@bestusernameever: They are most likely just clearing the way for microtransactions. If online passes weren't selling well, that means most people weren't able to access the online portion and were dealing with it better than EA had expected. Why lockout potential microsales from potential customers, when it is a much more above board and profitable business model? I doubt they have a replacement drm in mind. Just clearing the path for their online games to sell you points, guns and other junk.