In an email with VentureBeat, EA confirmed that they have officially discontinuing their online pass system. EA’s Senior Director of Corporate communications John Reseburg said today
“Yes, we’re discontinuing Online Pass. None of our new EA titles will include that feature.”
“Initially launched as an effort to package a full menu of online content and services, many players didn’t respond to the format. We’ve listened to the feedback and decided to do away with it moving forward.”
The online pass system began in the late 2000’s and has become a point of contention amongst the gaming fans and publishers. The pass required gamers to input a code before being able to access much of the content during the game; for example in Madden you have to use the code to play online and in Kingdoms of Amaluar: Reckoning you had to have the code to play a certain quest-line (You could buy the pass online for 9.99). This new move by EA can only be seen as good PR in the wake of the bad press of winning The Consumerist’s “Worst Company in America” for the second year in a row and the botched launch of SimCity.
This reporters take: I like this idea. The online passes are just plain annoying. If EA wants to continue to incentivise people to buy new then offer extra things like skins or maybe a bonus map if the game is bought new. The cynic in me worries that this is just a lead into all EA games requiring always online DRM, but I’m going to be positive here and praise EA for a good decision. Good on you, EA
by, Bobby Marquardt