Players spoke and EA (finally) decided to listen! EA’s use of online passes is a thing of the past, according to an interview with GamesBeat. John Reseburg, senior director of corporate communications at EA, announced via email that no future EA games will have content restricted by online passes. Online Passes were designed as a way to combat profits lost to the used game market. In the case of EA, online passes often locked features like access to online multiplayer modes behind an access code. The one-use code was included in copies of new games or, if the game was purchased second hand, offered to players for a fee. Major EA releases such as Battlefield 3 and Dead Space 2 both locked multiplayer modes behind the passes. Other games, like Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning awarded additional content to those who bought the game new. Reseburg stated that players responded badly to the passes and says the change is largely a result of that.
As someone who has been on both the buying and selling side of the used game market, I can’t say I’m sad to see them go. It’s hard to get into the details of Online Passes without getting into that whole ‘used games’ debate, but at least I might be able to borrow games from my friends without having to buy a pass to get at the multiplayer. Everything aside, I sincerely doubt this will be the last we hear from EA on the anti-used campaign.