As if the recent news that Electronic Arts would be dropping Online Pass requirements for its future titles wasn’t surprising enough on its own, EA today confirmed that it will be discontinuing Online Passes for older titles as well.
In other words, buying a used EA game – or borrowing one – from here on out should no longer lock you out of any of the game’s content, regardless if the game is new or old.
There will, however, be a catch: you’ll still need to download the online pass. Although newer titles will reportedly require no code, older titles do. To make up for that fact, EA today began the process of making all of its Online Passes free on your platform of choice’s digital marketplace.
As of writing, not all of the changes have been made; according to a NeoGAF thread, Online Passes for American McGee’s Alice, Bad Company 2, Bulletstorm, Dragon Age: Origins, Dragon Age II, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, Mass Effect 2, Medal of Honor (pictured above), SHIFT 2, and Skate 3 have all been made free.
“As we discontinue Online Pass for our new EA titles, we are also in the process of eliminating it from all our existing EA titles as well,” a spokesperson told Eurogamer. “We heard the feedback from players and decided to do away with Online Pass altogether.”
Some titles, the representative went on to explain, won’t require an online activation pass at all.
“Players will see it first with some EA Sports titles, where a prompt to enter an Online Pass code will no longer appear in-game,” the representative said, adding that “with other titles we are simply making Online Passes available free of charge online.”
The move is an interesting one, to say the least. The intention behind the Online Pass to begin with was to rake in profits from the sale of used games. It could be a move in preparation for the next generation of consoles, where the handling of used games remains mostly unclear.
Still, I suppose EA deserves some sort of credit. After all, Online Passes caused quite a number of headaches for legitimate consumers.