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EA moving away from Online Pass programs

William Schwartz on

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Going forward, EA will no longer be using their unpopular “online pass” scheme. “None of our new EA titles will include that feature,” the company recently announced. An initiative that sparked nearly an entire industry of game publishers to start packing in codes with their games is apparently widely unpopular with consumers… go figure.

The online pass mechanic from EA was pretty straight forward. It added no benefit for consumers of the product who purchased the game new, and was obviously in place to deter second hand sales and piracy.

The online pass “initially launched as an effort to package a full menu of online content and services, many players didn’t respond to the format,” said EA’s John Reseburg, director of communications for the publisher. “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.”

While EA might have been the first to jump into the business of locking away content behind the pass, the idea quickly spread to almost all game publishers. Will EA now being the trend in the other direction?