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.
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.