EA Will Ditch the Online Pass [Updated]

Indeed. A publisher who has become known for its use of the infamous online pass will completely do away with it for future titles.

Currently, a number of EA games – pretty much any recent EA title with an online or multiplayer component like Battlefield 3, Medal of Honor: Warfighter, or Dead Space 3 – include some sort of online pass code that must be input into your console or platform in order to access the game’s online content.

Should you purchase one of these titles used and that has previously had its online pass redeemed, you would then have to purchase the pass separately (if you want to access the content), putting extra cash in the pocket of the games’ publisher.

EA senior director of corporate communications John Reseburg recently told VentureBeat, “Yes, we’re discontinuing Online Pass. None of our new EA titles will include that feature.”Reseburg went on to mention that the decision was made based on consumer feedback, saying it “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.”

Lastly, Rosenburg added, “we’re still committed to creating content and services that enhance the game experience well beyond the day you first start playing.”


Speaking to EA VP of corporate communications Jeff Brown, GameInformer was able to gather further statements on the matter:

“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.”

Other publishers using online passes have yet to make similar statements.

Looks like Battlefield 4 won’t have an online pass this Fall after all.

Thanks, Kotaku.

  • This is a small step in the right direction for EA. Let’s hope they keep making good choices like this.

    • tanile

      Another good step is them keeping Star Wars games alive!

    • Dyago

      Hopefully Sony, Ubisoft, and other companies will do the same.

  • “initially launched as an effort to package a full menu of online content and services…”

    … you have got to be kidding me. Did he really just say that.

    • Retro

      Who cares, they are ditching it.

  • EA is literally not Hitler this time.

    • Dirtknap

      This pleases me!

  • mrneoshredder

    Now ditch Origin.

    • Ginious

      Eh, Origin isn’t bad, I like it. That’s just a circlejerk thing at this point the way I see it. If anything, I think the in-game UI is one of the best so far. All they need is to expand their origin store and itll be a solid client.

      • Niosus

        It has some serious flaws though. It still shows up in THREE different languages for me at the same time and I can’t find a way to just force it to English everywhere. The store always defaults to french with a sprinkling of Dutch, while the interface is English as I want it. Yes I’ve tried every language changing option multiple times. It doesn’t work. Microsoft is also notorious of doing that. I had exactly the same issue with pretty much any MS service.

        My French isn’t great, so suffice to say I’m not buying anything in their store because of that. Let ME choose the language everything is in. That’s all I ask. Autodetect all you want, but give me the choice… I live in a multi lingual country so there is no way they can get it right for everyone without the option.

        They also don’t support enough payment options. Even if I wanted to buy something on their store, I can’t. Here in Europe debit cards are used a lot more than credit cards but it looks like they don’t care about that.

        Other than that it’s pretty OK I guess… Considering what it does. People just don’t like it because they removed all their games from Steam so now they don’t have a single place to look anymore. Ubisoft did something similar with UPlay, but those game still are on Steam. They don’t get nearly as much shit even though Origin is technically better than UPlay.

        • DanDustEmOff

          You can use your debit card to buy from Origin and MS. You can also change the language during installation and in the settings for Origin and MS

    • DanDustEmOff

      Origin is good I dont see the need for them to ditch it.

    • pot51e

      Nothing wrong with Origin. Does what it says on the tin, does it really well. I remember when steam first arrived – took years to make that solid.

      • DanDustEmOff


  • Sweet mother of Jesus.

  • NeT-ShatterZ

    Finally!!! Cant wait to get BF4 on the PS4

    • game stop 101

      Its going only for 360 none for new systems not confirmed

      • NeT-ShatterZ

        Dude it’s confirmed as a Next gen game lol

        • gamestop 101

          Show me where it says battlefield for next gen please when battlefield comesout in the middle of oct as well the new xbox is confirmed for November. Battlefield is the last shooter for the current gen I’m a store manager at gamestop I’m always on a conference callll with corporate as well as the videogame companies.

          • DanDustEmOff

            Dude do you really think that BF4 will not be on next
            gen systems when its on a two year dev cycle.

            If you are a store manager thats all you are, you manage a store you are not privy to that kind of info.

            • gamestop101

              Please enlighten me how so if bf4 comes out before the new systems and its confirmed for the xbox its not backwards compatible

            • DanDustEmOff

              Dude do you even play computer games or do you live in a cave. It doesnt need to be backwards compatible (which the Xbox is rumoured to have) they can just release the game on the new platform when its launched.

            • ggamestop101

              The new xbox is not backwards compatible if u wanna play backwards compatible games u do need to buy an attachment for the new xbox which will cost about 150

            • MrLadyfingers

              Are you just trolling or…?

            • DanDustEmOff

              The system is rumoured to have a processor dedicated to running old xbox games but thats just a rumour guess we will find out if you are right or not pretty soon.

              Its funny how you think as a game stop employee that
              you’re a part of the gaming worlds inner circle and that you know things that even most MS employees dont.

            • DanDustEmOff

              Hi remember me. BF4 was announced for the Next gen systems today. Care to eat your words, mr I know everything that’s happening in the gaming world because I’m a store manager at game stop?

            • gamestop101

              To prove that a lie I do have high up clearence dumb ass companies do email my corp info and corporate sends a email to all district managers then from him it gets emailed to us store manager s and we relay the information to you dumb asses that don’t know anything

            • DanDustEmOff

              Dude no need to be offensive all the info is heavily protected and under nda I bet you that BF4 is on next gen consoles and if you really think it wont then when its announced im gonna call you up on this.

      • Lilith-is-beast<3
  • Well, this is just a day full of good news for gamers. Thank you for sucking less, E.A.

  • DICK

    what about games that currently do have the passes will they now not require them so I could buy a couple used games without worry?

    • Retro

      They “future games”

    • true fact

      No what ever ea has out now will require a online pass

  • ah good now now have better servers

    • WarHero

      Agreed but atleast they have dedicated servers in their hands and they could keep improving it over time.

  • MegaMan3k

    I never understand the hatred for the online pass.

    • by it used gotta pay $10 and some times the codes don’t work and your locked out of a game. wanna bring BF3 over to your friends house or lend it nope too bad he can only play campaign *and god that sucks* it personally could have been fine if they say let you play for 60 minutes PER day if you bought it used and it just had a time limit i would be fine with online passes but they don’t :/

      • Goldensgods

        I don’t mind online pass since there’s no way i’m lending my game to any friends ( i’ll never get it back lol ) and I never buy used, best to spend the extra money and get it new.

        • Goldensgods

          P.S never had a problem where the codes didn’t work o.O?

          • MegaMan3k

            It happened to some game and so the developer quickly gave everybody a code who could post a receipt. Or something like that.

    • DanDustEmOff

      Really are u trolling?

  • BHill

    Instead, there will be a small “activation fee”

  • TriguyRN

    I never thought I would read those word. Hopefully EA keeps it up. Although, I feel like they will find something worse and screw us over.

  • eBunny

    Am I really the only one who doesn’t hate EA? Because I often feel that way and it often just feels like a lot of people are hating on them just because other people do or for no good reason. It just seems kind of narrow-minded and immature to me, but I guess that’s just me. Anyway, this sounds good 🙂

    • I hate EA. Milking every franchise they have, no patches, and talking about how shit other franchises are…

      • I think they did a good job with BF3 DLCs and premium. Not sure about other franchises.

        However I hate them for forcing us to buy additional copies of BF3 for every BF fan in the family… not allowing us to create multiple soliders like the older BF games.

  • Izzy Bozz

    Is this real life?

  • Wow

    Guess they are finally tired of getting the golden poo award. This is very good news for people who rent or Gamefly.

  • THANK GOD. I am someone who loves the FIFA franchise, but FIFA 13 is literary broken to the point where the game sometimes can’t read or recognize the online pass.

    • FIFA13 is lagfucked on the PS3 than on other consoles.
      So it’s much better AT LEAST they removed the online pass, but EA’s devs are still not even finding solutions to end this shit.

  • pot51e

    I agree this is great – if you look at the pre-owned market there are shelves and shelves of EA titles (along with RAGE and ALIENS) – as nobody wants to pay for a game and pay for an OP. Stupid idea from the get go that has damaged EA’s market share. This cost Lucifer (sorry, I mean John Riccitello) his job at EA. Lets see if EA can manage to avoid the “most hated publisher” prize this year.!

  • DanDustEmOff

    Good news for gamers.

  • Was the BF3 Premium a type of “Online Pass”?? I kinda of liked having all the DLCs in one package at a lessor price. I didnt preorder BF4 yet, hoping that EA will announce a BF4 Premium edition much in advance.

    • Niosus

      Online passes are a key they ship with a game to unlock the multiplayer. They did this to prevent/punish used games sales because the buyer will need to buy another online pass to play online. DLC and premium has very little to do with it.

      See it as a key like on PC games, but just for the multiplayer. You can only activate it on one account, so if you sell the game, the buyer needs to buy a new key to activate the MP on his account. Games that have online passes always ship with one in the box, so for most people it doesn’t really matter.

      • Thanks Mitch and Niosus! That was helpful.. clearly I never had the need of this as I always brought new copy..so never explored this option 🙂

        Frankly , I liked the idea. Dunno how bad the experience with it goes. if I ever sell/giveaway my BF to a friend and he wants to play online too, this is a really good option.

        One thing I hated about BF3 was restricting the profile to one soldier and forcing family of BF fans to buy additional copies (imagine BF3 +Premium for 3 of us). If only they had given us an option to buy a new solider for an additional say $2 or so, it would have been great. I could have my own solider and my brothers their own without shelling out millions of $. Of course I didnt buy additional copies… but I have firends whose wife/sister/dad are also BF fans and ultimately bought more copies to have their own profile. Now thats BAD decision from EA

    • An online pass is needed to play the game’s online features (not all games), no online pass, no online play for certain games.

  • YAY

  • kyuubi_clone

    hopefully this does not mean that used games will be useless. hopefully this does not mean that your game will be tied to ONE console once it’s activated and installed on your system. only time will tell. but for those that already purchase new games this will be a non-issue announcement.

    • pick a name

      Its good since a lot of people buy new games like me it counts when Microsoft listens to me mostly since I am a stock holder I own about 60 percent of the company with stocks the new games will be feature ing a water mark on the games however if u want to play 360 games u will need to buy a attachment like gamestop 101 said

  • I just thought to myself: what if Sony (PS4) and/or Microsoft (Next Xbox) are making the consoles so you need to be always online if the publisher/developer wants you to be (like the online pass now). That would be a good point for dropping the online pass for the publishers/developers.

    • dpg70

      Ha! That was my initial thought as well. They don’t need the pass anymore!

      Bottom line, if your game is good the used sale is going to net you more in DLC. If your game sucks, well then you deserve to get nothing out of it past the sucker that made initial purchase anyway.

    • Guarantee this is it they won’t need them any longer

  • dpg70

    Interesting change of heart. Honestly, I never had a problem with it. Why shouldn’t the publisher/developer get a little something out of a used game sale when the store (looking at you Gamestop) is profiting 200-300%? I don’t fault them one bit for wanting a piece of that. $10 is a little steep, but it could be $2 and people would still hate it.

    You buy a new game for $60, a week later they’ll give you $18 for it and then turn around and sell it for $55. And to top it off they push the used copy over the new and don’t tell average Joe Consumer that that there is a $10 online pass you’ll have to buy to play the multiplayer, which negates the paltry $5 that they saved buying used.

  • WarHero

    Perhaps EA will find light in the dark tunnels they created if they keep going to right direction..EA may have hope after all.

  • BigDaddyACTUAL

    As for EA… can’t help thinking this is a reflex from being voted the worlds worst company in an effort to regain some kind of reputation, coupled with the fact that its more lucrative to offer microtransactions. Why charge people to want to play online when you can give them a free game with microtransaction availability and sit back and watch the money roll in. It seemed to work with Real Racing 3.

  • Renobeguh

    Its seeming very likely that the next generation xbox will support a one time purchase and install format for new games. In other words, you buy a game, install it and then you don’t need the disk anymore to play it. Sounds great right? Wrong, because when you install the game it binds itself to your gamer profile so only you can play it. Essentially what this does in guarantee that you can’t let a friend borrow the game to play or sell it once you’ve used it up. If you do sell it or let someone borrow it, guess what, they have to PAY to ACTIVATE the used copy of the game to play it. This is the overlord of maneuvers in opposition of the second hand game market. The only reason EA got rid of the online pass scheme was to grab some positive publicity before it becomes the industry standard. Do you really think for a second EA ditched online passes out of the kindness of their hearts? Don’t believe the hype guys, EA and Microsoft are playing you and pretending to be the good guys by flowering up their press releases. In my opinion, I bought the damn game, I can play it, smash it, burn it, fry it in the microwave or let a friend play. You know why I can do these things? I bought it, its my property.