EA won’t resurrect Online Pass system following Xbox One policy change

Thursday, 20 June 2013 03:32 GMT By Brenna Hillier

EA won’t bring back the Online Pass system it cancelled before Sony and Microsoft both adopted used game-friendly policies for next-gen consoles.

“[There is] no change to our decision to discontinue Online Pass. It is dead,” senior director of corporate communications John Reseburg told Polygon in response to Microsoft’s policy reversal today.

“As we said a few weeks ago, none of our new EA titles will include online pass, and we are removing it from existing games as well. Nothing else on today’s news, but did want to be clear that our online pass decision was based on player feedback, and there’s no change.”

EA dropped its online pass scheme in late May, which was somewhat unfortunate timing; many cynical commenters assumed the publisher was giving up one used games revenue source for others to be introduced with next-generation consoles.

However, Sony won hearts at E3 by publicly rejecting any kind of first-party used games licensing and although it said publishers could do as they please on a software level, it ultimately expects third-parties to do the same.

Now that Microsoft has joined the used games-friendly bandwagon, EA detractors likely expect the publisher to fire up online passes again immediately – even though it has denied any involvement in Microsoft’s original decision and seemed genuinely caught unawares by it.

This is the second time EA has had to vow that it will not bring back online passes.