We have some important and somewhat surprising news to bring you now, as Electronic Arts has announced that they are ending their infamous Online Pass service, with all future games releasing on current, next-gen consoles and PC. We wonder if the company being voted the worst in America two years straight had anything to do with it.
The Online Pass usually blocks all online features of an EA game upon purchase, requiring the user to activate their one time pass to enable online. However, EA has revealed in a recent interview with VentureBeat that they have ‘listened to consumer feedback and decided to do away with it moving forward’.
The company has also said that ‘many players didn’t respond to the format’, so it’s refreshing to see EA actually take some criticism on board, especially with the transition into next gen. It also means that the likes of Battlefield 4 and FIFA 14 will not utilize online passes any more, so how will EA aim to replicate the same online restrictions without an online pass?
Some consumers may be thinking that this is too good to be true, so we’ll have to wait and see what happens. Then again, EA already has their Battlefield Premium program, which has already proven to be a massive success – perhaps they will just stick with that and let non premiums play online without any activations.
The FIFA franchise was also a big adoptee of the online pass system, so it will be interesting to see how EA plans to move forward without the method in place. With the backlash over Sim City, could this be a sign of EA wanting to repair their relationship with disgruntled fans who picture the company with negative emotions?
We could be seeing EA explain this on stage at E3 2013, with a possible replacement service to Online Pass as well. Give us your thoughts on this.