Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Online Pass

It's no secret that EA along with many other publishers hate the money passing around for used game sales.

So EA has decided to start including a code with every new copy of its games called Online Pass, which would effectively make online multiplayer locked for every gamer until they enter the code. (article courtesy of Kotaku)

The used game market is flourishing, especially with a nostalgic interest towards classic consoles and the internet offering cheaper ways to get brand new games at lower prices. However there is also quite an annoying trend of sports games being exactly the same every year, and why pay full price when you could trade in last years game?

That is where gamers might become frustrated at EA, how often do sports gamers trade in their old copies of the game nowadays? Plenty. With this new strategy by EA, those trade in games become practically worthless. Replayability and popularity determine street value of a game, and for a series of games that is the same every year this online pass hurts used AND new games sales for EA.

Think about it, if online multiplayer is locked out without a code why buy a used copy of the game? EA will charge you $10 to allow online multiplayer on the used copies, so without it the game isn't going to sell as fast from the store. In a few years the game chains will give you less for sports games as well as many games since EA will probably push this onto all of their games in the future. So now theres a $10 dollar surcharge if you buy it at the store used, and its completely useless if someone is selling it online unless its still shrinkwrapped. Well the problem is that's a new copy not a used one, so that won't happen very much. It'll probably cost just as much with shipping as a new game from the store, unless the seller likes giving stuff away.

I'm not going to assume every game has to have multiplayer to be replayable, but after a couple of days sports games will certainly get boring. Xbox Live pretty much made going to your friends house unnecessary, and I don't think many will keep buying the game to resurge that interest in Lan parties. I would cheer on anyone who does though, but its inconvenient and it devalues games to lock out the replayability factor of most sports games. Will it pay off for EA? Sure it will because now less money is being made on the side, I can't really blame them for doing this either. Should gamers stand for this?

Not being a fan of sports games I say don't bother upgrading your copies of MLB and NFL ever year. Quite a few people do, and I wonder how much of a backlash this will present to EA, we'll see.

No comments:

Post a Comment