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EA Never “Aggressively Lobbied” for Platform Holders for Used Games DRM, Online Pass Was “a Mistake”

EA’s Peter Moore has weighed in on rumors that his company lobbied Sony and Microsoft to disallow used games in next gen consoles, helping lead to the Xbox One’s restrictions.

Moore told Polygon:

As the guy who is the chief operating officer of Electronic Arts I can tell you that EA did not aggressively lobby for the platform holders to put some gating function in there to allow or disallow used games. 

I am on record as being a proponent of used games. I like the ecosystem. I like the fact that it’s kept pricing at a good level for eight years. I like the fact that someone can buy a physical game and see some equity in that game. That keeps GameStop vibrant and they are a great launch and marketing partner for us.

EA has never had a conversation, and I have been present at all of them, with all of the manufacturers, saying you must put a system in place that allows us to take a piece of the action or even stop it. Absolutely incorrect.

He added, when talking about what EA will do DRM wise next gen:

We will figure out what we need to do. I’m not trying to back-pedal but this thing just happened and we need to reconvene and hear what people think and talk to our retail partners and our first party partners. We had no idea what Sony was going to announce. We’ll reconvene next week and figure it all out.

Finally, he also denied claims that EA simply stopped Online Passes because they knew Microsoft would do it with the Xbox One and take all of the flak for them:

We cancelled Online Pass. I was at the meeting. It just wasn’t resonating with the consumer. It just wasn’t consumer friendly. It was hard work and it was as much work for the guy who would never trade his game in, even though we gave him some digital content, because you’re punching numbers in. We just made a decision. I was the chair at the meeting. We said enough of Online Pass. Not saying, you know, it was Austin Powers type meeting of Doctor Evils saying [places pinkie finger on eyetooth, Dr. Evil-style] ‘we know we can get it back down the road’. No. That was not the meeting I was in. Online Pass was more trouble to the consumer than it was worth. It was a mistake. The consumer’s feedback was that this thing gets in the way of a good experience so let’s get rid of it.

While the One does have more severe restrictions, the PS4 has the same DRM rules as the PS3 – publishers can do Online Passes, if they want to. Luckily, it looks like publishers are moving away from Online Passes due to poor feedback and low returns.