Multi Ding dong the Witch is dead

Slaine

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I hope your sitting down, because you will faint at this.....
Eurogamer said:
EA is going to discontinue its Online Pass requirement to access certain features in its future releases.
"We're discontinuing Online Pass," EA senior director of corporate communications John Reseburg confirmed to VentureBeat. "None of our new EA titles will include that feature."
The Online Pass was a heavily derided system in which players would have to pay an additional fee in order to access certain online components like multiplayer. It also meant that if someone purchased a game second-hand or, god-forbid, wanted to share a game with their family or friends, they'd have to purchase a separate online pass for each user. As expected, consumers did not take kindly to this.
"Initially launched as an effort to package a full menu of online content and services, many players didn't respond to the format," Reseburg told VentureBeat. "We've listened to the feedback and decided to do away with it moving forward."
Of course, games that already use the Online Pass system will continue to do so. Resenburg is only talking about upcoming titles like Battlefield 4.
Resenberg added, "We're still committed to creating content and services that enhance the game experience well beyond the day you first start playing," Thus, it remains to be seen how EA will recoup its loss on these and one suspects microtransactions and/or more expensive DLC could present themselves. Or perhaps EA is banking on this goodwill to bring more buyers to these games in the first place, so it won't need these extra fees. We've followed up with EA for comment and will update as we hear back.
Online Passes still remain common practice elsewhere and now that EA is phasing them out, one wonders if publishers like Activision, Ubisoft and Warner Bros. will follow suit.
I hate these bloody things. I have never bought one and never will. Im guessing EA have found this out the hard way. Theyve probably sold a minimal amount, certainly not to the equal amount to match how many people have shared their game/bought 2nd hand. After getting voted the worst company in the world twice in a row now, and the endless forum bitching about them, theyve finally seen sense.:woot:
 

Spruijt

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Finally! But I wonder what they'll think up next to get more out of the gamers than the initial retail price.
 

Plaxinator

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I'd hazard a guess at more silly little DLCs or not as much but more expensive DLC. Maybe not drop the RRP so soon after release etc.
 

Jkrohn1

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About time there a joke anyway £8 just to play online with a game you paid for :-\

I think xbox gamers had it worst you pay to play online then an online pass if you had a second hand game. My sister had to buy two of every of there games for the kids.

There will be something different, maybe coded disks each game has an individual code built in. Remember these were ment to stop piracy and the second hand market but in most cases it hasn't worked.
 

ColSonders

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Actually this is more worrying than pleasing to me, I tend to buy most of my games new rather than second hand....so what this means to me is that i'm now going to be charged more to play somehow....

Not good news at all given how greedy we all know EA are.

Battlefield 3 is a pretty good example and for some of us this was a mandatory purchase, but lets review their income methods.

First up we've got the limited edition version of the game, for an extra £5 or so I believe you got Back to Karkand DLC.

Then we've got Premium, which big fans of the game were going to buy so that they got the discount overall on the DLC...this was another £40 I think....and what was the first thing we got with that? Ah yes, the Back to Karkand DLC that everyone had already paid for by that point through buying it separately of buying the limited edition....and the refund we got? Not bloody likely.

Then we've got rented servers...an astronomical extra cost for the ability to be able to play the game how you want to....particularly required as the EA/DICE servers were intentionally made difficult to find and the majority of servers had settings that just made the game no fun, such as 1000% ticket counts for 2-3 hour games.

And as if that wasn't enough they also released kit shortcuts, vehicle shortcuts and co-op shotcuts which basically just unlock the stuff you'd unlock if you spend any time playing the game....which to be fair I can see a legitimate place for the casual gamer who doesn't have the time to dedicate to unlocking...but still, it's just another income method for EA.

I personally have spent almost three figures on this game when I take into account server costs, that's double the cost of any other game i've bought (excluding Rock Band...but that's a different kettle of fish).

So what does this mean, that for BF4 i'm likely to end up paying over £150 over the life of that game? That seems likely since they aren't going to be recouping £10 for an online pass from a few people that get the game second hand.
 

zoob

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I'd hazard a guess at more silly little DLCs or not as much but more expensive DLC. Maybe not drop the RRP so soon after release etc.
Nail on head. Dead Space 3, pay to play, in-game micro transactions, etc. The future is grim. Time to hit the second hand single player market...
 

Acegadgets

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I think this is a brilliant and positive step from EA , who make the best games around. Hats off to them.
 

Jkrohn1

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I think this is a brilliant and positive step from EA , who make the best games around. Hats off to them.
C#*T lol

I do enjoy there games but hate there business practice, squeeze there customers dry and then squeeze them a bit more.
 

ColSonders

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C#*T lol

I do enjoy there games but hate there business practice, squeeze there customers dry and then squeeze them a bit more.
Exactly....and with that sort of business practice do you really think that cutting the online pass won't result in extra cost to consumers added elsewhere?

They're already managing to get up to three figures out of people's wallets per game...surely now they'll be aiming to increase that to compensate.

Fair play to EA for using this to try to make them look like saints, that's good marketing opportunity, but I'm surprised that anyone who plays a lot of games believes this is a genuine thing from EA and not just cutting something that didn't make money and bolstering something else that does.

Bear in mind this is the company that wanted to boost the RRP of games from £40 to £60 when we went from xbox/PS2 to 360/PS3...so whilst they're dropping the £10 online pass fee for the few who bought second hand games and went on to pay for an online pass....surely it means a bump in initial game cost to at least a £50 standard (£60 rrp) and season passes will probably also have a bump in price...so instead of getting an extra £10 when they lose a sale....they get an extra £20 on EVERY sale.

I think I should seek employment at EA.
 

Slaine

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Bear in mind this is the company that wanted to boost the RRP of games from £40 to £60 when we went from xbox/PS2 to 360/PS3...so whilst they're dropping the £10 online pass fee for the few who bought second hand games and went on to pay for an online pass....surely it means a bump in initial game cost to at least a £50 standard (£60 rrp) and season passes will probably also have a bump in price...so instead of getting an extra £10 when they lose a sale....they get an extra £20 on EVERY sale.
They can try. The Vitas sales are piss poor. The Wii-U isnt selling at all. Gears Of War Judgement and God Of War Ascension sales were a fraction of the previous games, despite excellent reviews and price drops. Theres a definite downward turn on the games market, and it isnt all current-gen fatigue as the media will have you believe. I heard on the radio that Spain has 60% unemployment at this mo. And did you know that 40% of the UKs economy is bolstered by trade within the EU (same Radio show)? Not surprising that the recession is biting everywhere, and that the sales of non-essential goods like video games have taken a nose dive.

Col's rght in that EA will try and get their money another way, but I reckon theyre pissing against the wind at the mo. The world needs another 5 years to get itself in a decent state again, may be even longer. Im curious to see how the next gen of consoles fares, because a little voice inside me tells me Sony and Microsoft are going to charge silly money for them, and I reckon the sales of these wont bear up to the sales of their predecessors. Anyone notice that there seems to be a lot of next gen games being made for the PS3/Xbox too? Are developers just making their product available to as many as possible, or is there a lack of faith in how well the new consoles will fare?
 

yinkin

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however companies monetise their post release content, they are going to annoy somebody, want to sell your seconhand game, it sucks for you if an online pass makes it worth less, you want to keep up your mates who insist on buying every dlc pack, that sucks too, etc . About time we accepted games companies will monetise anything they think we will buy and that is the price we will pay , or not to play games. The EA online pass doesnt mean buyers of new games were being subsidised by online pass sales and that we will all be charged more now, we were always going to be charged and always will.
 

ColSonders

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I'm not suggesting that the online pass was subsidising a reduced price for those buying the game new, but I am suggesting that those buying the game new are now going to be charged more because the online pass is being removed as a revenue stream.

As for what Slaine was saying I must admit it's a bit worrying, I don't think that the games developers have little faith in the new systems but I do think the new systems will be a lot slower to take off than previous incarnations due to the state of the economy and that's why new games coming out in the next 12-24 months will likely cross generation, something that didn't really happen much in the past.
 

Acegadgets

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I think EA has realised that thier attempt to get buyers to only buy new games by effectively making second hand games worthless has simply not worked. People are buying a lot less games on release day than they used to.
I used to buy a lot of games for the PS3, knowing that I could play them for a month or so, then sell them if I was getting a bit bored and buy another new game. Nowadays I dont buy many new games especially on the PS3 as I dont want to buy something I cant sell on at a later date and get a decent amount back for. I think most of us are doing the same . Only buying the occasional new game IF you think you are going to keep it for a long time. We resist the temptation for new and shiney games on release day and wait for a few price drops.
I will probably risk buying more games on release day if I know that If I dont like them or get bored quickly I can re sell them and not lose too much.
 

ColSonders

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I will probably risk buying more games on release day if I know that If I dont like them or get bored quickly I can re sell them and not lose too much.
Whilst I agree with this sentiment entirely I think the bigger factor for most gamers as to why we aren't buying all the launch day games anymore is the economy.

I've never been as financially boned as I am currently and that's a far greater contributing factor to me not buying as many launch day games as how little money I can get for resale.
 
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