In a surprising move the behemoth known as EA have announced that they will be ditching their Online Pass, a system which has been used in numerous games now despite the very vocal gaming community expressing their utter distaste of the practice, a practice introduced to allow publishers and developers to try to earn some money off of pre-owned game sales by making the consumer purchase an Online Pass directly from them to access the online components of a game. New copies of the game came with an Online Pass in the box.
EA’s senior director of communications told GamesBeat in an Email that: “Yes, we’re discontinuing Online Pass. None of our new EA titles will include that feature.”
Given that EA have been one of the strongest supporters of the Online Pass this is a surprising announcement, but one that’s very much welcomed. It also goes hand in hand with their recent revealing that The Sims 4 would be DRM free, another announcement which brought a smile to many gamer’s faces.
“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. “We’ve listened to the feedback and decided to do away with it moving forward.”
It’s hard not to believe that there’s another reason why EA have chosen to ditch the system, though. Reseburg cites negative customer feedback as the cause, but surely if that were the case they would have abandoned the system quite a while ago when it was very clear that no matter how much it was shoved down consumers throats people weren’t going to simply accept it. As such we’re left to wonder exactly why EA have chosen to stop Online Passes.
Moving forward it will be interesting to see if other companies follow suite, such as Ubisoft.