Syndicate won't include online pass - Report

EA Partners' executive says single-player, co-op shooter won't include controversial pass in an effort to have the game achieve mass appeal.

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Electronic Arts has stirred up much fervor with its online pass proposition, but Syndicate fans looking forward to the upcoming game won't have to worry about it.

Syndicate is passing on an online pass.

Speaking to Eurogamer, EA Partners executive producer Jeff Gamon said the publisher chose not to include an online pass with Syndicate, a single-player game with co-op missions, so as to reach the broadest appeal.

"We want as little resistance or barriers to entry as possible," Gamon told the website. "The co-op is equal billing in this. We wanted everyone who owns a copy of the game to have access to the entire product."

EA has included an online pass with a series of games that it directly published, including Battlefield 3, Dead Space 2, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, and Medal of Honor. However, recently published games under the EA Partners label, like Portal 2 and Crysis 2, did not include an online pass.

"Under normal circumstances, it would have had an online pass, but because it didn't have competitive multiplayer and because we wanted as many people as possible to be playing co-op, we got away with it," Gamon said.

EA recently caught flak over the online pass included with fantasy role-playing game Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, an EA Partners title. That game's online pass unlocks the House of Valor questline, a series of seven missions available only to those with the pass.

Kingdoms of Amalur developer 38 Studios defended the move, saying the House of Valor questline was always planned to be the game's first batch of downloadable content and that it is a reward for those who purchase a new copy of the game.

The online pass initiative is seen as an effort to make buying games new more attractive than buying them used (a sale that puts no money in the publisher's pocket). It was spearheaded by EA, but other publishers, like THQ, Ubisoft, and Sony, also employ the tactic.

Syndicate is due for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC on February 21 in North America, with a European release to follow on February 24. For more on the title, check out GameSpot's latest preview of Syndicate.

Discussion

101 comments
MelodicMizery
MelodicMizery

these online passes suck ass, because of it i cant get my friends to play half the games i have with me. my friend bought battlefield2 because i bugged him over and over and because it was used he couldnt play online with me because he didnt have the online pass to pay for servers that dont even work right. then i got hot pursuit which is a awesome game but is completely dead, i got all the dlc and never even got to play armed races dlc because no one wants to pay for the dlc and then have to pay additional money for a online pass thats double the money i mean cmon we aint filthy rich. if anything a online pass should be 3$ that would be fair, and its not like a online pass gives us dedicated servers, these games share the same servers with other ea games. they should by law be stopped, first off they are a monopoly they bought all the small game titles out and then they bought all the sports license not letting anyone else able to make sports games using authentic players, they charge us for online pass, they promise stuff then dont deliver like 1943 was suppose to come with bf3 and didnt, they release broke games to meet a timeline thats rushed and release a patch or 2 then abandon the bugs, half there games cause major damage to my ps3 freezing it like bf3 that game is constantly screwing my ps3 up!

BoabDreeps
BoabDreeps

I hope this is the beginning of the end for online passes. It's about time developers started treating their customers with a bit of respect. We buy the product, we should be able to retain a value on that product for resale without it being diminished by the lack of a useable online code. Not everyone has the disposable income to purchase games new (espcially in the current financial climate). Second hand users still buy DLC releases. As far as this excuse about online server costs goes: The disc can only be used by one person. If the original buyer isn't using it anymore, then the cash the developer picked up from him/her is still in their pockets. What difference does it make who is actually playing the game. Unless of course the issue isn't about second hand sales, but really about piracy. The only people benefiting out of that are the folks at Verbatim.

X-RS
X-RS

Yeh...you could also make free DLC to boost sales.

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

It's ironic that less-anticipated games get less c**p shoved into them. Well, it's just... good business. So EA spearheaded the online pass initiative too, eh? Man, I hate them. On the other hand, I guess they have to do something to keep the entire PC game industry from tanking due to lack of profit. I am going to spend more effort supporting companies like ArenaNet and CD Projekt and Bethesda and even BioWare for not tieing Origin with SWTOR.

Evenios
Evenios

Good. those online pass crap is just a bunch of bs. way for the greedy companies to make money.....

NINEINCH-Tool
NINEINCH-Tool

don;t get used to anything, things change. These douchebags are trying to curb that change, or be the first to clear the apex. As we know it the victors write the history, and the victors helm the rules of the next course. However, we are the war, we are the conflicting opinions, we can cause change.

D27x
D27x

Im not against the online pass cuz It has its purpose to be, but companies put the online pass to motivate the buying of brand new games the bad thing and the peeve is that they try to cover up this by saying us that they r gunna "GIFT US" something if we buy it new and redeem the code c'mon if the material was made b4 the comes out IT MUST BE INCLUDED in the game WE are gamers not stupids lambs!

kez1304
kez1304

Ruined the game that I so loved in my younger years... FPS + Syndicate = FAIL (IMO anyway) As for the online passes.. What a crock of $hit those are. Long live the Amiga!

Kayweg
Kayweg

No online pass, huh ? Surprise, surprise....they'll be drying the sweat of their foreheads if this thing breaks even. @LURCH87 what new IP, m8 ? ;)

s4dn3s5
s4dn3s5

get used to it, now this is the kind of EXTRA BONUS they advertise...

LURCH87
LURCH87

considering this is a new ip that heavily relies on online co-op. having an online pass would pretty much destroy its chances for success.

scatterbrain007
scatterbrain007

Wow, good move! Maybe other companies will follow suit.

JLF1MarkII
JLF1MarkII

Hey, this only sweetened the deal for pre-ordering the game for me. Congrats EA, you made me feel good about buying a game from you.

Valen_Ca
Valen_Ca

So if they want it to reach mass appeal does that mean it will be on Steam then?

Hodge996
Hodge996

@ Darth_Starwind I see your point actually, however I would only counter with - do companies like EA not make ENOUGH money as it is? Don't get me wrong, I understand that business is business, but there has got to be a line where you just think "No wait that's just taking the pi$$" (see what I did there?) I wouldn't mind so much but when server performance seems to be getting worse - MW3 anyone? - you start to feel even more short changed. You only have to look at DLC to see how bad this industry is getting. I don't have an issue with new content being released to prolong a game's lifespan - new multi-player maps, new single player campaigns etc but asking us to pay for a few weapons or costumes? When Dragon Age 2 was released I counted up something like £40 worth of stuff you could buy for it on the day of release!

AmnesiaHaze
AmnesiaHaze

smart move , locking out multiplayer only hurts the new buyers because the online is dead sooner , if someone doesnt want to spend the extra dollars for a new copy the chance is small he will get the online pass anyway

Halloll
Halloll

we're talking about the strategy game here right?

derceto
derceto

Translation: "EA knows demand for Syndicate isn't already in place so we want don't want to take any risks whatsoever. However, in franchises which we have hooked people to already, we know you'll take the online pass up the rear. Someday if Syndicate gets to this popularity, we'll stick another online pass up your rear. This is how EA rolls."

xerxes5678
xerxes5678

"We wanted everyone who owns a copy of the game to have access to the entire product." I think they're finally learning. Well, I thought the co-op demo was great, so I'll be picking this up.

Lhomity
Lhomity

@Gelugon_baat You're right. Less privileged is far more appropriate. ^____^ I mean, when one buys a used item, they're buying an item that belonged to and has been used by another person, and not a factory issue-new item with all the frills and standards one should expect and deserve when buying new. So, why would any company in the world care about the "privileges" of someone buying their product second-hand? No need to answer that. Just a thought. =P

lsw3638
lsw3638

Nothing that is not political comes from higher ups, 'cos they are purely driven by one thing, money. Politicians, execs, presuming demo release wasn't received well enough for their expectation. The timing was right after one day of demo release, and considering this kind of public announcement must go through meetings of company officers, go figure.

freeholdz
freeholdz

played the coop demo few hours ago and I wanna say I was pleasantly surprised!!! )) hope the rest of the game content will be as good as the demo.

stziggy
stziggy

I take this as a sign that the game is going to be so bad that they don't want to hinder anything that may stop someone from plunking down $60. If they weren't worried about "mass appeal," they would have their pass to gouge every last dollar out of consumers.

AvnKnight
AvnKnight

This is too funny ppl that think its stupid to buy used games, I mean if 2 ppl bought the same game one used and one new then they both went to trade it in, they would be valued exactly the same by the store. So stupid as it is only ppl that buy the game new get ripped off as the games value will only go down.

praack
praack

so funny, we got away with it? lame. the fact there was consideration of locked content on a single player game is discouraging- if the day comes where you get only 2 levels without the pass- well- I guess I'll wait until the game drops from 60 dollars with pass to 10 dollars with pass. I have enough games I never quite completed around here

Lhomity
Lhomity

@PalZer0 You could import it like I plan on doing. I pay very little attention to classifications anyway. Like I could care what the OFLC think. @Gelugon_baat But they are second-class customers. That's the whole point of the secondary market. To pick up someone's leftovers.

masterpiece840
masterpiece840

If it would of had dm or tdm yea i would of not cared as much....but just plan ol co-op!!!!...wow hells no...ea needs to realize dat co-op gets bored really fast!!...65 bucks to run around and kill in a lobby wit computer based players...ahhhh i thnk not....wow how hard would it had been to add more elements???? huh ea...its not like dis game is braking any ground as far as inivation...way to go...al just get it when its 20 bucks on ebay...or am i...????

PalZer0
PalZer0

Such a shame that Aussies won't be able to buy this. It looked really promising. I hate our government sometimes.

MJ12-Conspiracy
MJ12-Conspiracy

I don't think this will help Syndicate's chances, I figured whatever and checked out the demo and honestly I didn't care for it. It's stupid, there's no strategy involved and conducting the mission I never knew what was going on aside from killing a ton of guards. If I wanted that kind of game I'd buy Battlefield or COD, I'm not buying this stupid game......

dark_rising76
dark_rising76

This is EA's way of saying, "Our online passes scams are not working, so people hate us."

Darth_Starwind
Darth_Starwind

*Side note, I think the decision to not have a pass for Syndicate is a good move. Building a fanbase is more important than recouping any loss for online play. Also, I myself do buy used games, just not all the time.

Darth_Starwind
Darth_Starwind

People are probably going to bash me for saying this but I am going to anyway. I'm not totally against the idea of online passes for online multiplayer games. The reason, server usage. When a person buys a used game, the publisher and developer has already made money on that particular product thus cannot make anymore on it. I don't have a problem with that. Its when it comes to the online component that I can see the industry's argument. When you're playing online, you're using a service, let me repeat, a service provided by that company. A person who has bought a used game does not pay anything to support the operation of that service. It all falls on to the people who chose to buy the game new. Essentially what I'm saying is that used game player is using the service for free while the people who bought the game new are paying for it. Now having said all that I do want to clarify one thing. I think online passes for single player games, i.e. Kingdoms of Amalur, is stupid, dumb, retarded, (insert adjective here), etc. There is no service to support. Any online activity is limited to DLCs. When you download DLC, the cost for using the server it came from is in the cost of the DLC. I also think the practice of "additional content" coupled with these passes is a slap in the face of the consumer.

Cillah187
Cillah187

Read the title: "WHAT!? D=" Read the sub-title: "Ooooohhhhh"

Soothsayer42
Soothsayer42

*:Faith in humanity restored:* Lol :P seriously thou, Online Pass sucks :?

xedgorex
xedgorex

@OpElectronicArts We are anonymous :D hajahaj and youll see..they will never again talk about online pass

kennythomas26
kennythomas26

Well this is good to hear, but I had Crysis 2 when it came out last March it had an on-line pass or an V.I.P pass to activate what ever on-line functions that needed to be activated. I thought I'd mentioned it because the article said that Crysis 2 was one of the game's that was mentioned that did not have a V.I.P pass.

Cobra5
Cobra5

"We wanted everyone who owns a copy of the game to have access to the entire product..." "...As opposed to our other titles", he means.

Draco416
Draco416

Finally! I might actually buy this game now.

scarletsnake
scarletsnake

To anyone who doubts that this will be an amazing game: It's made by Starbreeze. You know. The team behind the two Chronicles of Riddick games. The games that some people consider to be the best games ever made. Oh yeah and you have a masterpiece called The Darkness on there as well. Needless to say, in a time where nearly every shooter is a mindless carbon copy of another, this will be the golden nugget within the crap hole.

187umKILLAH
187umKILLAH

No Online pass, EA showing some common sense for once! I take pride in the fact I've never bought any Online pass games and never will so I will consider purchasing this game to support this move, now apply this same rule to ALL your games EA and quit acting like a jealous, controlling ex-husband. "The online pass initiative is seen as an effort to make buying games new more attractive than buying them used (a sale that puts no money in the publisher's pocket)" - What a stupid statement... But if I sell my car Holden don't get a cut of that sale as the car is no longer their property so why should game companies have any right to a second payment of a product they no longer own when no other product in the world does this? Online pass negatively affects gamers as it inconveniences people renting this game, lending this game to others and selling it so that hardly makes it a more attractive buy

benbrooky13
benbrooky13

This is funny. I don't read this as EA changing their mind about online passes, more like they don't believe that this title will turn a profit.

Atheosis
Atheosis

@the people calling for a boycott of EA Why would you post that in an article regarding EA not doing their usual crap? If anything, people should go out and support this game to send them the message that if they stop using their online pass BS, their games will actually sell better.

Atheosis
Atheosis

They are finally starting to get it. This DRM is detrimental to a game's overall success, especially in terms of online play. And I liked the demo, so this is encouraging. This is also helpful to a new IP (sort of new IP, I mean). New IP's need the used game market to build their fan base. Not sure why the same logic wasn't applied to Kingdoms of Amalur, but maybe they are actually telling the truth about that day one DLC originally being intended as paid DLC.

cantor2537
cantor2537

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

johnny_pay
johnny_pay

"The online pass initiative is seen as an effort to make buying games new more attractive than buying them used" doesnt work just makes people not want to buy a game for £5/$10 more for content already on the disk

chingchow48
chingchow48

@chingchow48 I'm sorry i forgot EA Black Box (skate series), EA Montreal (Army of two series), and Visceral Games (the dead space series)