Can EA’s Online Pass Be justified?

Over the past few years, EA has managed to sneak in its online pass code into a few of its games. Is this really justified?

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Yi-Long2429d ago (Edited 2429d ago )

... IF they make sure they keep the servers for those games up and running for at least 10 years or whatever.

Now, you see people buy a relatively new game 1-2 years old and read that although it's being advertised as having MP, EA takes the servers down and they are basically missing out on a huge part of the game.

Personally though, I feel the whole Online Pass thing is horrible. What happens when you somehow lose your account for whatever reason, or you want to take the game to a friend's house on a sleep-over, or there are other people in the household who want to take the game online and it only has an online pass for 1 account... etc etc etc.

Not to mention the problem that it pretty much kills the online community for a game much faster, cause certainly not all gamers who buy a game 2nd hand will invest in buying a new online pass, thus you won't see those online ...

I think the industry should stop taking content out of games, and start offering value for money so people will be more inclined to buy their games, and will also want to hang on to them, instead of selling them after a month orso.

If a developer announces FREE DLC-support will follow 3 months after release, many gamers won't be selling their game!

It's as simple as that.

That means those games won't be hitting the 2nd hand market, thus meaning gamers who are interested will have a harder time finding 2nd hand copies, thus more inclined to just buy a new copy, plus free DLC is already an incentive to support a developer/publisher!

Titanz2429d ago

Other development companies will develop those same genres, with better content, at a reasonable prices. I'm not expecting a miracle from 2K games, but..., you never know.

Kahvipannu2428d ago (Edited 2428d ago )

Good points, agree mostly.

Personally I have no problem with online passes if they aren't overpriced, and you get one with new copy of the game. I bought one for BF:BC2 (used) and played the hell out of it, and the free DLC helped a lot as you stated. Also I borrowed UC3 from a friend, and payed the 10 € for the mp, I had few evening of fun of it. Good deals, and I know I supported the devs, I like to do that.

Hell, I payed 6 months of subscription fee for Eve-online after I quited playing it, why? Becouse I loved what the devs had done, and I want to see they keep working, it's good for the industry. Every game you buy used, doesn't give anything to the devs, which is a bad thing, tought as a consumer I can't blame anyone doing it.

But as you stated, I want something money worth if I pay it, like working online, maybe dedicated servers, play with my friends as f.ex. splitscreen with that pass, etc..

I'm more worried about these "Elite" features what CoD offers, and DLC. As a mostly PC gamer when I see for example what Epic did, recolored guns for 3 € for GeOW3? What?

They used to be PC dev back time who praised modding. Hell, GeOW 1 had all DLC free, and they added content for the PC version, now they are dismissing the PC platform (and please give as Shadow Complex already) altogether, and selling skins that I could do in few minutes as mods.. Same thing Valve did with Portal 2, skins shop for content that obviously was on the disc at launch.. Valve, really?

It's laughable. I'm ok paying for content what f.ex. RS releases, add-ons, content that the devs obviously spent a lot time and resourses obviously, but extra skins and shit is just stupid, unless your an free to play game that relies of it. Publishers have noticed how easy it is to milk console market, and we as consumers/gamers are the ones taking the hit for it...

Magnus2429d ago

I think the online pass is a way to be greedy. They want to make more money off the same title that was already purchased new off the shelf and off a title that has ran its course. I own the game I should be able to sell the game after it brought me joy and fun. So someone who hums and haws about the game their not sure if they want to buy it they rent it at a movie store and they like it chances are they will buy the game. Why be out $60 bucks for an over hyped title that is suppose to be a great title but turns out it has flopped big time. I would rather be out $10 bucks then $60 for a game that trades in at half the value. Some of these companies like EA or Capcom or who ever forget that some of their fans cannot afford a new game off the shelf like everybody else. If a parent can't afford to put their kid in an after school activity a used title for $40 provides a means of entertainment for them. An online pass hurts those people its like EA is turning their backs on those who game on a budget.

Online passes will lead to trouble like hackers hacking the servers then what they shut down the servers. And I can't play online with the online pass I bought with the game waste of cash and the fans will demand someones head on a pole. An online pass hurts people who game honestly because some hacker is pissed off. If you want people to enjoy the games get rid of online passes there nothing but being greedy. Way it works I buy the game I own the game I can do what ever I want with the game if I want to sell the game to some kid who might enjoy it as much as I did i am going to do it. But I can't do it now because of the online passes. And now I try to avoid games with online passes. God I wish we had the SNES and Sega Genesis those were great gaming years when developers actually gave a shit about their fans. And games were actually fun to play and had great stories. Everything now is sequal after sequal shooter after shooter.

Wolfbiker2428d ago

Lets say you make a product and then sell it for $20. You then find out that your product has over 1 million registered users....but you only have sales showing for 600k of those million registered users....that means that you missed out on 400k units if sales...give or take. someone else capitalized on your product..that's not very fair!

on the flip side, pre owned purchases are in just about all markets except digital media (where piracy is rampant) and I don't without retailers like Gamestop the gaming industry wouldn't be where it is today...but the inflation of used game prices is ridiculous because once something is bought new it should lose at least 30% in value in the resell world.

Yi-Long2428d ago

... 400k of them decided to sell it after a short period of time.

As a developer, you should be making sure that your gamers will want to hang on to their copies. It's as simple as that.

And you can achieve that by first (obviously) creating a great worthwhile game, and secondly making sure it offers enough value for money and future incentives like free DLC to make them keep on to it.

gypsygib2429d ago

Just wait until they charge everyone yearly online subscription fees.

Blame the fact that the majority of gamers now spend most of their time playing MP over SP.

Kahvipannu2428d ago (Edited 2428d ago )

I don't know, that is propably most definitelly the case with consoles, like we see with "services" (read ripp off) like CoD-Elite, and laughable priced DLC.. But for PC it's a bit different thing..

For example PC online games has been heading towards free to play consept, pay what you want. New Guid Wars is going to be monthly subscription free, and there is insane ammount of games going ftp.. It's all about how the devs pull it out, is the pricing/content right. Also SP is strong still withing PC players, I don't see it going away at any point.

gypsygib2428d ago

If that's the case I become a PC gamer...mostly, my fav games are still a few console exclusives.

Kahvipannu2428d ago

All I can say, my X0 and PS3 are mostly collecting dust.. I have only played UC3 with PS3 latelly. PC has a lot more to offer, is way cheaper games wise, and is 100 times more versatible.

Now I play 2 games that are free to play, Vindictus, and APB Reloaded, and UFO: AI which is fan made X-Com clone, free to download and play. Also Lord of the rings and Warhammer mods for Medieval 2, M2 and add-on's cost these days what, 9 €? Tons of games/mods to play on PC, too many to play them all. At times I regret for getting consoles in the first place, but when a game like UC3 comes out, I'm happy I still have them..

kreate2428d ago

It doesnt matter. They have every right to charge for a online pass as much as microsoft charging for online play.

Hicken2428d ago

Oh, sure they do. And we have every right to not buy their games.

A bunch of people will be too ignorant NOT to, though, so EA will make their money, figure out they can keep doing it that way, and the rest of us will either have to deal with this new tactic, or get out of gaming. I've got a pretty decent backlog of games, and there are plenty that I don't own yet, so I'd be set for some time, but I still wouldn't like HAVING to quit gaming to prevent greedy people from squeezing money out of me.

BrutallyBlunt2428d ago

It's only justified if the consumer is well aware of the cost and the length of support. OnLive tells you that access will last at least a certain amount of time (2 years I believe).

EA can do as they wish, it's their investment. We are only there for the ride so how can we argue against it other than buying the product or not? We as consumers need to educate ourselves on what the online passes represent and that we don't have unlimited access even though we bought the game. We also need to educate ourselves into knowing used merchandise must come with less value. It works with all other things we buy so why should games be exempt? Games don't devalue like cars so they must be devalued in other ways because we want part of the proceeds to go back to those who create the games we want to continue to enjoy. Otherwise it can collapse on itself. Piracy and used games act as one to a publisher in a sense those who play those games are not supporting those who made the game. One could argue it could open up potential customers if they enjoy the game but that's what demo's are for.

vortis2428d ago

Dude, the used games market helps the retail market and it's the reason gaming keeps growing.

The death of gaming will come at the hands of big publishers, mark my words.

Also, get educated on how much these guys actually make. EA makes close to $1 billion per quarter...the used game market and piracy IS NOT HURTING THEM. They just see an opportunity to cash in on ignorant, uninformed gamers and a lot of people buy into their BS that "used game sales are killing the industry."

It's a huge misconception and gamers need to wake up and smell themselves being raped, otherwise there won't be anything else left to rape.

BrutallyBlunt2428d ago

Ok smart guy, then explain to me how used games sales helps publishers. Now explain to me how piracy helps them as well. You're kidding yourself if piracy has not had any impact. The only raping going on are those who continue to pirate games and justify it by saying silly things like they already make lots of money.

vortis2425d ago

Dude, don't be dense.

The retail game market alone makes nearly double of what Hollywood intakes annually and it makes more than the movie and music industry combined.


You're ignoring facts for some reason but I just stated that EA and Activision make close to $5 billion a year. The used market and piracy HAS no effect.

Stop being dense and get educated about the market. They're just using your ignorance to spread misinformation and misconceptions.

Google is your friend, use it to get informed.

cyclonus0072424d ago

The used market represents lost revenue to publishers. If you controlled a publisher and you found out that used games are the difference between making five billion dollars instead of six, you might be persuaded to do something about that. If not, your shareholders may want to replace you with someone who will.

Hence, the Online Pass.

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