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EA Online Pass

UltenthUltenth Registered User regular
edited February 2011 in Games and Technology
Was I just not paying attention, or has their been a noticable lack of outrage over EA's online pass implementation? I'm surprised PA hasn't done any comics on the matter, or if they did I have missed it.

I find the whole situation disgusting as it reeks of base greed. The ridiculous thing is that EA has made statements to the effect of it being a means to defer costs of online bandwidth. Which would either lead one to believe that either they would offer a discounted original purchase without online play, or that the original purchase price deferred those costs. But since when the game is sold second hand the original user can no longer use any bandwidth, I don't see why a need for additional charges.

If anything the second player's illusionary additional bandwidth costs are deferred in whole by second purchases of DLC already bought by the original owner, which serves to give them double the digital income, and should also been seen as their piece of the used/rental game pie. If someone wants to play the game online, chances are they will purchase the additional map packs or other related DLC, since they are already doing so, so why the added cost of the online pass.

Simple, one reason and one reason alone, EA has decided to break a model that seems to work for every other game company who can support their online multiplayer just fine, as a means to increase their profits from the 3.654 Billion GAAP revenue they made last year. In other words, a simple and base example of corporate greed.

I know this issue has been around for a bit and I'm curious if people have already, like again rising gas prices, become so used to getting fleeced in this manner that they have becom inured to it. Even with the full knowledge that other game companies will very likely eventually also follow this flawed and greedy template, due to thier desire to also increase their profits through whatever means necessary.

(I tried to search for topics on this matter, but that function does not seem to be working, so I apologize if there is already threads on this issue, which I assume there are.)

I'm Frank T.J. Mackey, a master of the muffin... - from Magnolia
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    CantidoCantido Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    When people buy used we get cheated.

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    UltenthUltenth Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Cantido wrote: »
    When people buy used we get cheated.

    Was this a quote to exemplify EA's stance, or something they actually said on the matter? If so as I already stated, EA gets double the digital purchases, from someone that very likely might not have purchased the game and thus the additional DLC in the first place. So I guess I'm not sure what your point is, outside of the fact that probably isn't enough for them, because companies always want more and more money, usually from those that can least afford it.

    Either way that does little to answer my question as to why there doesn't seem to be much of a public outcry on this obvious fleecing, other than simple laziness by video game consumers.

    Ultenth on
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    Ragnar DragonfyreRagnar Dragonfyre Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    EA's Online Pass is nothing more than their way of combating the second hand market, no matter how they try to spin it. If you want to play the game online without additional fees, buy it new. That's their stance. If you want to buy it used and play online, pay EA a little bit to get that access. It's just their way of getting a slice of the pie.

    They also claim this combats piracy, as you NEED the online pass to go online. Though I'm not certain how effective it truly is.

    Realistically, they DO get to decide who gets access to it. It's their servers afterall. While I don't agree with their nickel and dime practices (useless, lazy DLC), I make no illusions over multiplayer access. EA can yank the cord whenever they want since they're paying for the bandwidth.

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    UltenthUltenth Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    EA's Online Pass is nothing more than their way of combating the second hand market, no matter how they try to spin it. If you want to play the game online without additional fees, buy it new. That's their stance. If you want to buy it used and play online, pay EA a little bit to get that access. It's just their way of getting a slice of the pie.

    They also claim this combats piracy, as you NEED the online pass to go online. Though I'm not certain how effective it truly is.

    Realistically, they DO get to decide who gets access to it. It's their servers afterall. While I don't agree with their nickel and dime practices (useless, lazy DLC), I make no illusions over multiplayer access. EA can yank the cord whenever they want since they're paying for the bandwidth.

    As I stated before though, they do get a part of the second hand market via secondary DLC, a perfect example would though it is a different company, after I purchased Forza 3 used, I then proceeded to spend around $40 dollars on DLC for it, which went straight to the publisher/developer. Also, they make more than enough profit to easily sustain their servers, and no other company seems to need to resort to this template. I don't see any reason why consumers should take this issue lying down, as it seems most have. Well other than, as I said before, pure laziness and apathy, which is probably the most likely cause. But as an extension of that argument, I'm curious why sites such as PA who does usually voice a strong opinion on such matters, seems to be relatively silent.

    Personally I buy very little used games, but though this issue doesn't greatly effect me directly, I have a strong aversion to these kinds of business practices.

    Ultenth on
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    Torso BoyTorso Boy Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    I think we need to be careful about calling a company's interest in making money greed. A publicly traded company is supposed to try to make more money. What you call "simple and base...corporate greed" I call the rational self-interest of a corporation that answers to a board of directors and a set of shareholders, who are shareholders because they intend to make money. Furthermore, as a producer of games, EA's ability to generate revenue has an awful lot to do with their willingness and ability to release games that we will want to buy.

    There hasn't been a huge outcry because it isn't really outrageous. Publishers believe that the used games market hurts their bottom line, which is plausible, and they're reacting to it. It also functions secondarily as an anti-piracy measure, though its efficacy isn't clear.

    EA wants to incentivize buying new and take what they can get from buyers of used games. They're well within their rights in doing this. Consumers will demonstrate their approval or disapproval by choosing to buy or not buy. Ultenth, it's clear that you don't like the policy, and it's also clear that you're far from alone in the matter. The way to express your discontent, if you want to be heard, is to boycott. But don't get your hopes up. I have a feeling that the people who are agnostic on the issue vastly outnumber those who are angry.

    Torso Boy on
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    ValleoValleo Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Torso Boy wrote: »
    I think we need to be careful about calling a company's interest in making money greed. A publicly traded company is supposed to try to make more money. What you call "simple and base...corporate greed" I call the rational self-interest of a corporation that answers to a board of directors and a set of shareholders, who are shareholders because they intend to make money. Furthermore, as a producer of games, EA's ability to generate revenue has an awful lot to do with their willingness and ability to release games that we will want to buy.

    There hasn't been a huge outcry because it isn't really outrageous. Publishers believe that the used games market hurts their bottom line, which is plausible, and they're reacting to it. It also functions secondarily as an anti-piracy measure, though its efficacy isn't clear.

    EA wants to incentivize buying new and take what they can get from buyers of used games. They're well within their rights in doing this. Consumers will demonstrate their approval or disapproval by choosing to buy or not buy.

    This right here. If you don't like it, let them know by not buying it.

    The comparison you made to rising gas prices is not a good one, as many people have no choice or alternative to paying for expensive gas if they want to function in their day to day lives (for getting to work, picking up kids, business purposes and so on) whereas there are plenty of other games for you to buy if you choose to snub EA.

    Valleo on
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    UnbreakableVowUnbreakableVow Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    I actually totally agree with this plan from EA. I also agree with the fact that they put it into every game, instead of an all-encompassing EA Online Pass.

    Sure, people buy used and EA gets fleeced from them, and people could potentially buy DLC, but let me be frank here: There's a very real possibility that the kind of people that buy used simply won't buy DLC, as they've already shown hesitance to even pay the MSRP for the product in question.

    I think it's a smart business practice that's not hurting anyone other than those trying to save $5 here and there anyways, and I applaud EA for it. After all, those people are GameStop's customers, not EA, so what does EA owe them? (Hint: the answer is nothing.)

    However

    What I don't like about this, and we've yet to see how this plays out, but EA is notorious for closing online servers to older games. That's all fine and dandy, but I really, really can't condone them shutting down servers on games that have been affected by the Online Pass. Guess we'll just have to wait and see.

    UnbreakableVow on
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    taliosfalcontaliosfalcon Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    I actually totally agree with this plan from EA. I also agree with the fact that they put it into every game, instead of an all-encompassing EA Online Pass.

    Sure, people buy used and EA gets fleeced from them, and people could potentially buy DLC, but let me be frank here: There's a very real possibility that the kind of people that buy used simply won't buy DLC, as they've already shown hesitance to even pay the MSRP for the product in question.

    I think it's a smart business practice that's not hurting anyone other than those trying to save $5 here and there anyways, and I applaud EA for it. After all, those people are GameStop's customers, not EA, so what does EA owe them? (Hint: the answer is nothing.)

    However

    What I don't like about this, and we've yet to see how this plays out, but EA is notorious for closing online servers to older games. That's all fine and dandy, but I really, really can't condone them shutting down servers on games that have been affected by the Online Pass. Guess we'll just have to wait and see.

    I think arguably EA is fucking their own customers by doing something that will kill the resale value of the games they buy new.

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    Kuribo's ShoeKuribo's Shoe Kuribo's Stocking North PoleRegistered User regular
    edited January 2011
    who do you hate more, EA or Gamestop

    I pick Gamestop

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    Ragnar DragonfyreRagnar Dragonfyre Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    The problem is that video game consumers are whores. We buy into their DLC, price hikes and DRM schemes and do it with a smile. Most of us simply don't care enough to vote with our wallet. Those of us that do are outweighed by the weak willed that claim they'll boycott and then turn around and buy a shitty product anyway. Then there's the uninformed who outnumber the other groups by far.

    As long as the money keeps coming in, we're going to continually get screwed. I've pretty much accepted it.

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    UnbreakableVowUnbreakableVow Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Resale value is nigh worthless unless you're trading it in very close to release, at which point you may be lucky to get $25 back. I really doubt the Online Pass is affecting what GameStop is giving for it.

    Taking back Madden 10 to help pay for Madden 11 is going to get you like $5 anyways, even before this plan was introduced.

    UnbreakableVow on
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    truck-a-saurastruck-a-sauras Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    eh, like/dislike stances aside, anybody know of a stickied list anywhere of games that contain this pricing structure? have tried in the past, but my google-fu was weak and it came down to searching every individual game

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    UnbreakableVowUnbreakableVow Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    eh, like/dislike stances aside, anybody know of a stickied list anywhere of games that contain this pricing structure? have tried in the past, but my google-fu was weak and it came down to searching every individual game

    Pretty much every EA online game from now on

    All last year's sports games (meaning the 2011 titles), Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, Mass Effect 2 had a form of it (Cerberus Network), and I believe Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and Medal of Honor

    UnbreakableVow on
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    Lionel-RichieLionel-Richie Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Killing the secondhand/trade market will make many of EA's sheep customers less likely to buy their yearly $60 franchise "updates" consisting of such grand features like "improved head tracking...mark 3." The majority of game sales come from the first couple of weeks a game is out (which coincidentally there are very few used sales during this period).
    After all, those people are GameStop's customers, not EA, so what does EA owe them? (Hint: the answer is nothing.)

    I'm not sure there is a sharp distinction between the two. I manage at a GameStop and we are whores for EA. From February until July/August we are supposed to drive the hell out of Madden/NCAA pre-orders. We're probably EA's best idea of how well they are going to do on new sales. GameStop's customers are often EA's customers. How many used games do you think we sell on new release Tuesdays? Not very many (except in my store where there are special rednecks who try to haggle me on $1.50 PS2 games). You've got to remember that this retailer is not an enemy of publishers like they seem to claim, but a staunch ally. I mean look at how well GameStop helped the dumb kinect do. Think of how much exaggeration employees do because they are given vague information or even near-lies from the publishers bullet-point sheets, etc and thus gain sales.

    These retail employees are some of the biggest footsoldiers in the marketing war for these games and new tech. EA and big publishers don't view GameStop as a nuisance or problem, they're just doing this now to push their greed a little further.

    And to make my soul dry out a little bit more, I think.

    Lionel-Richie on
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    taliosfalcontaliosfalcon Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Resale value is nigh worthless unless you're trading it in very close to release, at which point you may be lucky to get $25 back. I really doubt the Online Pass is affecting what GameStop is giving for it.

    Taking back Madden 10 to help pay for Madden 11 is going to get you like $5 anyways, even before this plan was introduced.

    I'd never sell something back to gamestop, I do use goozex and ebay quite frequently though, where your rate of return can be much higher..well, not anymore if you're selling/trading an EA game

    taliosfalcon on
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    Torso BoyTorso Boy Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    I'd be interested to see them incentivize buying yearly franchises new to counterbalance any potential discouragement from a weakened used games market. For example, buy Madden 10, get a $5 or $10 credit off the initial retail price of Madden 11. Savings carry forward contingent on the player continuing to buy.

    Something to take from all of these conversations is that pricing structure in the gaming industry has a lot of potential for change, especially with digital distribution potentially gaining dominance in the long term.

    Torso Boy on
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    UnbreakableVowUnbreakableVow Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Resale value is nigh worthless unless you're trading it in very close to release, at which point you may be lucky to get $25 back. I really doubt the Online Pass is affecting what GameStop is giving for it.

    Taking back Madden 10 to help pay for Madden 11 is going to get you like $5 anyways, even before this plan was introduced.

    I'd never sell something back to gamestop, I do use goozex and ebay quite frequently though, where your rate of return can be much higher..well, not anymore if you're selling/trading an EA game

    I suppose?

    But this went into practice on Madden 11, guess we'll have to wait for Madden 12's numbers and see how adversely this has affected their sales

    I'm guessing "not very much at all, most people probably don't give a shit"

    UnbreakableVow on
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    mere_immortalmere_immortal So tasty!Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    I doubt the big yearly franchises will take a hit.

    Your average Madden/Fifa buyer doesn't take a second glance at the box after picking it up and probably wouldn't know this thing existed.

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    UltenthUltenth Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    The problem is that video game consumers are whores. We buy into their DLC, price hikes and DRM schemes and do it with a smile. Most of us simply don't care enough to vote with our wallet. Those of us that do are outweighed by the weak willed that claim they'll boycott and then turn around and buy a shitty product anyway. Then there's the uninformed who outnumber the other groups by far.

    As long as the money keeps coming in, we're going to continually get screwed. I've pretty much accepted it.

    This seems to be more the issue than anything. Yes companies can do anything legal in the name of profit, which this falls under. But that doesn't mean consumers will accept it. Unfortunately large companies spend countless millions of dollars on publicity, advertising and legal teams in order to convince consumers that they aren't getting fleecing, and they would not do this if it did not work. It is the job of opinion and news sites to try to counter this disinformation, and by and large it seems the response has been fairly lackluster on this issue.

    Yes it's smart business by EA to implement this, and I don't think anyone has disputed that. But it is not smart for consumers to simply bend over and accept it, if anything for the precident it sets. But most likely people are too busy playing Call of Duty to bother to care, which really is the ultimate problem in regards to attempting to take stands on gaming issues.

    I can see a slipperly slope quite easily and that one day there will be different membership types for each online game, and unless you buy the "gold online pass" you won't be able to get as good of a ping when playing online games, or something similar.

    Also, my point about gas prices was to illustrate people's vast ability to become inured to being taken advantage of, and the cycle of consumer abuse and rights violations it creates.

    Ultenth on
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    GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Torso Boy wrote: »
    I think we need to be careful about calling a company's interest in making money greed. A publicly traded company is supposed to try to make more money. What you call "simple and base...corporate greed" I call the rational self-interest of a corporation that answers to a board of directors and a set of shareholders, who are shareholders because they intend to make money.

    Well said. The distinction between profit-making and "greed" is highly subjective, and the line between them always seems to lie across whatever the individual's hot button is.

    Yes, EA is trying to make money by doing this. What did you think they were doing before? Did you think they were selling you new games "at cost" and then all of a sudden they got "greedy" and decided to start charging for resale online passes?

    EA is a business. They are not a fucking non-profit humanitarian organization. It is their goal to make as much money as possible just like any other business. In an ideal world they will attempt to do this by providing goods and services that consumers want. If consumers feel that they are being treated unfairly, than they can take their money elsewhere, EA's profits will suffer, and the market will correct itself.

    Gaslight on
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    adytumadytum The Inevitable Rise And FallRegistered User regular
    edited January 2011
    I don't buy games for the online aspects, so this doesn't really affect me, but..

    Ultenth, you should probably turn down the hyperbole. There are good points to be made without resorting to "They're VIOLATING my RIGHTS."

    adytum on
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    UltenthUltenth Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    adytum wrote: »
    I don't buy games for the online aspects, so this doesn't really affect me, but..

    Ultenth, you should probably turn down the hyperbole. There are good points to be made without resorting to "They're VIOLATING my RIGHTS."

    Part of the whole issue that I am trying to put forth is that consumers have just as much of a right (and in many ways duty) to protect their dollar as a company has to try to take it. It is a concept that seems to be lost on many people today, and if what you call hyperbole is what it takes to get people to realize it, then it is what it is.

    Yes EA is a company, it is supposed to make money, but does that mean that as a consumer we just have to hand it over? Yes ultimately a consumer can take his money elsewhere, but that is like telling someone who has an issue with the country they live in that they have no right to try to change what they disagree with about that country, and that if they don't like it they should just move. As consumers who provide profits to companies, it is within our rights (again in many ways I see it as a duty) to question how those companies go about achieveing those profits, and through the same mechanism they use (opinion, news, IE advertising and publicity) to try to get said company to back down from practices that consumers view as predatory.

    You don't have to just take it, and your only option is NOT simply to boycott a company. Sites like PA which are opinion shifters often see themselves in the role of consumer advocacy, and it is my opinion that this specific subject is one which could use a greater voice. If anything for the precedent it sets. Consumer advocacy is not just about boycotting, unfortunately though it seems many video game purchasers cannot be bother to pursue it, which is why many internet news and opinion sites/blogs exist in the first place.

    Ultenth on
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    urahonkyurahonky Resident FF7R hater Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Do we know if this is for only online games, or single player as well?

    urahonky on
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    adytumadytum The Inevitable Rise And FallRegistered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Ultenth wrote: »
    adytum wrote: »
    I don't buy games for the online aspects, so this doesn't really affect me, but..

    Ultenth, you should probably turn down the hyperbole. There are good points to be made without resorting to "They're VIOLATING my RIGHTS."

    Part of the whole issue that I am trying to put forth is that consumers have just as much of a right (and in many ways duty) to protect their dollar as a company has to try to take it. It is a concept that seems to be lost on many people today, and if what you call hyperbole is what it takes to get people to realize it, then it is what it is.

    Yes EA is a company, it is supposed to make money, but does that mean that as a consumer we just have to hand it over? Yes ultimately a consumer can take his money elsewhere, but that is like telling someone who has an issue with the country they live in that they have no right to try to change what they disagree with about that country, and that if they don't like it they should just move. As consumers who provide profits to companies, it is within our rights (again in many ways I see it as a duty) to question how those companies go about achieveing those profits, and through the same mechanism they use (opinion, news, IE advertising and publicity) to try to get said company to back down from practices that consumers view as predatory.

    You don't have to just take it, and your only option is NOT simply to boycott a company. Sites like PA which are opinion shifters often see themselves in the role of consumer advocacy, and it is my opinion that this specific subject is one which could use a greater voice. If anything for the precedent it sets. Consumer advocacy is not just about boycotting, unfortunately though it seems many video game purchasers cannot be bother to pursue it, which is why many internet news and opinion sites/blogs exist in the first place.

    Yeah, your hyperbole is eye-rollingly obtuse. Telling someone to buy another video game is not like telling them to leave to leave the country if they disagree with policies.

    You do have the ability to tell the game company what you think by not purchasing their games and/or contacting them directly.

    I'm sympathetic to what you're saying, but I'm also under no illusion that anyone in the gaming industry "owes" me anything. If they want to lock game copies to unique keys, I'll stop playing video games until the price drops to under $10. They lose the revenue and I can spend my money on other things.

    I'm not having my rights violated if that occurs.

    adytum on
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    UltenthUltenth Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    urahonky wrote: »
    Do we know if this is for only online games, or single player as well?

    It is called the Online Pass because it locks all multiplayer content.
    adytum wrote: »
    Yeah, your hyperbole is eye-rollingly obtuse. Telling someone to buy another video game is not like telling them to leave to leave the country if they disagree with policies.

    You do have the ability to tell the game company what you think by not purchasing their games and/or contacting them directly.

    I'm sympathetic to what you're saying, but I'm also under no illusion that anyone in the gaming industry "owes" me anything. If they want to lock game copies to unique keys, I'll stop playing video games until the price drops to under $10. They lose the revenue and I can spend my money on other things.

    I'm not having my rights violated if that occurs.


    If you don't see it as a right that is your perogative. I do see it as such though, as I have a right to protect my dollar from what I see as unnecessary and exorbant costs. I think you are assuming that I am referring to "rights" as something akin to my constitutional or legal rights, which I am not, I am referring to my much more subjective rights that I see myself having as a human being and as a consumer.

    Boycotting is not a first reaction, it is a last resort. Especially in this online age, consumers have a multitude of resources to attempt to utilize before resorting to a boycott. Attempting to sway public opinion about something in a way that the PR hit is more costly than money gained is one such method. Something I am attempting to use at this very moment, and something I wish that PA would use it's voice for as well. They are under no obligation to do so, but I am simply stating that I wish that they would, as their voice is much louder than my own in the public eye.

    Ultenth on
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    CenoCeno pizza time Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    The main reason we hear endless bitching about this sort of thing and yet companies still do it is because all the people bitching still buy the game. Petitions are signed, and boycotts are promised, but in the end, the shiny allure proves too great and they really want to play it, so they pony up. Or steal it, if they're jerks.

    Bottom line: companies like EA understand one language, as simplistic as it may sound.

    $$$$$

    They don't have some altruistic pledge to first do no harm. They spend millions of dollars making an entertainment product, and the only reason that happens is because they want that cash back plus a shitload more. Used products take away a percentage of their dime, hence online passes.

    Ceno on
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    RenzoRenzo Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Ultenth wrote: »
    urahonky wrote: »
    Do we know if this is for only online games, or single player as well?

    It is called the Online Pass because it locks all multiplayer content.

    Is this different in principle from Shale in Dragon Age, or the strip club in The Saboteur? Both of them were DLC content that came with new copies.

    Renzo on
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    urahonkyurahonky Resident FF7R hater Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    I realized what I said was silly after I typed it, but this is EA afterall. I wouldn't be surprised if they tried to do something like this for SP only games in the future.

    Which annoys me because I'm an avid Gamefly user... Since I don't have a job and no way to pay $60 for a 4 hour game.

    urahonky on
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    Ragnar DragonfyreRagnar Dragonfyre Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Consumers do have a right to protect their dollar. It's called not spending it. EA isn't coercing you into purchasing their products. You don't rely on video games to live. Video games are entertainment media and we voluntarily purchase them. Game companies are actually hard pressed to violate our rights.

    If you don't like a companies practices, then don't buy from that company. That's the only recourse you, as an individual, have. It's been proven time and time again that gamers are weak willed and simply can't unify against "corporate greed". Unofficial boycotts have all failed as soon as a game has released.

    If you want to start a video game consumer advocacy group, then do that. The industry definitely needs one.

    Ragnar Dragonfyre on
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    Torso BoyTorso Boy Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Be very, very careful about using the word "right." You do not have a right to good prices. The analogy of a country is totally inappropriate because a government makes a claim to legitimately place constraints on your behaviour. This is a fundamentally different thing. To say that the online pass is douchebaggery is totally valid. To say it punishes consumers is valid. To accuse them of violating your rights is a far stronger claim, and a baseless one.

    You're on the right road in the sense that consumers should respond negatively if the practice of a company affects them negatively. But understand that if you want to rattle EA's cage, your actions must ultimately affect their bottom line. Since a personal boycott won't do anything, join or start a collective boycott. Get it out in the open. It's about numbers. If you can translate discontent into a potential or actual detriment to sales, then they will listen. The idea is to make the undesirable action more costly than the alternative.

    You're definitely correct in saying that gamers are probably largely apathetic. The market is inherently democratic so you run into the problem of collective action. I don't think the online pass is offensive enough to most gamers to provoke a vocal movement, so if you really think it's that big a deal you need to seek out those who agree with you and think about what you can do to affect EA's bottom line.

    What it comes down to is how much you care about this, and how much gamers as a collective care about it. If someone can cull enough collective discontent and exert pressure on the company in ways that matter to them, then it is possible to talk EA out of the online pass. But that discontent has to exist and be abundant enough to be visible...and I highly doubt it's sufficient.

    Just please, please, please don't pretend that you have an ethical mandate or that EA games is in any sense doing anything wrong, because you don't and they aren't.

    Torso Boy on
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    UltenthUltenth Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Ceno wrote: »
    The main reason we hear endless bitching about this sort of thing and yet companies still do it is because all the people bitching still buy the game. Petitions are signed, and boycotts are promised, but in the end, the shiny allure proves too great and they really want to play it, so they pony up. Or steal it, if they're jerks.

    Bottom line: companies like EA understand one language, as simplistic as it may sound.

    $$$$$

    They don't have some altruistic pledge to first do no harm. They spend millions of dollars making an entertainment product, and the only reason that happens is because they want that cash back plus a shitload more. Used products take away a percentage of their dime, hence online passes.

    Money lost is not simply one person not buying an item. Large companies like EA spend millions on their corperate image, if something they are doing is damaging to that image, they weigh the costs vs. gains and choose to continue or to stop what they are doing. I have not asked if people know why EA is doing this, it's quite obvious. I have not asked why people as individuals are not doing anything about it, it's quite obvious. I am curious though as to why resources usually used for consumer advocacy in the gaming community are in my opinion being underutilized in regards to this issue. But at this point it seems to be the only response I am going to receive here is on the subject of the two issues stated earlier that are already quite obvious.

    Ultenth on
    I'm Frank T.J. Mackey, a master of the muffin... - from Magnolia
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    Torso BoyTorso Boy Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    I think the consumer advocacy movement in games tends to be primarily concerned with the relationship between government and the industry (where rights are very much a part of the discourse). You could argue they need to turn their attention towards issues like this...but I guess that brings us back to the fundamental reason this hasn't garnered more controversy: gamers don't really care that much.

    Torso Boy on
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    SoulGateSoulGate Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Refusing to buy games works pretty well. I think Assassin's Creed 2 on the PC was hit hard when news of the DRM was heard of. Shortly after release the price was lowered from $60 to $40. I think around 8 months after the price drop (and the hackers have broken the 'perfect system') the DRM was removed to the extent that constant online access isn't needed.

    Simple, if the company practices don't fly, then don't buy. At first I didn't want Assassin's Creed 2, now with DRM toned back I want it.

    SoulGate on
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    mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    I for one will not miss madden's online mode.

    mrt144 on
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    Fig-DFig-D Tustin, CA, USRegistered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Ultenth wrote: »
    I am curious though as to why resources usually used for consumer advocacy in the gaming community are in my opinion being underutilized in regards to this issue.

    You mentioned PA specifically earlier on the subject so I'll go ahead and address this portion of your argument. Many around here are simply unsympathetic to the used market. If you buy Mass Effect 2 used then you are a customer of GameStop, not EA. This community in particular is more concerned with the health of game developers than many others. If a company's actions are truly harmful to their paying customers (see Ubisoft's "always connected" DRM) then folks tend to get riled up about it. If it hurts the used market? Not so much.

    The folks behind the PA comics have dipped their toes into game development. I would imagine their feelings on the subject would be mixed at best.

    And you can't go around talking about how the sale of a used game will be covered by DLC that the second hand user purchases. Not everyone who buys games used will buy DLC, and not all games have DLC (though I suppose since EA is the topic of this discussion, we can assume that all affected games will probably have DLC).

    Fig-D on
    SteamID - Fig-D :: PSN - Fig-D
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    UltenthUltenth Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    The idea that our only resort in regards to consumer advocacy is boycotting is just an extension of the main issue involving advocacy is consumer laziness and apathy. Boycotting is an easy and lazy solution, attempting to change a corporations mind via public relations resources takes far more effort, but is often much more successful as it is more precise. If you boycott a game, and even get others too, how is a game company going to really know how much of their lack of sales was from the boycott, or from simply making or advertising a game badly? But if a company constantly sees their name in news articles in a negative light, and about a specific issue, it's much easier for them to understand what they need to change in order to stop the bad press. Again, corporations wouldn't spend millions in order to improve their corperate image if they didn't care about it, and thus view attacks against it as something requiring a response.

    Ultenth on
    I'm Frank T.J. Mackey, a master of the muffin... - from Magnolia
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    curly haired boycurly haired boy Your Friendly Neighborhood Torgue Dealer Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    i never buy used anyway, and i hate gamestop with a passion, so in general i don't have a problem with this. seems to me it's like the cerberus network card. just incentive to buy the game new.

    and honestly, when gamestop charges 55 for a used game and the new one's 60, i'd rather all my money go to the publisher than to gamestop.

    curly haired boy on
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    Registered just for the Mass Effect threads | Steam: click ^^^ | Origin: curlyhairedboy
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    TurkeyTurkey So, Usoop. TampaRegistered User regular
    edited January 2011
    I don't see anything wrong with the online pass. The only thing I would like is for those games to work without Gold on Xbox Live.

    Turkey on
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    UltenthUltenth Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Fig-D wrote: »
    And you can't go around talking about how the sale of a used game will be covered by DLC that the second hand user purchases. Not everyone who buys games used will buy DLC, and not all games have DLC (though I suppose since EA is the topic of this discussion, we can assume that all affected games will probably have DLC).

    Besides the added income from the DLC, there are other reasons as to why used games can contribute to company income. I feel safe in assuming that I am not the only person ever to buy a used version of a game several years old, feel happy with the purchase, and then proceed to buy new the latest iteration of said game. Had I not impulse bought the older cheap used version of the game, I probably would not have spent money on the latest version. Sometimes companies will need to learn that just because someone spent less money somewhere else to buy something used, doesn't mean they LOST money, because they probably wouldn't have spent the money buying the more expensive un-used product. Buying used games is NOT the same as piracy, which EA almost views it as.

    Ultenth on
    I'm Frank T.J. Mackey, a master of the muffin... - from Magnolia
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    Torso BoyTorso Boy Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Ultenth wrote: »
    The idea that our only resort in regards to consumer advocacy is boycotting is just an extension of the main issue involving advocacy is consumer laziness and apathy. Boycotting is an easy and lazy solution, attempting to change a corporations mind via public relations resources takes far more effort, but is often much more successful as it is more precise. If you boycott a game, and even get others too, how is a game company going to really know how much of their lack of sales was from the boycott, or from simply making or advertising a game badly? But if a company constantly sees their name in news articles in a negative light, and about a specific issue, it's much easier for them to understand what they need to change in order to stop the bad press. Again, corporations wouldn't spend millions in order to improve their corperate image if they didn't care about it, and thus view attacks against it as something requiring a response.

    This is correct but it's only half the picture. The idea is that you have to attack their image in such a way that they believe it will affect their sales. The initial rumblings following the announcement of the online pass were clearly not sufficient. So you have to speak louder and correlate that voice with a dip in sales. In this case, it would be ideal to target a single high-profile release and provide a petition with x signatures. If the petitioners follow through and their numbers are strong enough, the company will see a shortfall in sales of about x. The larger the number, the more clear it will be that the shortfall isn't a coincidence.

    If it's a contentious enough issue, a boycott absolutely isn't necessary because there will be a strong enough chorus to let the company know its customers disapprove. But again, we're back to the problem with this specific issue: as far as we know, gamers tend not to care.

    Torso Boy on
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