Today it’s been reported that Electronic Arts will cease packing games with online passes—cards with one-time codes that give gamers access to post-launch content, and force second-hand buyers into coughing up extra cash to have the same access. For many gamers, online passes are a hassle with no added benefit, seen only as a way for publishers to punish gamers who buy titles used.
The news first broke on VentureBeat, in which John Reseburg from EA’s corporate communications department offered up this statement about the decision to stop using online passes:
“Yes, we’re discontinuing Online Pass. 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. We’ve listened to the feedback and decided to do away with it moving forward. We’re still committed to creating content and services that enhance the game experience well beyond the day you first start playing.”
A follow-up post on GameInformer adds further explanation to EA’s decision. Simply put: people hated it, so they’re getting rid of it. Said EA’s Jeff Brown, VP of corporate communications:
“There’s not much to say. The online pass came out in 2010. It was a way of packaging together a suite of post-launch content and services for people. There was also an element for people who bought the game second sale. It never really caught on. People didn’t like it. People told us that they didn’t like it and you know, we went through a cycle and we’re about to put out some new games and we just decided not to do that anymore. We’re 100 percent committed to creating on-going content and services so the consumers get more value out of the game – you know games like Battlefield and FIFA where there’s all sorts of new things that get added all the time – but the whole idea of packaging it up with an online pass, clearly it was not popular, so we listened to people and we stopped doing it.”
That’s pretty cool, right? No one likes online passes, so now they’re gone. Hooray!