EA recently removed online passes from a number of games on the Xbox 360, but today the publisher clarified that all games will soon lose their online passes.
EA issues a statement to Game Informer saying that it is “in the process of eliminating it from all our existing EA titles” in addition to removing the requirement from future games. The publisher said it listened to user feedback to reach its decision to get rid of online passes.
Previously EA required online passes for all of its games. Without an online pass code gamers can’t play their games online. Those who didn’t have a pass (if they bought the game used or borrowed it from a friend) would have to pay EA for the ability to bring the game online.
Soon EA will remove the fees for online passes in all games that are already available. Future games simply won’t have a prompt for the online pass. That means gamers no long have to input long strings of numbers and letters before they can play their games online, and those who buy used games no longer have to pay extra.
The move away from online passes will affect all EA games on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 as well as games on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The change is likely due to whatever systems Microsoft and Sony will have for used and borrowed games on next-generation consoles.
A recent rumor said that Microsoft may have a system for retailers that will transfer licenses for Xbox One games from those who trade them in to those who buy the used game. The system would give a cut of the profits of the used game to publishers like EA as well as Microsoft, though retailers like GameStop would keep most of the profit.
The rumored system would let publishers profit from used games while still letting gamers buy less expensive games.
Sony will likely have a similar system, though the company hasn’t made any public statements regarding used games yet.