among the dozen […]

  • Telltale veterans form new team, announce teen thriller Oxenfree

    Oxenfree is a supernatural teen thriller from some of the team behind Telltale Games’ award-winning adventures. New indie Night School Studios unveiled Oxenfree at GDC 2015. It tells the story of a group of friends who accidentally open a “ghostly rift” at an overnight party on the coast. Night School, which is made up of […]

  • PS4 global sales now stand at over 20.2 million

    The PS4 has sold 20.2 million units worldwide. Sony announced the new PS4 sales milestone at GDC 2015 today. It’s a hell of an achievement and salt in the wounds for Microsoft, which hasn’t updated us on Xbox One sales since it shipped “almost” 10 million back in November last year, and has fallen back […]

  • PS4 VR headset Morpheus out in 2016, capable of 120 FPS – video

    Sony’s VR headset Project Morpheus has some impressive grunt. Virtual reality and Morpheus were the heart of Sony’s GDC 2015 presentation today, ahead of its newly announced first-half 2016 comemrcial launch. SCE Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida detailed the headset’s impressive capabilities, notably the fact that it can handle 120 FPS VR games. The PS4 […]

  • Papo & Yo developer making a VR game about dinosaurs

    Some days you write a headline and it makes you so happy that that you have to do a little chair dance, you know what I mean? Papo & Yo developer Minority Media, whom I would personally go to the wall for after they cut out my heart and stomped on it via the medium […]

  • Wasteland 2, Shovel Knight and more in big ole bunch of indies coming to Xbox One

    Xbox One owners are about to receive a pile of great new indie games. At GDC 2015, Microsoft revealed a list of new indie games headed to Xbox One. Some of these titles have already released on other platforms, so it looks like Microsoft has really relaxed the parity clause of ID@Xbox – or perhaps […]

  • Here’s an indie VR game made with Unreal Engine 4

    GDC 2015 is blowing up with indie games, VR and Unreal Engine 4, so here’s a video combining all three. Loading Human is a virtual reality adventure from indie developer Untold Games. It’s in the works for Mac and PC, and Sony has given an early green light for Project Morpheus, too, so expect it […]

  • GTA Online: Daily Objectives and Adversary Mode coming next week

    Heists aren’t the only thing coming to GTA Online next week: players can also expect Adversary Modes, new Daily Objectives and other Freemode activities. GTA Online’s Adversary Modes are new PvP modes which feature a range of competitive challenges and will unlock as players progress through Heists. Here’s a rundown straight from Rockstar: Come Out […]

  • Syndicate is the latest free game download on Origin

    The latest free title to be added to EA’s Origin service is 1993′s Syndicate. For a limited time, you can download the game for free and keep it, much like previous titles such as Theme Hospital. The isometric, real-time, tactical-action game was developed by Bullfrog Productions and released in June 1993. It is a favorite […]

  • Ancient Labyrinth DLC for Lords of the Fallen now available

    The Ancient Labyrinth DLC for Lords of the Fallen is now available for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It will run you $7.99 and builds upon the existing lore, characters, and storyline. Have a look at some new screenshots in the gallery below.

  • Shadowrun Online gets a name change and release date

    Shadowrun Online developer Cliffhanger Productions has announced the game’s name has been changed to Shadowrun Chronicles: Boston Lockdown and a release date for April has been set. The new title was formed via the developer and its Kickstarter backers, with the goal being to let those unfamiliar with the game know by the title alone […]

  • Amazon hosting Rockstar and 2K Games sale

    Amazon is hosting a Rockstar Games and 2K Games sale with discounts Max Payne titles, Bully and more. Here’s just some of the offerings listed: Manhunt 2 PC Download $3.00 Max Payne 3 PC Download $4.00 Bully: Scholarship Edition PC Download $3.00 LA Noire Xbox 360 $2.95 L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition PC Download $6.00 […]

  • Destiny weekly reset video shows off Inferno Crucible gameplay

    We have a gameplay video featuring Inferno Crucible gameplay featured in the Destiny weekly reset for you. In it, Arekkz Gaming gives you a look at Inferno Crucible and goes over the various intricacies. You can read up on the weekly reset through the links.

  • Resident Evil: Revelations 2 Episode 2 available from today

    Episode 2 for Resident Evil: Revelations 2 is now available. If you’ve purchased the Complete Season, you’ll be able to download Episode 2 on PS3, PS4 and Xbox One. Steam players should see the episode go live around 9-10pm PST, and Xbox 360 owners should be able to download very early tomorrow morning, per Capcom […]

  • Here’s a sneak peek video for Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide

    Fatshark Games has released a sneak peek video for its upcoming Games Workshop title, Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide. Vermintide is a FPS, co-op action title coming to PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and its set during the End Times of the Warhammer universe in the city of Ubersreik. Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare video shows Ascendance DLC early access weapon

    As you know, Xbox Season Pass holders now have early access to the Ascendance DLC Pack bonus weapons for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Now you can watch a trailer for the weapon. The OHM directed energy hybrid weapon can switch between an LMG and Shotgun “on the fly,” and it also includes the OHM-Werewolf […]

  • March PS Plus games include OlliOlli 2, Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty, more

    March PlayStation Plus titles have popped up on the PS Plus page. Noticed by NeoGAF user skynidas, the titles include: OlliOlli2 (PS4/VITA) Valiant Hearts: The Great War (PS4) Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty (PS4) Counterspy (PS4/PS3) Papo & Yo (PS3) Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishment (PS3) A notice has also been posted on the EU PS […]

  • Sci-fi horror game Caffeine will release on Xbox One, PS4 alongside PC – new trailer

    Caffeine creator Dylan Browne has announced the Unreal Engine 4 game will be released on Xbox One. The game will be published through Microsoft’s Indie Program. As previously announced, it is also coming to PC and and now PlayStation 4. Caffeine is a sci-fi horror game which stars a young boy who has been abandoned […]

  • Xbox 360 Preview program invites going out this month

    Much like the Xbox One Preview program, starting early this month, invites for the Xbox 360 Preview program will start rolling out. Select invitees will be able to join program directly from their Xbox 360. A special Xbox Live message will be sent, directing users to head over to their Settings page. Further instructions are […]

  • Tron: Legacy director in negotiations for Gran Turismo film

    Tron: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski is said to be in early negotiations to direct the Gran Turismo film. This is according to the Hollywood Reporter, which states Michael De Luca is still slated as one of the producers alongside Matt Milam, Dana Brunetti, Josh Bratman, DeVon Franklin and Elizabeth Cantillon. Plot details are still unknown […]

  • Fifth add-on pack for Alien: Isolation is available for download

    The Trigger, which is is the fifth add-on pack for Alien: Isolation, is available to download from today. In it, players will “compete against the clock” across three new maps in Survivor Mode. Set before the events of the main game, players step into the shoes of Sevastopol Station’s Ricardo who will do what he […]

  • HBO Go app now available on PlayStation 4

    Sony has announced the HBO Go app will be made available for download later today for PlayStation 4. The app works just like the PS version. Now you can watch True Detective, Game of Thrones, Veep and more through your console. Information on installation is available through the PS Blog.

  • Skyrim mods no longer restricted to 100MB in size

    Bethesda has announced a beta for Creation Kit update 1.9.33, lifts the 100MB size restriction for Skyrim mod makers. The beta is for both Skyrim’s PC launcher and the Creation Kit which will allow for unlimited file sizes. Here are the notes: Creation Kit 1.9.33 Update Creation Kit now supports unlimited file sizes for mods […]

  • Mad Max release date set for September, PS3 and Xbox 360 versions canned

    Mad Max from Just Cause developer Avalanche Studios has been given a September release date, along with the new of a last-gen cancellation. The axing of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions were announced via Game Informer. Mad Max is the magazine’s featured game for the April issue. Avalanche, according GI, nixed development on […]

  • MGS 5: The Phantom Pain out in September, Kojima “closing the loop” on saga

    Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain will be released in September, according to an IGN Italy video, which also features Hideo Kojima discussing “With Metal Gear Solid 5, I’m finally “closing the loop” on the Metal Gear saga. The video has since been removed, but an image cap of the date is posted above. […]

  • Forza Horizon 2 Rockstar Energy Car Pack now available

    The Rockstar Energy Car Pack for Forza Horizon 2 for Xbox One is available now, alongside the free car for March. The free car is the Acura Integra Type-R, and the Rockstar pack included the following vehicles: 2014 Volkswagen Beetle GRC 2015 Subaru WRX STI 1996 BMW 850CSi 2015 Jaguar XFR-S 1970 Volkswagen #1107 Desert […]

  • 3DS firmware update kills web browser exploit

    Nintendo has issued a 3DS firmware update which fixes a web browser exploit that was being used to run pirated Game Boy Color ROMs since January as well as inject code within downloadable games. Another piece of code, per Eurogamer, changed the setting on the handheld to make it region-free. The exploit was only available […]

  • Unreal Tournament video shows updated textures on Outpost 23

    The latest footage from Epic’s new Unreal Tournament has surfaced, and it shows off the game’s first high-textured map which is called Outpost 23. As you can see from Zaccubus’ video, its the same are which Epic showed in the flythrough video from last year, only with updated textures and some new areas outside. The […]

  • Final add-on for Sunset Overdrive arrives in April

    The final add-on for Sunset Overdrive, Dawn of the Rise of the Fallen Machines, will be released in April. On April 1 to be exact. No, that’s not an April Fool’s joke from Insomniac Games either. Below, you can watch a fist-look at the new story, area, and traversal mechanic.

  • Heroes of the Storm playable at EGX Rezzed

    Heroes of the Storm will be playable at EGX Rezzed. This will be the first UK public hands-on with the online team brawler. Blizzard will also host giveaways and friendly tournaments at its stand. Tickets for all three days of Rezzed are still available, and you can purchase a pass through the official website. EGX […]

  • PES 2015 Data Pack 4 coming next week with Winter Transfers, new faces

    Data Pack 4 for Pro Evolution Soccer 2015 has been dated, and it updates the game with Winter Transfers, new player faces, and additional stadiums. The latest free update contains real-time player transfers made within the January window, and player ratings have also been updated. Additionally, a number of improved likenesses to key players will […]

  • Here’s the changelog for Dragon Age: Inquisition Patch 5

    Notes for upcoming Patch 5 for Dragon Age: Inquisition have been posted, noting improvements to gameplay and stability, and the new features outlined back in early February. Along with the new party storage system added to the Undercroft at Skyhold, players also have the ability to adjust the size of subtitles. Below you will find […]