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Sunday, May 19, 2024

EA to Discontinue Online Pass Program

Good news for gamers everywhere – EA has decided to stop it’s Online Pass program, a controversial form of DRM.

EA Online Pass

For the last 3 years the number of games requiring an online pass has increased as several publishers, including EA, have incorporated the system in order to deter consumers from buying second-hand copies of their titles. This has often restricted content like multiplayer modes and in some cases single-player content too, much to the annoyance of many gamers.

It appears that players’ views on the matter have finally been recognised, as EA’s motives for the decision are said to be due to poor player response. Hopefully other publishers will soon follow suit.

Here’s the full story from Games Industry International:

[quote]EA has decided to stop its Online Pass program based on poor player response. The company launched the program – an extension of its Project $10 program for Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age: Origins – three years ago, as a defense against second-hand game sales. Online passes were available on all EA titles with a significant online component, including Battlefield 3, Madden NFL, and FIFA. The one-time use codes forced second-hand buyers to pay for a $10 digital key to unlock online modes.

EA senior director of corporate communications John Reseburg confirmed toVentureBeat that the program was going away. Reseburg said that player response to online passes was poor.

“Yes, we’re discontinuing Online Pass,” said Reseburg. “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.”

“We’re still committed to creating content and services that enhance the game experience well beyond the day you first start playing,” Reseburg added.

EA was one of the originators, but Sony, Activision, and Ubisoft are among the publishers that use online passes today.[/quote]

I'm a 35 year old, self-confessed media junkie from London. I currently work as a tester in digital media (some say I get paid to watch telly) and also worked as a games tester in the past. I also spend a lot of my spare time watching films and playing video games. Thankfully I have a very understanding wife, who allows me time to do so.

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