EA Discontinues Online Pass Program on Negative Player Feedback

Game publishers have been looking for ways to get in on the second-hand game market, but none have found a way that sits well with gamers just yet. Electronic Arts is throwing in the towel on its latest attempt, Online Pass, which generally charged gamers a fee to activate a game’s multiplayer content when they bought the game used. According to VentureBeat, EA is citing customer dissatisfaction as playing a role in the decision to cut the program.

Battlefield 3 by Electronic Arts
Games like EA's Battlefield 3 made use of Online Pass, which charged a fee for games to be re-activated on new systems.Image Credit: EA

It’s easy to see why EA is looking for ways to profit from second-hand game sales, and it’s a little surprising that customers reacted strongly enough to the Online Pass (which typically charged in the neighborhood of $10 for activation on used games) to convince the company to shut it down. It may be that this is also a goodwill-building move, given EA’s recent troubles with SimCity.