Good news everyone! EA scrapped the Online Pass on current gen consoles last month, but with the Xbox One implementing a 24hr check in to regulate used games, everybody began to fear that the next gen would bring back the pass. Don’t worry, it won’t return.
Electronic Arts’ President of EA Labels Frank Gibeau told Joystiq:
It’s dead, it’s dead, it’s deep-sixed, it’s at the bottom of the Mariana Trench.
We’re not crafting a strategy to bring [Online Pass] back, you will not input codes to unlock your game, it’s not going to happen… [the Online Pass program was] flat out dumb.
The amount of money that we made, it didn’t replace the amount of frustration we put on our customers and it didn’t offset the reputation damage it caused the company. So we said ‘it’s not worth it,’ and so the idea was, look, ‘don’t do stuff like that anymore.
He added that used game players can still make money for EA:
Do used game buyers of FIFA participate in Ultimate Team? Yeah. Is it possible they might buy DLC? Yeah. Frankly, we’re being more nuanced and sophisticated about it. Before we used a blunt instrument. Now we’re going to be like ‘Look, they own it, they bought the disc and it’s theirs. They have a legitimate right for not doing anything illegal.'” Gibeau continued, “If we want to be progressive about it, we will make online services available to them that if they want to buy they can, but they don’t have to. At least that way we participate in some monetization. The reputational damage [Online Pass] was causing us was in excess of the dollars we were making.
At the end of the day, we’re not going to replace [Online Pass]. It’s not coming back. It’s dead.