EA To Launch Online Pass Program
We just got finished saying that gamers are bigger fans of EA than Activision these days, but perhaps the quest for more money will rub some consumers the wrong way.
As reported by Industry Gamers, EA is set to launch a registration program for their upcoming games. It's basically a premium subscription and it's designed to offer members additional downloadable and exclusive content. EA will debut the "Pass" with Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 and then continue to release the Pass for all EA sports titles. EA Sports head man Peter Moore said this new program allows the company "to accelerate our commitment to enhance premium online services to the entire robust EA Sports online community." Now, here's the catch- if you buy the game new, you won't have to pay anything; you'll simply have to sign up and then go...however, if you buy it used, you have to pay $10 to get the Pass, which will be required to play the game online. Obviously, gamers really aren't used to this; paying $10 for an Online Pass in addition to buying the game, and apparently because they bought a used product. Just bear one thing in mind: only the retailer makes any profit on a used game; the publishers and developers never make a dime on the resale of titles, which is why so many have a problem with GameStop's program.
Clearly, this is a way for EA to get paid for their games technically being sold time and time again. Even so, it may not go over well. EA Senior Vice President of Worldwide Development Andrew Wilson had this to say:
"It’s quite simple – every game will come with a game-specific, one-time use registration code with each unit sold new at retail. With your Online Pass, you’ll have access to multiplayer online play, group features like online dynasty and leagues, user created content, and bonus downloadable content for your game including, for example, a new driver in Tiger...we think it’s fair to get paid for the services we provide and to reserve these online services for people who pay EA to access them. In return, we’ll continue to invest in creating great games and offer industry-leading online services to extend the game experience to everyone. I don’t think even the harshest cynic can argue with that and instead I think fans will see the value we’re committing to deliver when they see all the services, features and bonus content that is extending the life of their products."
I'm sure there will be some vocal complaints about this but please, consider it from all angles before freaking out.
5/10/2010 9:09:23 PM Ben Dutka