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EA Sports Online Pass -- Online Only Available in New Copies

BamelinBamelin Registered User regular
edited May 2010 in Games and Technology
REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS) today introduced Online Pass content from EA SPORTS™. Online Pass rewards game owners with a game-specific, one-time-use registration code for online services, features and bonus content. Each title-specific Online Pass may be used with upcoming releases of EA SPORTS simulation games on PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system, beginning next month with Tiger Woods PGA TOUR® 11. The one-time Online Pass registration code comes included with each unit sold new at retail. Once redeemed, additional Online Passes will be available for $10. Fans also may sign up for a free 7-day trial to experience Online Pass. International pricing will be announced within territories in the near future.

“This is an important inflection point in our business because it allows us to accelerate our commitment to enhance premium online services to the entire robust EA SPORTS online community,” said Peter Moore, President of EA SPORTS.

http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/permalink/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20100510006898&newsLang=en

I noticed this at GAF ... if I'm reading it right, basically it's saying no online access unless you buy new (via packed in DLC code) ... used copies will have to pay an extra 10 dollars for code to access online content.

Starting to get concerned about this trend, this is really going to degrade the value of my used games. While I always buy new, I also sell a ton of stuff when finished with it. Can't say I'm happy with the way things are heading.

This to me is akin to cutting out half the game in used copies.

Bamelin on
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Posts

  • TheBanaTheBana Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Maybe this is to counter the fact that whenever I look at a used game section 25-50% is usually always old EA sports titles.

    For $used+$10 people will be more inclined to pick up the latest EA Sports game.

    That's how I see it anyway.

    TheBana on
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  • BamelinBamelin Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    TheBana wrote: »
    Maybe this is to counter the fact that whenever I look at a used game section 25-50% is usually always old EA sports titles.

    For $used+$10 people will be more inclined to pick up the latest EA Sports game.

    That's how I see it anyway.

    What's more worrisome if they do this on regular games. Imagine a game like BFMC 2 ... Sorry no online play for used copies without an extra 10 bucks.

    Bamelin on
  • KyouguKyougu Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I'm annoyed because unlike previous 10 dollar plan examples, they're not adding anything to the new copy, just taking something away from the used copies.

    Kyougu on
  • HenroidHenroid Mexican kicked from Immigration Thread Centrism is Racism :3Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    As long as this sticks to EA Sports and doesn't infect anything else, I'm fine with it. If they were a company with any heart, they would kill the used game market by just making yearly expansions and charge you not an entire game's worth for them.

    Henroid on
  • TheUnsane1TheUnsane1 PhiladelphiaRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I'm actually ok with this move but then I am more of the type to buy a game day one if it's something I want and generally forget about titles that weren't on my radar for the day one purchase until they are in the bargin bin.

    This said I don't buy used games unless it's impossible to get the game new, and even then have likely only purchased 10 or so used games in my life. The only real way this could effect me is if I choose to trade in a game before it is devalued to peanuts since I am sure gamestop is going to slash trade in values because of this while maintaining the same used price for the titles.

    TheUnsane1 on
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  • BizazedoBizazedo Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I am perfectly fine with this due to Gamestop selling used games for only $5-$10 less then new.

    My only question is the code tied into your PSN / XBL gamertag or does it know the system it's installed on?

    Bizazedo on
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  • FiggyFiggy Fighter of the night man Champion of the sunRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    This was bound to happen sooner or later. I'm just surprised it took so long for the sports titles.

    I don't really care all that much though since EA Sports titles are constantly rife with glitchers and griefers online anyway. I don't remember the last time I had fun with NHL online.

    Until they start charging me $10 for the "Local Co-op Pass," I don't care all that much. I'm still going to buy their games used, if at all. Not from Gamestop mind you, but through less idiotic channels (Goozex, etc.)

    Figgy on
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  • OmnomnomPancakeOmnomnomPancake Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Their inclusion of a 7-day trial pass per account means you can easily get your fill in a week and return it.

    OmnomnomPancake on
  • LewiePLewieP Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    This is EA imposing a tax on used games, and it's terrible.

    LewieP on
  • SurikoSuriko AustraliaRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I'd be fine with this if they were adding functionality to new games. Instead, they're removing content.

    Good thing I don't play sports games, I guess.

    Suriko on
  • OmnomnomPancakeOmnomnomPancake Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    LewieP wrote: »
    This is EA imposing a tax on used games, and it's terrible.


    Legitimate business trying to stop a huge drip on their sales. No other media form has such a blatant used product market.

    They've got full right, and it's fucking admirable.

    OmnomnomPancake on
  • SurikoSuriko AustraliaRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    LewieP wrote: »
    This is EA imposing a tax on used games, and it's terrible.


    Legitimate business trying to stop a huge drip on their sales. No other media form has such a blatant used product market.

    They've got full right, and it's fucking admirable.

    How dare people sell their own possessions...?

    Suriko on
  • OmnomnomPancakeOmnomnomPancake Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    They've got full right to. And hey, the people selling their possessions aren't being affected here, just the people buying them later.

    OmnomnomPancake on
  • LewiePLewieP Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    If they wanted to stop used game sales, they should offer a buyback. Return it to us and we will give you a better offer than gamestop, but to spend on EA games.

    There are ways to adapt to changing market environments without fucking over your customers by giving them a product that looses it's value quicker, for no reason other than so they can charge for the same content multiple times.
    They've got full right to. And hey, the people selling their possessions aren't being affected here, just the people buying them later.

    Except when they start getting $10 less trade in per game. And new prices of games get discounted slower.

    LewieP on
  • NotYouNotYou Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Suriko wrote: »
    LewieP wrote: »
    This is EA imposing a tax on used games, and it's terrible.


    Legitimate business trying to stop a huge drip on their sales. No other media form has such a blatant used product market.

    They've got full right, and it's fucking admirable.

    How dare people sell their own possessions...?

    Get with the times. When you buy software, you're buying a license to use it. That's just how things are going to work from here on out.

    NotYou on
  • DarkWarriorDarkWarrior __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2010
    I dont know how anyone not in the industry could defend a practice of restricting your property.

    If you buy a used car should the brakes not work until you pay the original manufacturer a fee?
    Second hand films with the audio removed?

    And thats ignoring that its assumedly a one use code.

    DarkWarrior on
  • OmnomnomPancakeOmnomnomPancake Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    LewieP wrote: »
    They've got full right to. And hey, the people selling their possessions aren't being affected here, just the people buying them later.

    Except when they start getting $10 less trade in per game. And new prices of games get discounted slower.

    Well then we see the ebb and flow of supply and demand at work. That'll be interesting to watch.

    And hey, Gamestop is going to sell point cards right next to the used games now. That's thinking with a keen eye for business, right there!

    OmnomnomPancake on
  • OmnomnomPancakeOmnomnomPancake Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I dont know how anyone not in the industry could defend a practice of restricting your property.

    If you buy a used car should the brakes not work until you pay the original manufacturer a fee?
    Second hand films with the audio removed?

    And thats ignoring that its assumedly a one use code.

    You are technically purchasing a license to play these things. Gives them a better justification when it isn't really your property.

    OmnomnomPancake on
  • SurikoSuriko AustraliaRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Movies are, according to media companies at least, a license-based service, not a good.

    So I guess you support measures like this on DVDs and Blu-ray discs to prevent resale of movies?

    Suriko on
  • KlashKlash Lost... ... in the rainRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I was glad when I saw these two articles:

    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/100624-Best-Buy-Toys-R-Us-Retrying-Used-Game-Sales
    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/100580-Walmart-Takes-a-Second-Look-At-Used-Games

    The measures companies take make me want to actively see them fail. Nothing would make me happier than an industry wide knock-out of, say, the top 3 or 5 companies. Basically, Activision and EA. Sure, everyone gets fired and tons of games won't get produced, but I'm an angry consumer and screw you guys, because NEH!

    I'm some type of out of date gamer, though. I don't even like DLC (that never makes it to retail) and I don't use any digital distribution, so I consider any method that coerces me to use an unwanted service to be an annoyance, sometimes insulting. Generally this renders my opinion moot.

    Except right now, because this plan is awful.

    Edit: For the record I don't even buy used or sell my games, and this still comes across as an awful plan. I also don't care about sports titles, but I don't want this seeping into games I like. Its not like companies aren't trying to make games as online as possible already, and at the same time reprimand second hand users.

    Klash on
    We don't even care... whether we care or not...
  • OmnomnomPancakeOmnomnomPancake Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Suriko wrote: »
    Movies are, according to media companies at least, a license-based service, not a good.

    So I guess you support measures like this on DVDs and Blu-ray discs to prevent resale of movies?


    It's a case by case basis. As it stands, this is EA attempting to stop a significant loss in their sales. Is it the best method? Certainly not, but they're trying and eventually they'll get it right.

    Comparing this to the movie business is bad. I wouldn't suggest comparing two, very different types of media with the method EA is trying to use to prevent used game sales.

    OmnomnomPancake on
  • SurikoSuriko AustraliaRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    "These things are different because they are different" feels like a bit of a copout. They're both services rather than goods according to their producers, which seems to be the crux of your argument. Any point which applies to one should really apply to the other.

    And basing ethics on a company's profit margin is a bit weird.

    Suriko on
  • ThibisThibis Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    It's tough to compare games to movies, if only due to the online component. Movies don't require any background infrastructure to get the full benefits of the disc. I don't play EA sports games, but I'm assuming they need to maintain servers for hosting, matchmaking, whatever. I can't see how they would be obligated to provide this service to someone who never actually paid them anything.

    However if a game has a feature to play a match with a friend through Live/PSN with the game hosted locally and that feature were removed, I'd definitely call bullshit.

    Thibis on
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  • FiggyFiggy Fighter of the night man Champion of the sunRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Thibis wrote: »
    It's tough to compare games to movies, if only due to the online component. Movies don't require any background infrastructure to get the full benefits of the disc. I don't play EA sports games, but I'm assuming they need to maintain servers for hosting, matchmaking, whatever. I can't see how they would be obligated to provide this service to someone who never actually paid them anything.

    However if a game has a feature to play a match with a friend through Live/PSN with the game hosted locally and that feature were removed, I'd definitely call bullshit.

    First of all, they're shutting down online functionality of their older titles. Will this $10 online pass restore that functionality? No. They are already cutting costs drastically by no longer maintaining these games.

    Second of all, they are not providing a service to someone who bought the copy, they're providing the service to the copy itself. If someone sells their copy of NHL 10 to their buddy, that's not an extra person on their server. That's still one person using the online functionality.

    I don't see this as EA expecting many people to pay $10 for the online component. I see this as EA trying to keep people buying new, but I don't know how well that will work for sports games. Every single person I know who is into the EA Sports titles enough to play online buys the game on release, without fail. That, or they buy ever other year on release. Online gamers playing EA Sports aren't of the variety that see it for a great price used and decide to "give it a go."

    Figgy on
    XBL : Figment3 · SteamID : Figment
  • GdiguyGdiguy San Diego, CARegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Figgy wrote: »
    Thibis wrote: »
    It's tough to compare games to movies, if only due to the online component. Movies don't require any background infrastructure to get the full benefits of the disc. I don't play EA sports games, but I'm assuming they need to maintain servers for hosting, matchmaking, whatever. I can't see how they would be obligated to provide this service to someone who never actually paid them anything.

    However if a game has a feature to play a match with a friend through Live/PSN with the game hosted locally and that feature were removed, I'd definitely call bullshit.

    First of all, they're shutting down online functionality of their older titles. Will this $10 online pass restore that functionality? No. They are already cutting costs drastically by no longer maintaining these games.

    Second of all, they are not providing a service to someone who bought the copy, they're providing the service to the copy itself. If someone sells their copy of NHL 10 to their buddy, that's not an extra person on their server. That's still one person using the online functionality.

    I don't see this as EA expecting many people to pay $10 for the online component. I see this as EA trying to keep people buying new, but I don't know how well that will work for sports games. Every single person I know who is into the EA Sports titles enough to play online buys the game on release, without fail. That, or they buy ever other year on release. Online gamers playing EA Sports aren't of the variety that see it for a great price used and decide to "give it a go."

    That's the point, that's EXACTLY who they're aiming this for - people who buy copies fairly soon after release, but currently are paying $5 off at Gamestop, which is a sale that EA sees zero money from. They don't care at all about having people actually pay this $10; if all it does is help to destroy Gamestop's used game market, it's a success.

    Honestly, I really don't have a big problem with this (but that's admittedly because I don't buy used games or trade in purchased games); unlike a lot of the other stuff going on in terms of anti-piracy efforts, this at least doesn't massively inconvenience people who purchase the game new

    Gdiguy on
  • FiggyFiggy Fighter of the night man Champion of the sunRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Do a lot of people actually opt to save the $5 and buy used at GS? What the fuck? It's $5.

    Figgy on
    XBL : Figment3 · SteamID : Figment
  • NerdtendoNerdtendo Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    What I'm wondering is how this will affect Gamestop's pricing for these particular games, if at all. They're common tactic is to shave five bucks off the used version which might end up nasty and in court since they're essentially selling the used "full" version for five bucks more, but you have to pay ten bucks of the price to EA. If they chop the price by ten bucks instead, then people who know what's going on will just get the full version. Fifteen bucks, and they'll also end up having to offer less for trade ins to make sure they're getting a decent deal, which consumers would be less likely to do.

    Course, the average person interested in the titles probably won't be as well educated as us, which Gamestop might bet on... which might end up looking like false advertising.

    I don't know, I'm almost willing to bet the EA is thinking the exact same thing as above, and knowing that they've just put Gamestop in check.

    EA: You're move, Gamestop.

    edit:

    Also, the five dollar savings? It doesn't sound like too much, especially with 60 dollar titles, but they've got the occasional buy two get one free sale.

    Nerdtendo on
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  • EvanderEvander Disappointed Father Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    LewieP wrote: »
    This is EA imposing a tax on used games, and it's terrible.


    Legitimate business trying to stop a huge drip on their sales. No other media form has such a blatant used product market.

    They've got full right, and it's fucking admirable.

    where is the sales drip/drop?

    EA is making money off of these games already hand over fist

    this is an attempt to squeeze EVEN MORE money out of an already profitable line, not a fight against losses.

    Evander on
  • EvanderEvander Disappointed Father Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Gdiguy wrote: »
    unlike a lot of the other stuff going on in terms of anti-piracy efforts

    Used games are piracy, now?

    Evander on
  • KlashKlash Lost... ... in the rainRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/100606-Used-Game-Sales-are-a-Bigger-Problem-Than-Piracy

    Its worse. Like, it totally rapes people's wives and steals their cattle.

    Klash on
    We don't even care... whether we care or not...
  • EvanderEvander Disappointed Father Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    if they don't like used games, then they can switch to download only

    sure, it'll sell less, but that's because consumers WANT to be able to resell their games

    Evander on
  • FiggyFiggy Fighter of the night man Champion of the sunRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Evander wrote: »
    LewieP wrote: »
    This is EA imposing a tax on used games, and it's terrible.


    Legitimate business trying to stop a huge drip on their sales. No other media form has such a blatant used product market.

    They've got full right, and it's fucking admirable.

    where is the sales drip/drop?

    EA is making money off of these games already hand over fist

    this is an attempt to squeeze EVEN MORE money out of an already profitable line, not a fight against losses.

    I don't know, I don't think the profit margin for these big title video games are as high as people may imagine.

    As graphics get more and more realistic, it becomes far more expensive to produce graphic resources for video games, hence the multi-million dollar budgets. The amount of labour that goes into these graphics is far far above what is happening on the programming side. Combine that with the stupid amount of marketing, and blegh.

    You used to be able to have a few artists put together some sprites and tiles and you were all set! Now there's motion capture, texturing, physics based animation, etc. etc. etc.

    Now, as far as the EA Sports titles go, I'm not so sure it's as high as other games. I mean, how much actual graphical improvement goes into each year's title of the same sport? What's the major graphical overhaul like between NHL 09 and NHL 10? Not a helluva lot.

    Figgy on
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  • OmnomnomPancakeOmnomnomPancake Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Evander wrote: »
    LewieP wrote: »
    This is EA imposing a tax on used games, and it's terrible.


    Legitimate business trying to stop a huge drip on their sales. No other media form has such a blatant used product market.

    They've got full right, and it's fucking admirable.

    where is the sales drip/drop?

    EA is making money off of these games already hand over fist

    this is an attempt to squeeze EVEN MORE money out of an already profitable line, not a fight against losses.

    Sales drip is in the used market. The market of people buying the game that EA made, where EA sees no profit.

    Sales drop? Any further sales drop is something EA could not afford. The profit margin on games is already incredibly low, and if EA made anything less than their 4.5 million in sales on any given sports title (FIFA, Madden, etc) the licensing fees would catch up, and they'd be hard pressed to recover.

    It's their one, safe, golden egg, that makes continuous returns, with little risk involved. Protecting said golden egg makes perfect sense.

    And who are they losing? Some kid who saved the 5$ off of Madden by getting it used, and is now disenchanted with his football game because he can't play online? I can see the kid getting far more pissed off at Gamestop, or [strike] that other store that sells used games in abundance [/strike] Gamestop.

    OmnomnomPancake on
  • BizazedoBizazedo Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Evander wrote: »
    if they don't like used games, then they can switch to download only

    sure, it'll sell less, but that's because consumers WANT to be able to resell their games

    I don't know anyone who even considered mass re-selling until Gamestop made it so easy.

    What I mean by that is, occasionally friend A will re-sell to friend B. Or let friend B borrow it. They did this for the occasional title, not for a huge amount.

    What Gamestop has done is to turn it into a massive business that hurts the game developers. That's what this change is aimed at.

    The hilarious part is all the gnashing of teeth and angst is really more about people not getting cheap games over losing benefits. Buy it directly from EA or "direct" as in new and you lose nothing.

    Bizazedo on
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  • AngryPuppyAngryPuppy Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I just resent the mealy mouthed marketing speak like "this allows us to accelerate our commitment to enhance premium online services." No you just want to take back that chunk Gamestop is taking out of your sales. I'm ok with that, let's just be honest with each other shall we?

    AngryPuppy on
    PSN: AngryPuppyEsq
  • OmnomnomPancakeOmnomnomPancake Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    AngryPuppy wrote: »
    I just resent the mealy mouthed marketing speak like "this allows us to accelerate our commitment to enhance premium online services." No you just want to take back that chunk Gamestop is taking out of your sales. I'm ok with that, let's just be honest with each other shall we?

    This is how PR works. No matter what corporation/political structure it is, the PR statement will be cold, calculated, and utterly ridiculous.

    And then we can reply with, "Hey, your online service must be premium, because you force us to use them! And then you shut them down 2 years later! Holy shit that sounds really committed, and platinum premium!"

    hurpadrup

    OmnomnomPancake on
  • NickleNickle Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    It seems like they've already started this kind of thing with skate 3, there's an included code for the "Skate Share Pack".

    I think you can still play online without the code, but you can't share any photos, videos, created parks, etc without having bought a new copy. Keep in mind these were standard in both previous games (aside from the parks).

    That's a big part of the game, for me anyway. I had no idea that the code existed, but I guess I'm glad I bought it new.

    Nickle on
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  • FiggyFiggy Fighter of the night man Champion of the sunRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    We're already seeing this mentality in non-sports titles though, guys.

    Dragon Age came with a DLC code for an "extra" party member and quest line.

    Forza 3 came with a DLC code for "extra" tracks and cars.

    I wouldn't exactly say they were extra though, just that they were very clever about the way they were "included" in the game. I suppose EA could use something other than the online functionality as their "buy new carrot," but it wouldn't be nearly as effective.

    Figgy on
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  • Raiden333Raiden333 Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Now I really wished I'd saved the names of everyone who said I was overreacting when I said this is what we were coming to in all the previous DLC threads.

    Raiden333 on
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  • AngryPuppyAngryPuppy Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Somehow this comes off as more 'stick' than 'carrot' to me, and generally I'm very supportive of this kind of practice. Then I always buy new regardless because the 'discount' you get on used software barely deserves the term and the sheer amount of floor space dedicated to used compared to new is obscene.

    I understand both the developers, publishers and retailers are all businesses trying to maximize profits, and I know that I have an unfair bias towards the creative side of that partnership, but the way Gamestop & Co. carry on just seems so cheeky to me. Their business is co-dependent with the developers and yet it has become an atagonistic relationship caused by their manuevers to get a bigger slice of the pie, and this is only going to hasten the move to digital delivery and leave them well and truly fucked.

    On the other hand I don't feel like people shouldn't be able to sell their software, though I personally choose not to. Am I annoyed at Gamestop for being too efficient at facilitating that? Somehow I've never really noticed the second hand market for DVD's and CD's to be as prevalent - and indeed the metaphor many people choose to use for their right to re-selling is their car. Do the other forms of digital media just fall under the monetary threshold for being worth the effort? Or do film and music retain their value while video-games are more disposable? I know I'd watch a movie made in the 80's more often than I would fire up a game from that decade.

    AngryPuppy on
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