EA Making Xbox 360 Online Passes Free, Other Platforms Coming
Electronic Arts is expanding its pledge to discontinue its “online passes” to include its currently available games, starting with EA Sports titles and others appearing on Xbox Live.
EA previously used online passes to limit used sales of its games, requiring a pass to access certain content on game discs — usually multiplayer components. A code came packaged with the games when bought at retail, which players would need to upload to Xbox Live, the Playstation Network or EA’s Origin platform in order to access the online portions of the game.
Last month, EA announced it would be discontinuing the online pass program on games going forward, because, it said, players didn’t like it. That change is also applying to games that are currently available, with online passes dropping to free on Xbox Live.
In an email to Game Front, EA said these first online pass changes would soon extend to the rest of its catalog on Xbox Live and to PSN as well.
“As we discontinue Online Pass for our new EA titles, we are also in the process of eliminating it from all our existing EA titles as well,” wrote John Reseburg, EA’s senior director of Corporate Communications. “We heard the feedback from players and decided to do away with Online Pass altogether.
“Players will see it first with some EA SPORTS titles, where a prompt to enter an Online Pass code will no longer appear in-game; with other titles we are simply making Online Passes available free of charge online.
“These are rolling updates that are taking effect over the next several weeks. We hope players continue to enjoy our games and online services for a long time to come.”
It still is yet to be seen if some other system will replace the online pass system to limit used game sales in the next generation. As far as the Xbox One is concerned, Microsoft seems ready to implement a system that will limit or otherwise change the used game market, but what Sony has planned in that department for its Playstation 4, if anything, has not yet been announced.
Publishers and developers previously have worked to circumvent the used sales of their games, because sales of pre-owned copies take place without the publisher receiving any revenue from the sale, but players have expressed dissatisfaction with many of those systems.