EA Games To Begin Charging Buyers Of Used Games For Online Sports Play
Sale of used video games accounts for approximately one third of all video game sales in the US. While this is great for retailers of used games, its not so great for the publishers of the games, who obviously only get payed for the initial sell. Unsurprisingly, publishers are coming up with new ways to make some money.
After next month, all new games released by Electronic Arts will come with an Online Pass that will be required to play online. This code will be included with all new copies of the game but if you pick up a pre-owned copy you will need to pay to play online.
SVP of EA Sport Andrew Wilson says: “Every game will come with a game-specific, one-time use registration code with each unit sold new at retail. With your Online Pass, you’ll have access to multiplayer online play, group features like online dynasty and leagues, user created content, and bonus downloadable content for your game including, for example, a new driver in Tiger. If the original access code has been redeemed and fans wish to get access to the online content (for example, if you pick up a used copy), you can access a free 7-day trial or additional Online Passes will be available for $10. We want to reserve EA Sports online services for people who pay EA to access them.”
Note that online content is marketed as a feature of these games, not an additional service to be bought. So, you can buy a game for $60 dollars to access a game’s online content for “free”, or you can buy it used and pay an additional $10 to access features that have already been payed for by the original purchaser.