So what about EA's removal of online passes?

#1 Edited by Trilogy (2676 posts) -

Sony dropped the hammer pretty hard last night, but what's going to happen to the removal of the online pass that EA announced a couple of weeks ago. Are they going to go back on their word? They obviously were banking on both consoles having the same DRM that Microsoft was setting up. I think Sony did the right thing last night (obviously), but I wonder what the longer term affects are for everyone involved.

#2 Edited by CommanderGermanShepard (303 posts) -

Online Passes back on to PS4 games, I feel this whole thing was a last minute decision from Sony and kept EA and MS offguard.

#3 Edited by alternate (2717 posts) -

MS doesn't need it and Sony previously said it would be down to publishers. EA could still make you register with their own servers or charge $10 more - if they do nothing then MS will want something in return.

I don't think it was that last minute but I bet they had plans for DRM and were waiting to see how people reacted to the MS announcement. After the backlash they decided that the opertunity to snatch an early market lead was worth annoying publishers - if they sell enough consoles 3rd parties will release on ps4 whatever happens.

#4 Posted by devilzrule27 (1239 posts) -

New from EA, Online Enrichment codes!

#5 Posted by MildMolasses (3225 posts) -

I'm not really seeing the issue here. Dropping the online pass most likely had nothing to do with DRM and more to do with no one buying them. What you will probably see is more microtransactions in their games which they will make way more money off of, and people can spend money on regardless of whether they have a new or used copy

#6 Posted by devilzrule27 (1239 posts) -

@mildmolasses: didnt they say they made 15 million off online passes? Money was there.

#7 Posted by MildMolasses (3225 posts) -

@mildmolasses: didnt they say they made 15 million off online passes? Money was there.

But I bet they make way more off of mircrotransactions.

Let's use Dead Space 3 as an example. I would imagine a lot of people wouldn't care for the online co-op part, so for those people who bough the game used, EA will never see a dime by selling them passes. But with the weapon crafting, which everyone will use, there is probably a much greater percentage of people who will be willing to drop some money into the game. Each person may not spend the $10 it would cost for the pass, but, if you look at what some people are willing to spend on DOTA and LoL, there's probably a small amount of people who will spend an extra $20 to $30 in game. This is a revenue stream that is open to solo and cooperative players, using new or used copies. They will take a temporary hit from the lack of online pass sales, but in the long run they will gain a lot more. This also has the added benefit of increased customer goodwill by eliminating what is perceived as a restrictive policy. And, if you didn't already know this, goodwill is something that companies put a dollar value on and include on their balance sheets.

#8 Edited by devilzrule27 (1239 posts) -

@mildmolasses: bet they make more doing both and in the end money talks.

#9 Posted by Vinny_Says (5720 posts) -

"You must sign in to Origin to play this campaign..."

can you imagine?

I doubt they'll just go back on their word (or make up a new word for online passes). Maybe if the PS3 sells really well they'll just have to deal with it and release the games anyway. As far as I know only EA dropped them right? Ubisoft and WB and other publishers still have them because maybe they were just waiting to see how the PS4 would pan out.

#10 Edited by Demoskinos (15029 posts) -

"You must sign in to Origin to play this campaign..."

can you imagine?

I doubt they'll just go back on their word (or make up a new word for online passes). Maybe if the PS3 sells really well they'll just have to deal with it and release the games anyway. As far as I know only EA dropped them right? Ubisoft and WB and other publishers still have them because maybe they were just waiting to see how the PS4 would pan out.

I could really see that being the case if so.... EA is going to be much maligned and honestly they can't fucking afford that with Call of Duty STILL laughing at them all the way to the bank. If they want to make a serious play for the Call of Duty fans with Battlefield 4 they need to get serious about giving people what they want.

#11 Edited by MildMolasses (3225 posts) -

@devilzrule27:

The Online Pass system brought in $10 million to $15 million in new revenue for EA in its first year, a pretty modest sum for a company that makes over a billion dollars in purely digital sales annually. It seems like that small bit of cash wasn't enough to justify the decreased online player numbers and bad PR associated with the program.

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2013/05/ea-says-goodbye-to-the-online-pass-we-say-good-riddance/

Maybe microtransactions won't work out in the long run, but the online passes are gone. Their is no reason for them to go backwards on this policy as they have nothing to gain from it. EA had $3.8 billion dollars in revenue for fiscal 2013. That $15 million dollars is nothing. The consumer backlash costs them more than that, so they dropped it.

#12 Posted by devilzrule27 (1239 posts) -

"You must sign in to Origin to play this campaign..."

can you imagine?

I doubt they'll just go back on their word (or make up a new word for online passes). Maybe if the PS3 sells really well they'll just have to deal with it and release the games anyway. As far as I know only EA dropped them right? Ubisoft and WB and other publishers still have them because maybe they were just waiting to see how the PS4 would pan out.

They kind of already do that. The first thing they do when you start up an EA game on a console is ask you to link up your EA account.

#13 Posted by devilzrule27 (1239 posts) -

@devilzrule27:

The Online Pass system brought in $10 million to $15 million in new revenue for EA in its first year, a pretty modest sum for a company that makes over a billion dollars in purely digital sales annually. It seems like that small bit of cash wasn't enough to justify the decreased online player numbers and bad PR associated with the program.

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2013/05/ea-says-goodbye-to-the-online-pass-we-say-good-riddance/

Maybe microtransactions won't work out in the long run, but the online passes are gone. Their is no reason for them to go backwards on this policy as they have nothing to gain from it. EA had $3.8 billion dollars in revenue for fiscal 2013. That $15 million dollars is nothing. The consumer backlash costs them more than that, so they dropped it.

I doubt the online passes negatively affected their sales honestly. The internet is usually all talk and doesn't back up their words. People get all in a huff about online passes but they keep buying the games that have them because why wouldn't they. Wouldn't surprise me in the least to see them brought back in some shape or form, whether it be something like the Cerberus Network in ME2 or straight up online passes.

#14 Posted by MildMolasses (3225 posts) -

I doubt the online passes negatively affected their sales honestly. The internet is usually all talk and doesn't back up their words.

That was the word from their executives (Jeff Brown and John Reseburg, not internet warriors). Publicly traded companies typically don't want their executives to lie about their reasoning for decisions, especially since they are legally required to disclose that type of information

#15 Posted by Nezza (373 posts) -

Just thinking about this, have Sony said anything about dropping codes their own online passes? I know I had to input codes for my Vita copies of Wipeout, LittleBigPlanet and Modnation Racers, so EA weren't the only company doing this.

#16 Posted by devilzrule27 (1239 posts) -

@devilzrule27 said:

I doubt the online passes negatively affected their sales honestly. The internet is usually all talk and doesn't back up their words.

That was the word from their executives (Jeff Brown and John Reseburg, not internet warriors). Publicly traded companies typically don't want their executives to lie about their reasoning for decisions, especially since they are legally required to disclose that type of information

Where did they say that? Certainly not in the article you linked. Most articles speculate that it somehow hurt sales with no evidence to back it up. For EA's part they said customers didn't respond well to it. Which is what I said, that doesn't mean they weren't buying the games.

#17 Edited by MildMolasses (3225 posts) -

@devilzrule27: Customers not responding well = people aren't buying our stuff.

#18 Edited by devilzrule27 (1239 posts) -

@devilzrule27: Customers not responding well = people aren't buying our stuff.

Or it means people are bitching which the internet loves to do. The biggest games affected by the online pass were the sports games and battle field and by all accounts Fifa, Madden, and BF sold wonders over the last 2 to 3 years.

#19 Edited by alternate (2717 posts) -

The thing is that is if EA (and the rest) talked MS in to doing the DRM then they have to give MS something to offset the competitive advantage the PS4 has. Whether it is cheaper games or exclusive content I don't know but although MS is stuck with these policies for now - I would bet that in a year if they are getting slaughtered in the marketplace then they will have to do something.

Remember Windows 8.

"You don't need a start button, start buttons are now redundant"

*one year of not selling as many consumer copies as they wanted and people still moaning*

"Good news! We are patching in a start button"

#20 Posted by kpaadet (411 posts) -

@nezza said:

Just thinking about this, have Sony said anything about dropping codes their own online passes? I know I had to input codes for my Vita copies of Wipeout, LittleBigPlanet and Modnation Racers, so EA weren't the only company doing this.

I assume Sony's online passes will go away now that PS+ is required to play online, same thing with MS they never implemented online passes because they have Gold.

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