Just last Month, EA was named as the “Worst company in America” for the second year in a row by Consumerist. Now it looks as though they’re trying to repair the damage that such an infamous title brings with it by abandoning one of their least popular policies – Online Passes.
During a brief conversation with Gameinformer, Electronic Arts Vice President of corporate communications Jeff Brown went on record as to the reasons why EA had abandoned the scheme, which became commonly known as “Project $10”.
“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.”
It’s still not clear whether this change of policy will be retroactively applied to all EA games that previously came under the “Ten Dollar” umbrella, or how EA plan to replace the revenue that they will lose out on by shelving this scheme, but going forward no new releases from EA will have an online pass included, or require payment to activate online functionality.
The promising thing about all of this of course, is that where the big boys go the smaller guys often follow. With any luck this will mark the beginning of the end for online passes in gaming.