In a rather shocking moment of humility, Electronic Arts has decided to discontinue its Online Pass system. EA senior director of corporate communications John Reseburg confirmed this news with GamesBeat today. The reason for this decision is supposedly based on player feedback.
“Initially launched as an effort to package a full menu of online content and services, many players didn’t respond to the format,” Reseburg said.
The Online Pass was a way for EA to combat the sale of used games. New copies of many EA games came with a code that could be redeemed to unlock online content such as multiplayer and additional content. Additional codes had to be purchased from either the PlayStation Network or Xbox Live for $10.
Other publishers such as Ubisoft and Sony followed in EA’s footsteps with online passes of their own. At this time it’s unknown if they too will leave online passes in this generation.
I, like many others, are approaching this situation with narrowed eyes and skepticism This is great news on the surface, but I can’t help but wonder if EA is up to something. Is it really trying to do right by its customers, or is something equally as anti-consumer as an online pass coming down the pipeline? A Microsoft memo indicated the next Xbox wouldn’t require a constant internet connection for single-player games, but we really don’t know anything about games with online functionality.
We’re watching you EA…