[UPDATE] EA Sports confirms new-game pack-in code is necessary to unlock multiplayer modes in PS3, 360 editions of golfer, all upcoming sports games; used buyers can try for free, buy access for $10.
Electronic Arts has aggressively promoted new-game purchases in recent months by offering gamers bonus content for buying shrink-wrapped copies of games like Mass Effect 2, Dragon Age: Origins, and Battlefield: Bad Company 2. Now, the publisher plans to extend that initiative to its sports business with a new Online Pass--and take it one step further.
Arriving by way of a packed-in, game-specific registration code, the Online Pass comes with all new copies of Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 titles from EA Sports and confers access to "online services, features, and bonus content." Those who rent or pick up a used EA Sports title can gain access to the Online Pass through a free seven-day trial or purchase a code outright for $10.
[UPDATE] EA Sports will launch its new initiative on June 8 with Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11. The publishing label has updated its official Web site with a a carefully worded FAQ to provide more details on what gamers can expect from the Online Pass. It included a scan of the pass (pictured) that will come with Tiger Woods PGA Online Tour, the wording of which makes it clear that that the pass will be required to play any of the online modes.
"Activate your exclusive Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 11 Online pass to unlock the following: Online Team Play…[and] Online multiplayer modes," reads the pass (emphasis added). EA Sports reps later confirmed to GameSpot the pass would be required for any online play, with EA Sports senior vice president Andrew Wilson elaborating in the aforementioned FAQ.
"We've made a significant investment to offer the most immersive online experience available," said the executive. "We want to reserve EA Sports online services for people who pay EA to access them."
Andrew Wilson explained the decision thusly: "First, it's important to be clear that all users have access to premium content. … When we see how many people are playing all of our games online, consumers are telling us that competition is endemic to sports in a way that most people don't get just by playing a game alone on their couch."
Wilson's answer was a bit more slippery when asked about whether or not the move was to combat used game sales. "We actually view the second sale market as an opportunity to develop a direct relationship with our consumers, and with Online Pass everyone has access to the same premium online services and content regardless of how and where you buy the game," he explained.
Wilson continued, "In order to continue to enhance the online experiences that are attracting nearly five million connected game sessions a day, again, we think it's fair to get paid for the services we provide and to reserve these online services for people who pay EA to access them."
EA Sports has placed a heavy emphasis on Tiger PGA Tour 11's online modes. Notably, PS3 and Xbox 360 gamers can take part in an online version of the Ryder Cup tournament, one of golf's most prestigious outings. The PS3 and 360 editions of the game--which is also due out on the Wii and iPhone--will let up to 24 players play in four-person teams in the biennial tournament's signature events, which alternate shots, fourballs, and singles. The PS3 edition will also support Sony's PlayStation Move motion-sensing peripheral, due out this fall.
Check out GameSpot's previous coverage for more on Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11.
The fault with the logic of fairness is that EA is asking for money they already received. Imagine that the profile was passed on with the game disc, then ea gets no money and doesn't really notice any difference in the no. of people on their servers. EA makes it sound like gamers are replicating and they need more money to handle overflow which is not the case. I don't understand why microsoft is not worried EA is spoiling the stew. Are they not collecting a premium for online gaming already? Sounds like EA is calling them thieves.
The nickel and dime actions are increasing, sales are decreasing. unhappy customers, slightly annoyed customers, insulted customers... the luster gets lost and we move on. things seem to be on a downward trend and we buy a little less. Movies aren't doing bad because of piracy, they are doing bad because of bad movies and high prices. same deal with all entertainment.
I love that one of the biggest, most successful industries in the world, truly a billion dollar giant, is nearly every day trying to come up with new ways to nickel and dime its mostly 10-30 year old consumers. Pathetic.
When you play online, head to head, can you see what the other player's shot setup looks like? ie club selection, aim, chip/punch, etc? That was omitted in '09 and kind of ruins head to head online.
I bought this game new, but since more than one person has xbox live in my house everyone except for the person who entered the code does not get online. I really hope they decide against online passes in the future, or at least make it a console code rather than a profile code.
Glad it's EA sports, I don't care about that. DLC then this? Go eat a fat one game developers. This is theft of fun for your greedy plans to make money of the end user... if i don't want to buy your game brand new and get it for cheap off a friend that either thought it was bad or just played it out, why are you trying to squeeze more money out of me for that choice/option? Make your games better imo. This plan will fail I hope :)
EA got paid for the right to online access when the game was sold. If the game is re-sold, then the original user is giving up his rights to play the game online. So why should EA get paid for a right that was to another user if the first user gave it up completely? EA has no idea who is behind a particular controller, so why get paid every time a new user grabs the contoller to get online?
Bahahahahaha. EA says screw you used game buyers. They are obviously undercutting used game sales. What would be the point of buying the game used if you can't play online? On the other hand this will not matter to people who don't care to play online.
This is BS. when people buy used games its theres to do with as they please and now the value of games for trade-in and resale will go way down. This companys are becoming more monopolized and pushing more towards big businesses. Help fight this, Do not use gamestop they are trying to limit you to just use them as a videogame sales. F**K Them!
@takreem95 "EA only makes games, Microsoft makes OSs, softwares, hardwares, plus XBs, plus, they get paid $60 a year from each XBL user. Ok, you want us to pay EA $60 just to play online." You failed to make a point or answer my question. Also, you're over paying for Xbox Live - I only pay $50.
I never buy sports games since they all come out with the same crap each year, but nothing substantially new, but this thing sure is stupid. I'll quote [quote]"We've made a significant investment to offer the most immersive online experience available," said the executive. "We want to reserve EA Sports online services for people who pay EA to access them." [/quote] If I buy a game I buy the online rights for it. If I sell it I sell it with online rights, but what they do is cheap since sport games start selling less and less due to their lack of substance. Why buy fifa 2010 when 2011 will come? why buy world cup at all since fifa has national teams? like I said lack of substance.
Are you kidding me EA? You get people to switch over from buying Activision games to yours and you do something stupid like that. Well now I'm never buying a sports game from you again.
If EA is entitled to getting paid for offering online services (online lobbies, leaderboards, etc.) for their games, and they have been charging us that $10 "extra" for those features in previous games, it seems logical that new games with the "online pass unlock" feature should be $10 cheaper.
Who knows, maybe with this news, game stores selling used game will, with some time, lower the price of the used EA games and offer less values for when someone bring it?
Not only does this screw a lot of people buying and selling games, but it also screws people that rent games. I rent games as I could never afford to buy all the good ones, but I guess renting EA games is over for some of them. I personally don't buy new EA games, or DLC for them; I haven't paid a penny to EA since Madden '99. They are the Slumlords of videogames.
@fauljosh 1943 is based on a micro payments funding system, so is not relevant to the $10 payments. those 'micro payments' maintain the severs.
@kkrakhed With regards to how much money developers make off game sales, I saw this video a while ago and dug it out again because it answers your question, I hope it helps (Y) http://www.gametrailers.com/video/episode-111-pach-attack/64278
@anonimitie EA only makes games, Microsoft makes OSs, softwares, hardwares, plus XBs, plus, they get paid $60 a year from each XBL user. Ok, you want us to pay EA $60 just to play online. To everyone else, your comments won't change the world, you have forgotten what games are for, they are for fun, not that"I hate company A! I'm not buying it's game!" Its only narrow minded people like you who say that, nearly all of the gamers buy what they want, XB users buy Stimulus because they like MW2, and they want it. So waste all your electricity but you will never be able to change even the slightest of anything. Everyone has their preference and you are not their gods/owners. So let everyone be, Thank You.
Ok one more thing, what if a person buys a new game but he hates it and sells it, it becomes used. And he may give back the pass code without using it. So some of you maybe lucky enough to get 'that' 'used' game. Lucky.
Nice, EA has become good now and you people still hate it, probably because you buy used games. Its ok, I understand that you are forced to buy used games. Nothing personal, I know how you feel about it, I have seen many people who don't have money but they don't let themselves give up and they use any means possible, thumbs up to them.
HAhahahahahahahah! no. Sorry EA that's a deal breaker for me; no more of my monies for joo! (I usually purchase brand new, but this "tax" for used games...forget it. I won't deal with a company who pulls this crud. Call me when you've gotten rid of the second fee on the used games.)
@DAMSOG EA is "rubbish" though I'm not "english" and my thanks to god for that... Online Passes will only alienate EA from the gaming community, and will drag down their resale value and, if any, the collectible value. The best two things to ever come out of EA? Fight Night and Dead Space, well, and MUTANT LEAGUE BABY!!!!!! OH YEAH. Speaking of which, they should do a current gen Mutant League. That would be sweet.
The horse is dead yet EA still wants to whip it? You buy a second hand car and Toyota comes and takes the wheels off, you can only buy Toyota wheels to drive on the road again otherwise its virtually useless. It doesn't really concern me that much, I dont purchase EA rubbish.
fauljosh - Excellent point regarding Battlefield 1943. Users paid for a service that was only partially available. Now, EA wants money from the secondary market to pay for an already poor service? Brilliant!
@DeadnBuried If we only new how much of that $60 actually went into the developer's pockets. I'm guessing not much. It's all about marketing and sales and overpayed execs. In the end, EA can't do anything about the used gaming market, expect bring more value to buying a game brand new. Next thing they do is raise the price of new games to $65 or $70. It's coming.
I can't believe there are so many people on here SUPPORTING EA for doing this. What is wrong with you people ??????? EA are complaining because their net revenues are down $677 million from last year. Their net revenues are still $3.654 billion FFS !!!!!! This is just an act of pure GREED & nothing else....and the people here supporting EA for this new money grabbing scheme should hang their heads in shame.
@collingtonuk Umm yeah EA does have servers. What do you think happened when 1943 went live and no one could get on? THEIR servers were overloaded.
@ jd7904 your cellphone comparison fails because Nokia doesn't provide you with your cellphone service. They make the phone and only the phone. You still have to pay ATT or Verizon or whoever to use that phone. It costs EA money to run the servers that these games are run on. They deserve the money from the new sales of games to run that game. If you're buying a used game and playing it online you are essentially getting online for free. That's not really fair to EA. This rights that wrong. There is nothing wrong with this.
Why is anyone upset about this? I think this is totally fair. You still get to go online for free if you buy the game new. What's the big deal? Who buys used sports games? If you rent it you get the free trial. So it all sounds good to me. I'm all for developers getting the money they deserve. Keep that money away from Gamespot and give it back to EA.
One more reason for me not to buy EA. Now, along with some of the worst customer support I have experienced, I would have to pay to play a used game. All I can say is I'm glad EA does not sell cars, otherwise we'd have to pay to activate a car we bought used. PS. On the other hand, if this drops the initial cost of a game, them maybe, just maybe, this might work.
EA games are not good enough for a first day/full price purchase. They're not GoW3 or Uncharted 2 quality (not even close) so I normally buy them USED. Thanks EA, I'll be saving a lot of money because I won't be buying anymore of your games, New or Used. You can all stick it up your arse!
I bought BC2 new because its awesome and I give EA props there. But if you expect people to buy Madden brand new for a full $60, I have a crazy concept called IMPROVE THE FREAKIN GAME!!! Maybe then the $60 will be worth it, but if Madden comes out the same way it has been, people don't want to dish out $60, I sure as hell won't be doing that.
you all need to learn how to read! Online is free for the ones who by it new. The game comes with the pass. So if you buy the game used you have to pay 10 dollars after a 7 day free trial so i know its gay but if your a hardcore sports game player nothin changes it just drives down the resale value its like your paying $60 for a $50 game
I see some people saying that this is not comparable to a car manufacturer taking away features of a car for the used market so let's use the cell phone metaphore. What if you bought a used cell phone because you accidentally washed yours(oops :-)) now you go buy a used phone to get you by until you can afford a new one. normally you would just pop in your sim card and off you go, but Nokia just started a new program where you have to send them $20 to make the phone work on the service you already pay for be cause they feel that to "provide you great new products" that they must reap the benefits of the used market as well, nevermind the fact they they make millions if not billions in profit every year that they could use towards said goal and if they are losing money then maybe it's time to rethink your business strategies. If you think a company that rakes in profits year after year is doing this "to provide their customers with a rich online experience" you are sadly mistaken. It is called GREEEED! look it up. They are not making games for the best interests of the consumer, they are making them for the best interests of their stockholders. the new motto of the game industry"MORE PROFITS! MORE SALES! HIGHER MARGINS! LOWER COSTS!"
So the initial $60 price tag doesn't cover out cost for online multiplayer capabilities? Thats utterly ridiculous.
My question to EA is, "Do you like watching your game sales drop?" That's what's going to happen when people find out you have to pay an additional $10 to play their games online. I usually buy most of my games used off of EBay anyways. Now if I want a sports game from EA, I'll have to wait a year until the price drops to $29.99 or less and buy it new. I'll never, ever pay full price for a EA game. The last game I paid that was close to full price was Battlefield: BC2 and I paid $49.99 for that. It's a great game though. Most of EA's Sports game are the same as last year with 1 or 2 new features and a new roster. That's it. I won't pay $65 for that. I wonder if the game will have to check this code on EA's server everytime you play. I hope that's not the case. EA is just trying to milk gamers for every cent they have. It's too bad that most gamers are smarter then that and will avoid EA's terrible plot.
What bull! I like to buy used games. Saves me a fortune. Now I have to buy a used game and then a code for 10 bucks which equals to 5 bucks more then just a new game would be! What the hell is up with that? Good think I generally don't play any sports games. If this moves onto the action genre, I will be quite angered.
@kkrakhed Haha, I knew it was only a matter of time before someone suggested I work for EA. I agree, $60 is too much for a game. £40 here as I'm in the UK. I hate having to pay that much. But because it's that price I just make sure I don't buy bad games. I watch video reviews, previews, read multiple reviews on metacritic and where possible - I play demos as well. I only ever spend £40 on sure things (Red Dead Redemption being the next one =D) and for everything else I just wait for it to be cheaper (currently waiting for God of War 3 to lower, it's great but £40 on a 9 hour game? Simply not worth the money.) But at the end of the day the industry needs to money to keep running, games are more expensive to make than ever before, so the price can't lower, they need it too much. The only thing we can do is to make wiser decisions on our purchases. If you're not 100% the game is for you, wait for it to be cheaper or just rent it. ^_^
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