It’s been a long time coming: Electronic Arts has finally decided to retire its Online Pass program.
The Online Pass has been a thorn in gamers’ sides since its inception. A cynical method of locking game content behind a one-time use code (decreasing the appeal of purchasing used titles), it has been used to block everything from expanded single-player content to games’ entire online multiplayer modes. Now, after years of championing it, EA is retiring the practice.
Don’t take out word for it, though. EA’s senior director of corporate communications, John Reseburg, said, “Yes, we’re discontinuing Online Pass. None of our new EA titles will include that feature.”
What prompted the decision? According to Reseburg, “… Many players didn’t respond to the format. We’ve listened to the feedback and decided to do away with it moving forward.”
EA is a huge name in game publishing. Theirs has traditionally been the example to follow, as when they replaced the huge boxes PC games used to come in with smaller alternatives that took up less shelf space. Hopefully this is another standard EA’s competitors will also adopt.