Now that just about every publisher in existence has signed on with the Online Pass system in an attempt to make money off of used game sales, gamers are starting to become accustomed to having to enter in a code every time we buy a new game with the pass just to play online.
You would expect that publishers would make sure that the online passes work and stay working, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. It’s not uncommon to hear of an Online Pass just flat-out not working upon release, which serves only to inconvenience legitimate early adopters – and that’s not even the worst of it, apparently.
A new issue entirely was brought to light by a poster over on the NeoGAF forums. According to the user, the Online Pass included in their copy of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, which came out in 2010, had apparently expired.Other users in the thread shared similar experiences, so it would appear that the issue isn’t as rare as it should be.
EA, the publisher of the game in this specific case, confirmed to Joystiq that an Online Pass can, in fact, expire after a certain amount of time in some cases. The publisher said that this shouldn’t happen most of the time but in some cases it does, including Dragon Age 2, which has its Online Pass set to expire on March 31, 2012.
It’s understandable to an extent that a publisher may want to make at least something off of used game sales, but it is absolutely unacceptable when the system punishes consumers who buy the game new. If this issue persists, I sincerely hope gamers don’t stand for it.