EA not bringing Online Pass to Next-Gen

By Ural Garrett , Updated Jun 20, 2013 10:49 PM EDT
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From the looks of things, Microsoft isn't the only one dropping strict DRM requirements.

Electronic Arts dropped it's controversial Online Pass program from all of its current-gen releases that adopted the policy last month and the publisher has confirmed that it won't be coming to next-gen either. 

In speaking with Polygon, EA said that it's Online Pass system "it is dead."

"[There is] no change to our decision to discontinue Online Pass," said EA senior director of corporate communications John Reseburg. "Nothing else on today's news, but did want to be clear that our online pass decision was based on player feedback, and there's no change."

The publishing giant made the decision in May following numerous complaints from gamers. Many EA games including Battlefield 3 and SSX required the pass to access multiplayer and even some bonus features. The one-time use pass came with copies of newly purchased titles and would only work with one console. If traded in or lent to someone else, EA would charge players ten dollars to for another pass. Many expect that EA saw this as a way to curb used game sales. 

According to reports, EA's online pass system made the publisher between $10-$15 million during its first year alone. 

The announcement comes as Microsoft evens the odds against Sony's Playstation 4 by nixing its Xbox One always online and DRM policies restricting used games.

Alongside gamers, Gamestop and Gamefly seems appreciative of the news. Gamefly co-founder Sean Spector felt as the move will better benefit consumers. 

"I always felt good about the future of GameFly, but I feel better today," said Spector. "Today is a win/win for consumers, as well as Gamefly. I think choice is always important and now consumers have more choice. And I give [Microsoft] credit for listening to their consumers. I think the original proposal would have been detrimental to lots of people's [business] systems."

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