EA’s new titles will no longer carry the Online Pass after the company decided to discontinue the program due to player responses. The Online Pass program requires players to activate a Pass through a code for a one-time use and to enjoy a game’s online features, that include multiplayer modes.
A code is available for a fee and can be used by a non-owner of a game console. The feature is less popular among players who see it as something restrictive when it comes to second-hand games. Even retailers are of the opinion that used games will only drive sales for new games. EA’s about-face seems to be a reaction to anti-consumer poll’s top biller, despite the success of the program. The Online Pass program also allows users to avail of downloadable contents and bundled copies of games as well as multiplayer access. The system is still being used by rivals Ubisoft and Activision.
Although EA is not specific as to what future games are covered by “no online-pass” policy, it is of course understood to include those under development and those about to be released such as NHL 14, FIFA 14, Battlefield 4, and The Sims 4. Given the negative feedbacks from consumers, EA’s decision seems to be permanent for now. Now that’s an interesting and exciting news for second-hand gamers out there.