EA has taken the decision to discontinue the use of Online Passes for games with a multi-player component, a decision that was motivated by the negative feedback the company received from gamers.
EA's senior director of corporate communications, John Reseburg, revealed the decision in an email exchange with Gamesbeat
.“Yes, we’re discontinuing Online Pass,” said Reseburg, adding that “none of our new EA titles will include that feature.”
The Online Pass was a short numerical code, packaged with every new game that contained an online multi-player mode, eg. Battlefield 3, FIFA
and Mass Effect 3
.The code was redeemable only once and activating the online multi-player mode for play. If the game was used on another console/pc or with another user account that did not redeem an Online Pass for that game, the online multi-player mode would be inoperative. Effectively, that meant if a gamer lent or sold their copy of a game that used an Online Pass, the person they passed it on to would not be able to use the online multi-player mode. New codes could purchased to activate multi-player for $10.
The system was originally introduced as a way to mitigate secondhand sales of games, forcing gamers to either buy new, or spend money on the pass itself if they did buy secondhand.
With EA now deciding to do away with the system, one can only hope that the rest of publishers will follow suit. Whether the removal of the Online Pass system will be retroactive remains to be seen.
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