EA Shutters Seven Kingdoms of Amalur Quests Behind Online Pass

Seems publishers cannot get enough of this online pass idea, with even a single-player RPG like Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning getting one.

Electronic Arts’ Kingdoms of Amalur online pass is worrisome, though, signaling a shift we’ve been seeing from publishers — away from holding back things like multiplayer, and toward holding back actual story-oriented content. The Amalur online pass, as Destructoid reports, locks up a full questline made up of seven individual quests; buy the game used and that questline will run you $10, the standard going rate on online passes for other titles.

Amalur isn’t the first game to close off some single-player content behind a pass, but it is perhaps the most troubling. RAGE had an online pass included in the game that gave players access to a few hidden sewer areas, but no actual story content. Batman: Arkham City walled off the Catwoman playable content with a pass, but that wasn’t strictly necessary to get the full story out of the game (although it’s a huge bummer not to have).

It’s worth noting that the Mass Effect 3 tie-in armor content, which is part of a cross-promotion between both games, is also tied to the online pass.

As Jim Sterling points out, this doesn’t exactly sound like a vote of confidence in the game’s staying power from publisher EA, since it seems to think people are going to sell the title back to a used game store if the value of that game isn’t somehow reduced. To my mind, though, it’s more troublesome, showing more and more the control over a product post-sale that publishers think they can exert — always at the cost of the consumer.

I mean, think about it. They’re starting to close off portions of the game you paid for behind a code you have to redeem to pay the game you paid for. Hope your Internet connection is solid (or that you have one). Also, say goodbye to lending things to your friends so they can try them.

Need some help on your fantasy adventure through Kingdom of Amalur: Reckoning? Check out Game Front’s text and video walkthrough right here.

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10 Comments on EA Shutters Seven Kingdoms of Amalur Quests Behind Online Pass


On January 27, 2012 at 3:05 pm

wtf, why are they doing this crap? they only f*ck up for those who buys this crap and wants to play it! are they really this gready? cause i mean, kingdoms of amalur for example, is a game you can easily download from any torrent site. so why pay for it? it doesn’t make the game more attractive if you ad something that will cost more money, as it already costs your shirt, shoes and wife to buy a game.
i pre-ordered this game via Steam for 49,99€. and now i have to pay even more for the full experience? bullsh*t EA.

well well, what to do? the only I can do in this situation is to bend over a little bit more so they can have their ways with me.


On January 27, 2012 at 3:47 pm

I thought you were leasing a game from the publisher? You never actually own the game lol.


On January 27, 2012 at 6:00 pm

It is becoming more and more apparent that these gaming company’s only enjoy taking advantage of people that pre order or buy games around the time of release.

Look at all the benefits you get for waiting 6 to 12 months, not only do you get the game cheaper usually saving around 50% off but you can usually score all those addon’s for free as an incentive to buy the product.

For me the question is why are they so desperate to nickle and dime people that buy the games on release? Shouldn’t it be the other way around!? why not have extra quests free for people that buy the game within the first 3 months of release and then stack on other charges to counter the decrease in the retail price?


On January 27, 2012 at 6:17 pm

looks like i will be pirating this and all ea games from now on me and about 5000 people a certain anti ea group


On January 28, 2012 at 8:39 am

And they hope to stop “piracy” with this BS. I can understand the pass for multiplayer modes, but this BS come on. Hope this gets pirate the hel out to show them whats truly unfair.
So who’s going to sue?


On January 28, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Pirating is not a solution, but not buying the product tell its on sale or maybe just never buying it or playing it is.

Two wrongs don’t make a right.


On January 29, 2012 at 12:53 am

“The House of Valor content was not in the finished game/disc at one point, then removed. It isn’t there and we’re locking you out of it. The House of Valor was created as stand-alone content, and was always intended to be the first DLC. Instead of holding onto it and charging for it later, we opted to give it to everyone who purchases the game new, for free, on launch day.”

-says Muse, their community manager.

So I think it might not be that bad afterall.. to get something extra for buying it on launch (I know I will).


On January 30, 2012 at 10:47 am

You don’t have to pay more if you buy the game new. It seems the online pass thing is working out for publishers. It makes no difference to me, since I play on PC. In any case, I’m sure there’ll be cheap online deals a couple of months after this comes out and you’ll be able to get a new copy for the same price as a used copy, maybe even with some extra DLC added in.

Why complain? The deals will be there if you just wait a second, and saying you’re going to pirate the game does NOT give you the moral high ground. Frankly, I’m amazed that some people seem to think it does.

I can wait. I got super deals on Shogun 2, Napoleon Total War, Portal 2 and LA Noir over Christmas (less than $10 each!) and I haven’t even begun to play any of them. By the time I’m done with those, I expect Amalur could be had for $15 or so new.


On February 3, 2012 at 10:03 am

Please read articles. Don’t just believe everything you read either . The DLC is free for anyone who buys the game brand new. If you buy the game brand new 3 months from now chances are the the free pass code will still be there, and you will get the content. The content is being cut off from those who wait 8 months to buy a game used. I feel 38 Studios and Big Huge Games have done a great job of making the game more enjoyable for people like me who are fortunate enough to have the disposable income to pre order a game. The moral of the story folks check your facts and don’t be cheap if you can afford it. These people spend YEARS making these games. Don’t crap on them till you’ve tried their product. It’s petty.

PS. If you preordered you still get the extra quest line.

Phil Hornshaw

On February 3, 2012 at 8:38 pm


Actually, guy, the story about the quest line being shuttered behind the online pass came out first, THEN EA, 38 and Big Huge Games commented as the story gained attention that it was DLC they’d locked behind an online pass. It was in response to backlash from players that the information came out that, instead of locking part of single player content behind a code, they were actually GIVING YOU DLC.

Now, how you interpret the situation based on that information is up to you. You can choose to see the situation as EA wanting to use an online pass and deciding to make it a gift to players — which is the way the publisher would prefer — or you can see that as the way the company chose to spin the situation after it came under pressure from players — a much more cynical viewpoint. THAT choice is yours.

As it stands, this story was written BEFORE EA’s explanation (and spin) was put on the story. Personally, I don’t buy that the online pass is an act of charity. Neither does Jim Sterling.