There will be more Online Passes for all future EA games.
The Online Pass popped up this generation of consoles as a way for developers to get some form of revenue from second-hand games. Publishers do not receive a cent from this very lucrative market and designed the $14.99 Online Pass in order to try and make some money. Now, one very huge publisher is backing away from the Online Pass.
EA, who was one of the first to being incorporating the Online Pass into games, is backing away from the practice. In an interview with VentureBeat, EA’s John Reseburg confirmed that all future EA games will ship without an 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,” Reseburg said. “We’ve listened to the feedback and decided to do away with it moving forward.”
The Online Pass has been a source of controversy since it’s inception. Online Passes are a simple code that can be redeemed on PSN, Xbox Live, PC or Nintendo eShop that then unlocks the multiplayer component of a game. It came free with all new copies of a game, but those who purchased a game second-hand would have to fork over $14.99 for the pass. EA games that needed a pass included Battlefield 3, Mass Effect 3, Dead Space 2 and the FIFA series among others.
It is unknown if other publishers like Ubisoft or Sony will follow EA’s path and give up on Online Passes.