In an email to VentureBeat, Electronic Arts announced it will no longer use the Online Pass program. The decision was made in part in response to negative user feedback.
The Online Pass is a code that enables multiplayer accesss to games like EA’s recent Madden NFL and Battlefield 3. The code can be acquired in two ways: complimentary with new game purchases, or via standalone purchase. It first became available in 2010, and is still used by companies like Activision, Ubisoft, and even Naughty Dog.
EA senior director of corporate communications John Reseburg wrote in the email that Online Pass was “initially launched as an effort to package a full menu of online content and services, but many players didn’t respond to the format.”
It was also seen as a way to combat the re-sale of used games, an EA-initiative fans opposed outwardly and aggressively.
“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 any more,” Jeff Brown, EA’s VP of corporate communications, told GameInformer. “Clearly it was not popular, so we listened to people and we stopped doing it.”
It’s still unclear how this will affect EA games that currently use Online Pass. And we’ll have to wait and see whether more companies will follow EA’s lead and discontinue the unpopular program.