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EA Gets Rid of Online Pass, But Will it Really Matter?

EA announced that it’s cutting its Online Pass program after three years of use.

The EA Online Pass was bothersome to most gamers. It required the entry of a one-use code that unlocked the multiplayer mode, or other features, of its games, designed to protect against used games. If you intended to sell the game to a friend or bought a used game from GameStop, for instance, you’d have to pay an extra fee to unlock the full content.

EA actually made about $10 to $15 million a year thanks to Online Pass, so why is it cutting it?

“We listened to what the consumer was saying, and it just didn’t look like it was popular,” said EA communications vice president Jeff Brown. “When mainstream consumers make it clear they don’t like something, we listen to them.”

“It was time to either do it again or stop doing it. We’re not going to do it again.”

But that doesn’t necessarily mean that we won’t have to pay extra for looking for good video game deals. In fact, we might not be able to play used games at all if the rumors surrounding the Xbox Infinity and PlayStation 4 are true.

The always-on Internet connection rumored to be a part of the Xbox Infinity could verify games for use while rejecting used games. Sony, similarly, filed for a patent on radio frequency tag technology that would be able to verify first-hand games and second-hand games without the need for an Internet connection.

Do you feel the online pass demise will be a short-lived victory?