Published in Games

EA ditches Online Pass for existing titles

Will be free to download or eliminated with update

The news that Electronic Arts was eliminating its Online Pass requirement for future titles was welcome news. However, we don’t think anyone expected the company to get rid of the Online Pass requirement for existing Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 titles. Call us surprised, but the company announced that it would do just that for its back catalog of games that come with the Online Pass when released.

While EA says it will take several weeks for the Online Pass to be eliminated from all titles, this is exactly what the company is doing. In some cases, users will need to download the Online Pass for the game at no charge; in other cases, the Online Pass will be removed by an update to the game itself.

We are seeing already in the Xbox Live Marketplace that the Online Pass for many EA titles is now shown at no charge, but this has not seemed to hit the PlayStation Store just yet.

The bigger question is whether other publishers will follow EA’s lead and do away with the Online Pass or not. So far, we have not heard of any other publisher indicating that they will move in this direction; and in fact, the just released GRID 2 from Codemasters (which was distributed by Warner Bros in the States) included an Online Pass with the game.

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