Controversial EA Online Pass Program to be Phased Out

In an effort to discourage used game sales, publishers like Activision and EA have implemented an online pass system for their most popular titles in recent years. The plan was to make $10-15 off of pre-owned customers by charging them for online game access after the one-use code included with new copies of the game had been redeemed. Obviously, fans were understandably upset about this “used game tax”. Today, EA surprised us all by announcing an end to online passes for all EA-published games.

From GamesBeat:

“Yes, we’re discontinuing Online Pass,” EA senior director of corporate communications John Reseburg confirmed to GamesBeat in an e-mail. “None of our new EA titles will include that feature.”


“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.”

Additionally, EA plans to focus more on post-release content, which should have been their goal all around. When trying to sell to a customer, your product should be all about “yes, and” and not “no, but.” Gating content, or offering more? What’s more of a motivator for purchases? Clearly, the fans have spoken. Hopefully Activision will follow suit soon and help bring back the age of the game as a product, not as a service.

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