EA has been a very strong supporter of the Project $10 / online pass system, so you’d be forgiven if you assumed that Starbreeze’s Syndicate reboot would utilize some form of an online pass. But surprisingly, it won’t be.
In a statement to Eurogamer, EA Partners executive producer Jeff Gamon confirmed that when the game launches in February, it won’t have an online pass system, meaning you’re free to play the game in its entirety, regardless of whether you bought it used or not.
“We want as little resistance or barriers to entry as possible,” Gamon told Eurogamer. “The co-op is equal billing in this. We wanted everyone who owns a copy of the game to have access to the entire product.”
EA has adopted a policy of utilizing online passes to get some extra cash out of second-hand sales in all of their games, but this policy doesn’t always apply to EA Partners-published games. For instance, Crysis 2 and Portal 2 both shipped without an online pass.
But in the case of Syndicate, the game should have an online pass, at least going by EA’s policy. Starbreeze is an independent studio and EA Partners is indeed overseeing the game, but the Syndicate IP is owned by EA, and it will be EA itself publishing the game.
Gamon offered up an explanation, saying:
“Under normal circumstances it would have had an online pass, but because it didn’t have competitive multiplayer and because we wanted as many people as possible to be playing co-op, we got away with it. Maybe another reason for not having the Online Pass is we were confident in the scope of the online game.”