EA did not lobby for Xbox One’s used game DRM

Wednesday, 12 June 2013 06:16 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Disrupting the popular “EA and Microsoft are in cahoots to ruin used games” narrative haunting comment threads everywhere, EA chief operating officer Peter Moore has said EA had nothing to do with the Xbox One’s licensing policies and hasn’t even figured out whether to get involved.

“As the guy who is the chief operating officer of Electronic Arts I can tell you that EA did not aggressively lobby for the platform holders to put some gating function in there to allow or disallow used games,” Moore told Polygon.

“I am on record as being a proponent of used games. I like the ecosystem. I like the fact that it’s kept pricing at a good level for eight years. I like the fact that someone can buy a physical game and see some equity in that game. That keeps GameStop vibrant and they are a great launch and marketing partner for us.

“EA has never had a conversation, and I have been present at all of them, with all of the manufacturers, saying you must put a system in place that allows us to take a piece of the action or even stop it. Absolutely incorrect.”

The executive said that EA hasn’t yet figured out whether it’s going to opt-in to Microsoft’s used-game blocking system, let alone the nitty-gritty details of what it might charge to reactivate a used license if it did join in.

“We have not internally even begun to sit down and answer those questions,” he said.

“We will figure out what we need to do. This thing just happened and we need to reconvene and hear what people think and talk to our retail partners and our first party partners. We had no idea what Sony was going to announce. We’ll reconvene next week and figure it all out.”

EA recently cancelled its Online Pass system which many commenters – including certain cynical VG247 staffers – assumed this was because it would be getting on board Microsoft’s new DRM. Moore said the real reason was that consumers didn’t like it.

“I was at the meeting. It just wasn’t resonating with the consumer. It just wasn’t consumer friendly,” he said.

“It was hard work and it was as much work for the guy who would never trade his game in, even though we gave him some digital content, because you’re punching numbers in. We just made a decision. I was the chair at the meeting. We said enough of Online Pass.

“Online Pass was more trouble to the consumer than it was worth. It was a mistake. The consumer’s feedback was that this thing gets in the way of a good experience so let’s get rid of it.”