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EA cancels Online Pass second hand game initiative


Online Pass

EA has put and end to its controversial Online Pass initiative following widespread player disapproval.

"Yes, we're discontinuing Online Pass," EA's John Reseburg told VentureBeat, before confirming that "none of our new EA titles will include that feature."

Launched in 2010, EA's Online Pass was established alongside numerous rival efforts in a bid to claw back some funds from the thriving second hand games market. As things stood, only retailers such as Game and HMV profited from the process of selling on used video games.

Online Pass ensured that buyers of pre-owned EA software had to pay a one-off fee (usually around £10) for access to online features such as multiplayer or additional playable characters.

However, Reseburg has revealed that "many players didn't respond to the format." He claims that EA has "listened to the feedback" - most likely in the form of disappointing sales figures as much as negative comments - "and decided to do away with it moving forward."

For those worried that this will mean a reduction in effort and resources when it comes to creating rich online content, Reseburg assures you that "we're still committed to creating content and services that enhance the game experience well beyond the day you first start playing."

This prompts the question: has the online pass bubble burst? Will we see EA's major rivals Ubisoft and Activision cancelling their own second hand game money making initiatives before the PS4 and Xbox Infinity launch at the turn of the year?

Why not read about our picks for the best games of 2013 so far?


May 16, 2013, 8:58 am

Lower the "barrier to entry" from the completely ridiculous £60 per game brand new and you'll remove the *need* to sell second hand games to fund the next purchase!

Valve have shown time and time again that more profit is made during slashed price sale periods than during general sale (most famously with Left4Dead) and EA's recent response of "it cheapens the brand" just adds to the problem significantly!

Spike Black

May 17, 2013, 9:26 am

I know a few people who refuse to pay for new titles instead waiting for them to be reduced in price - in some cases very quickly or just wait for other people to trade them in after a couple of weeks reducing the price might have a little more effect but it won't stop people just swapping or lending to friends.
The other favourite is the bonus codes for pre-ordering. A lot of the time the bonus is worthless, a special gun or outfit. Only occasionally is it worth the extra money

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