Online Pass is “not coming back, it’s dead,” says EA labels president

Thursday, 13 June 2013 14:57 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

EA labels president Frank Gibeau has said the firm nixing Online Pass had nothing to do with Xbox One’s digital rights management system.

Speaking with Joystiq at E3, Gibeau said the Online Pass program has been “deep-sixed” and is “at the bottom of the Mariana Trench.”

“We’re not crafting a strategy to bring [Online Pass] back, you will not input codes to unlock your game, it’s not going to happen,” he said, even referring to the Online Pass program at one point as “flat out dumb.”

“The amount of money that we made, it didn’t replace the amount of frustration we put on our customers and it didn’t offset the reputation damage it caused the company,” he continued. “So we said ‘it’s not worth it,’ and so the idea was, look, ‘don’t do stuff like that anymore.'”

Gibeau said the opportunity to “to wipe the slate clean” came about under current interim CEO Larry Probst.

He went on to use FIFA Ultimate Team as an example of continuing to make money off “legitimate” customers who purchase DLC.

“Look, they own it, they bought the disc and it’s theirs. They have a legitimate right for not doing anything illegal,” he said. “If we want to be progressive about it, we will make online services available to them that if they want to buy they can, but they don’t have to. At least that way we participate in some monetization. The reputational damage [Online Pass] was causing us was in excess of the dollars we were making.

“At the end of the day, we’re not going to replace [Online Pass]. It’s not coming back. It’s dead.”

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