The publisher that started it all, Electronic Arts, has revealed that all future titles, including their EA Sports lineup, will no longer contain the online passes that were the subject of much controversy since their introduction
in 2010. In an e-mail to Gamesbeat
, EA Senior Director of Corporate Communications John Reseburg confirmed the surprising news: “Yes, we’re discontinuing Online Pass. None of our new EA titles will include that feature”. The reason behind the change was brought on in part by consumer feedback. “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 elimination of the online pass and the reasons behind it seem to contradict earlier reports that the online pass was not affecting sales detrimentally and, in fact, generated between 10-15 million dollars of revenue in 2010-2011 alone (via Gamasutra
). Of course this practice was a hot button topic amongst gamers, of which many publicly declared they wouldn’t support the publisher going forward. It’s hard to say how many people followed through with their declarations, especially with big name franchises like Mass Effect
tempting our gaming palettes.
Of course, we’re a few days away
from the unveiling of the next Xbox, and still not completely
filled in on how the PS4 will handle used games, so this next generation of hardware could change our outlook entirely. One thing we can take away from all of this is that eliminating the online pass will give EA some positive momentum going into the next-generation.
Thanks to the [many] community members who suggested this story.