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.