A few weeks ago, we told you that EA were planning to end their much debated Online Pass system, a move which unsurprisingly shocked many gamers who thought that this moment would never come. Now, we can confirm that EA has already taken the first steps in this new initiative, by removing Online Pass schemes from a vast list of Xbox 360 titles.
It means that the Online Pass removal is also affecting existing titles, not just future titles from EA which you may have thought at the start. As a result, those who happen to pick up second-hand games such as Battlefield: Bad Company 2 VIP on Xbox 360 will now be able to play the online portion for free without any prompt for an online unlock code.
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EA were initially asking for 800 Microsoft Points for an online pass for Bad Company 2 VIP, but you’ll see on the Xbox Live Marketplace here that no such fee is needed any more. It’s also the same for games such as Mass Effect 2 with the Cerberus Network and also Bulletstorm, which previously needed an online pass first as well.
It is strange that EA are targeting Xbox 360 games first? As far as we’re aware, Online Passes are still active on the PS3 versions of these games. It could just be that Xbox 360 games have been highlighted first, with a gradual removal across all platforms to happen in the coming months.
To take advantage of this while you can though, you’ll want to see the list of games over at Neogaf here, to see which online passes have been removed on Xbox 360. It also has to be said that it doesn’t really help rumors emerging that EA and Microsoft are about to partner in a big way at E3 2013.
What is your reaction to the removal of Online Passes on existing Xbox 360 games, but not PS3?