EA Sticking To Removal Of Online Passes After Xbox One News

In May EA announced they were dropping their controversial but now widely accepted (and copied) Online Pass system. Many assumed this was due to the Xbox One’s restrictive DRM policies, but according to a spokesperson for the publisher nothing has changed after Microsoft’s dramatic and rather unexpected reversal last night.


“There is no change to our decision to discontinue Online Pass,” EA’s senior director of corporate communications John Reseburg told Polygon. “It is dead.”

“As we said a few weeks ago, none of our new EA titles will include online pass, and we are removing it from existing games as well,” Reseburg said. “Nothing else on today’s news, but did want to be clear that our online pass decision was based on player feedback, and there’s no change.”

The Online Pass system was designed to ensure publishers got some revenue back from pre-owned games, forcing those that picked up a second-hand title to pay out again (usually around £7) for a ‘pass’ to play online, or unlock certain single player features. EA were first, but others followed quickly.

Last night Microsoft announced that the Xbox One would not launch with restrictive DRM on used games, allowing gamers to freely trade titles at the expense of certain sharing functionality.



  1. good.

    i will reward EA by buying their games new again.
    when they have games that i want.

    and i really want Dragon Age 3.

    have they done anything about removing the passes from PS3 games yet?

    i know they made their passes free on 360, but have they done the same with the PS3 versions yet?

    • I downloaded about a dozen this week, some games just had updates instead so they don’t need an online pass

  2. No way they could have backtracked on this one. They want to be liked again, remember?

    Anyway, online passes never really made them much money. I think I read somewhere that the figure was $10 million across all their games last year. FIFA FUT brought in $150 million through microtransactions…

  3. I’m surprised anyone actually purchased online passes…

    • I’m guessing not many did. That’s why they dropped it.

  4. I purchased a couple of passes because of having multiple ps3s in the household. In general I think EA sticking steadfastly to their guns over nuking online pass strategy from orbit and their refusal to get involved with the XBox One policy farce at least shows tentative steps that they’re at least looking to change people’s perceptions of them.

  5. They couldn’t have backtracked on this after everything they’ve said and I’d like to believe that they did this because of player feedback in the first place and not because of MS’s DRM plans.
    It’s probably because they realized that they can make more money by not being hated than through their online passes.

  6. Give it time…

  7. I am sure they & MS will think of backdoor way to bring in more WAYS TO PAY & DRM rubbish i bet once the dust has settled + Is SONY(& the rest who do it) dropping their PS3 online Passes to then? If not – WHY NOT SONY!!! (there you go i tried to include not just MS in this comment) LoL:D

    • Sony is dropping their online passes for all their published titles as they believe its unfair given the need to now pay for multiplayer through PS+. I think that any move that EA makes with regards used game management will always reek of online pass, and EA knows the only way to make money is to sell games and appeal to gamers – online passes backfired massively for them.

  8. We can look forward to them including consumable items in games instead for you to purchase like FTP.

    • Like what is highly likely to happen in world of Tanks 360 edition then?

  9. Excellent as I just bought NFS Hot Pursuit for a fiver.

  10. I think EA are looking at things like Ultimate Team and see there is more money to be made by making something people want to spend regularly on. If they content is decent enough people won’t sell their games on.

    If you’ve bought lots of DLC for a game do you really want to sell the game and then how worthless DLC?

    Fifa 13 has seen very little in the way of price drops this year. Usually it was under £20 by Christmas – that still hasn’t happened yet. I’m not too sure why that’s happened this year but EA have sold a lot of copies and the higher price has kept second hand prices high which is less of an incentive to buy a used copy.

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