EA has decided to listen to those pesky people some game companies refer to as customers or players and put an end to its Online Pass program.
Yes, we’re discontinuing Online Pass. None of our new EA titles will include that feature. - EA director John Reseburg told GamesBeat today.
Some of their popular titles such as Battlefield 3 or Madden NFL require an Online Pass to use many of the games online features, including multiplayer. An Online Pass would have a one-time, one-console use, so if you bought a used game or wanted to play a game you already owned on another console you would have to purchase another Pass.
Although publishers have offered up a variety of marketing angles to justify programs like Online Pass, players were still resistant. Now, EA says they have listened to player feedback and will end the program. The question is, does this have anything to do with features on the next generation of consoles? We've all heard the rumors of online game verification with both the new X-Box and PS4. Sony has responded to inquiries about whether used games will be locked out, stating that they will not lock them out, but the ability exists for publishers to do so in the system should they desire.
At this point though, I am just being pessimistic after a couple years of EA winning 'Worst Company in America'. Taken at face value, the news sounds good and hopefully other companies that use online passes, like Activision and Ubisoft, will follow suit.
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