EA to remove Online Pass functionality on all future games

EA, one of the biggest computer game production companies in the world,  has made a bold move to backtrack on its decision over Online Passes, which have been the bane of many gamers for the past few years.

The Online Pass system offers gamers who have bought a new game an exclusive one-off access code to then play that game online, but if the game is then sold or passed on to another user then that new user would have to buy a separate pass directly from EA to play the game online.

Originally put in place over 2 years ago, the system was seen as a good way to make money by games publishers, who are somewhat restricted when it comes to the re-selling of games and the profits that come from it.

However, the move has been seen with much scorn by the gaming public who buy games and many have seen this as a major issue when buying games with online capabilities from EA.

Well it’s now looking like EA is agreeing with the users, as the company has stated that it will be “discontinuing” its Online Pass initiative which will be stopped from now onwards (sadly no backwards removal) on all new EA titles.

EA is responsible for some of the biggest games available on the market and the biggest franchises, including FIFA, The Sims, SIM City, Need For Speed, Battlefield, Dead Space and Mass Effect, and many of these games have required an Online Pass in recent years.

EA’s senior director of corporate communications John Reseburg confirmed to GamesBeat (VentureBeat) the decision to stop the Online Pass initiative, stating; “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.”

Reseburg inisted that EA is “still committed to creating content and services that enhance the game experience well beyond the day you first start playing,”

So that’s one down, but many other major publishers like Sony and Ubisoft still use similar pass systems. It’s unclear whether we will see this change from other publishers in the coming months, especially as EA is a big player and can (re)set the standard.