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.

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5 Comments on EA Making Xbox 360 Online Passes Free, Other Platforms Coming


On May 30, 2013 at 12:33 pm

Finally, I can start to think that EA has respect for its customers. EA this is a step in the right direction keep it up.


On May 30, 2013 at 1:24 pm

Consider me surprised that EA is doing this, but from time to time they make a positive step. Although, it doesn’t really affect me much since I don’t plan on buying any games from EA in the future.


On May 30, 2013 at 10:52 pm

This is a “backhanded compliment” from EA. The only reason they are doing this is because they are going to be one of the first companies to take advantage of the (supposedly optional) XBone’s second game fee.

Tom Gibbon

On May 31, 2013 at 3:55 am

No doubt ‘lol’ will chime in after school about how this is proof of excellent practices from EA to appease whining brats, as opposed to the obvious truth of what it really is – a meek, begrudging admittance that EA’s policy of charging gamers to play their games AFTER they’ve already bought them DOES NOT WORK. It’s led directly to EA’s shares falling off a cliff. It’s either ‘grow up or die’ time for EA and its mindless, obedient followers.


On May 31, 2013 at 11:08 pm

Great i just bought battlefield 3 because i coulden’t rent it because of these passes then a day later they announce this screw u ea