Online Pass Is a Success, Says EA

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Online Pass Is a Success, Says EA

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The more controversial of EA's efforts to generate revenue from pre-owned sales has apparently met with a very positive response.

EA didn't make many friends when it announced that consumers who bought an EA Sports game pre-owned would have to pay $10 for an "Online Pass" if they wanted to play online, but according to Eric Brown, the company's CFO, it didn't lose very many either.

Speaking at the Deutsche Bank 2010 Technology Conference in San Francisco last night, Brown said that there had been no consumer backlash to the program, and in fact, the reception had been very positive. Brown thought that retail customers understood that bandwidth wasn't free, so they didn't think that EA's move to "diffuse or cover" the cost of online play was unreasonable.

Brown's explanation will likely raise a few eyebrows, as buying a game pre-owned doesn't increase the pool of possible online players, it just swaps one out for another. Moreover, for every pre-owned game that exists, someone has paid the full retail price, which would presumably cover the bandwidth costs. Regardless, this success means that the Online Pass, and similar schemes from publishers like THQ, is here to stay for the foreseeable future.

Source: Eurogamer

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Just a company that wants to make even more money. Nothing new to see here folks, dont get your knickers in a bunch.

Lol, that is such a bullshit excuse - he could at least have been honest and said he's wanting to get a share of the used games market, and that getting paid more than once for a single unit is always a bonus...

FAIL

Seriously... EA knows its a fail. I suspect they are "announcing" its a success in order to dupe the more gullible into thinking "this is acceptable... other people are doing it, so you should too" in order to gain a public conception of legitimacy.

AxCx:
Just a company that wants to make even more money. Nothing new to see here folks, dont get your knickers in a bunch.

In my opinion, most of the blame here goes to the people supporting Online Pass by purchasing it. A company's first and foremost task is to make money. EA isn't doing anything that any other company doesn't do.

If gamers/consumers wanted EA to get rid of Online Pass, all they had to do is not support it. Companies will listen in a heartbeat if their latest attempt to generate revenue isn't working. Unfortunately, I've seen lots of gamers complain about game companies' tactics yet still purchase their games anyways.

LunarCircle:

AxCx:
Just a company that wants to make even more money. Nothing new to see here folks, dont get your knickers in a bunch.

In my opinion, most of the blame here goes to the people supporting Online Pass by purchasing it. A company's first and foremost task is to make money. EA isn't doing anything that any other company doesn't do.

If gamers/consumers wanted EA to get rid of Online Pass, all they had to do is not support it. Companies will listen in a heartbeat if their latest attempt to generate revenue isn't working. Unfortunately, I've seen lots of gamers complain about game companies' tactics yet still purchase their games anyways.

Indeed. If no one bought this online pass and waited for half a year, EA would stop the system because it isnt making them any money. Simple as that.

viranimus:
Seriously... EA knows its a fail. I suspect they are "announcing" its a success in order to dupe the more gullible into thinking "this is acceptable... other people are doing it, so you should too" in order to gain a public conception of legitimacy.

I can't help but feel that it's already accepted by the general gaming public, frankly.

If we accept P2P bandwidth does cost anything the relative increase in usage caused by extra 2nd hand sales should be obvious to even the meanest intelligence.

Delusibeta:

viranimus:
Seriously... EA knows its a fail. I suspect they are "announcing" its a success in order to dupe the more gullible into thinking "this is acceptable... other people are doing it, so you should too" in order to gain a public conception of legitimacy.

I can't help but feel that it's already accepted by the general gaming public, frankly.

Alas, I am afraid you might be right. However, its EA.. and those results are likely skewn considering the type of player in question is referring to their sports platform, which has been overfunded by people who buy the same game every year for full price. So to the type of market who has shown they are willing to do that, is fairly likely to show approval to something like this.

I really worry about how people want to screw themselves and their kind, simply by buying the bullshit fed to them instead of standing up and saying HELL NO!

Thats stupid.

Well, glad to see this little experiment is bearing some kind of fruit.

Fuck you EA.

First it starts with them, then Ubi, then the rest of them. This will only get worse.

It probably didn't lose any money because it only relates to sports games and the Madden heads will just buy regardless.

Also it's only preowned sales and I don't see many people buying these games preowned - if you're a fan of the sport game you're likely to have preordered it, if you're not it is highly unlikely you'll buy it

The joys of having no interest in playing games online.

viranimus:
[quote="Delusibeta" post="7.232456.8171982"]
*snip*

I really worry about how people want to screw themselves and their kind, simply by buying the bullshit fed to them instead of standing up and saying HELL NO!

Problem is why, me as a customer who never even considers buying a second-hand game when there is a fresh copy available on shelf should even be bothered? It's you, after all, who decides to buy a used game for lower price so don't expect to get a full service -you- haven't paid for in the first place.

The funny thing is, when you buy used game you are pretty much getting scammed. You only buy a physical disc with the game on it, but the previous owner of the game still retains their right to use the online service. You must treat those two as separate products. For all you know he might have a pirated copy in his house and still be able to play because he still has right to it while all you get is a piece of plastic with digital data on it.

Maybe it's just me, but I think EA will see a lot more resistance if they try this with another video game genre...

Funnily enough, I don't think online pass is a bad idea, provided it extends the life span of online on consoles.

Most games on console are managing 2-3 years before getting cut off, behemoths like Halo 2 only managed 5 and a bit. If a game is still getting a reasonable number of used sales and gamers stumping up their $10, it means the game will still be generating a revenue stream. Certainly a much more secure one than the slightly nebulous player number/advertising calculations.

However, if it means players are just going to be paying an extra ten bucks to get shanked anyway (or worse, pay the money to find the game has already been shanked) it's little more than a money grab.

Wait, its a success?

Isn't it a little early to see ANY profits from this feature, considering its fairly new?

I mean, I would expect to hear this a year or so down the line, when people would be able to buy EA Sports games used for less then $55. But whatever.

Its not new for EA to screw over its fanbase. Exclude content that we can then sell as a DLC? Check. Fuck over people who want to enjoy our older titles we wont make a profit over? Check. Lose all credibility...

BIG CHECK.

Wicky_42:
Lol, that is such a bullshit excuse - he could at least have been honest and said he's wanting to get a share of the used games market, and that getting paid more than once for a single unit is always a bonus...

But why be honest when marketing is so much more effective?

Anyway, I'll buy it only when I see actually results. EA's a public company, let's see how well things look in their reports.

I don't understand why EA would charge about £5 or £10 (depending how stupid the exchange rates are for them) to play on their mostly-broken servers.

Alrighty then, I'm boycotting EA. Who's with me?

Logan Westbrook:

Brown's explanation will likely raise a few eyebrows, as buying a game pre-owned doesn't increase the pool of possible online players, it just swaps one out for another.

It replaces somebody who wasn't going to play, or who played and has now quit, (and thus sold the game) with somebody who is going to play.

Keava:

viranimus:
[quote="Delusibeta" post="7.232456.8171982"]
*snip*

I really worry about how people want to screw themselves and their kind, simply by buying the bullshit fed to them instead of standing up and saying HELL NO!

Problem is why, me as a customer who never even considers buying a second-hand game when there is a fresh copy available on shelf should even be bothered? It's you, after all, who decides to buy a used game for lower price so don't expect to get a full service -you- haven't paid for in the first place.

The funny thing is, when you buy used game you are pretty much getting scammed. You only buy a physical disc with the game on it, but the previous owner of the game still retains their right to use the online service. You must treat those two as separate products. For all you know he might have a pirated copy in his house and still be able to play because he still has right to it while all you get is a piece of plastic with digital data on it.

Well what they're pulling is no different from downloadable content. You buy the game fresh, you sometimes get a redemption code that allows you a certain piece of content. any future owner of that game disc must buy it. People will pay ten dollars for a 5-6 hour add-on to the single player story of the game, so why are you all bitching for a $10 pass that will get you online for as long as you want?

I don't buy used games, or I try not to. If i really want it, and it's used and I'll buy it used. If I want to play online, then it's my fault for buying a used copy of the game. It's for me to bit down and cough up.

fix-the-spade:

Most games on console are managing 2-3 years before getting cut off, behemoths like Halo 2 only managed 5 and a bit. If a game is still getting a reasonable number of used sales and gamers stumping up their $10, it means the game will still be generating a revenue stream. Certainly a much more secure one than the slightly nebulous player number/advertising calculations.

I haven't heard of any 360 games on Xbox Live being cut. Halo 2 was only cut because it was an original Xbox game, and Microsoft wanted to change Live architecture past the point where original Xbox games would work.

Most games simply don't have enough community to sustain themselves, leaving everyone to quit altogether.

Keava:

viranimus:
[quote="Delusibeta" post="7.232456.8171982"]
*snip*

I really worry about how people want to screw themselves and their kind, simply by buying the bullshit fed to them instead of standing up and saying HELL NO!

Problem is why, me as a customer who never even considers buying a second-hand game when there is a fresh copy available on shelf should even be bothered? It's you, after all, who decides to buy a used game for lower price so don't expect to get a full service -you- haven't paid for in the first place.

Why? Because the issue itself, and the motivation for me to say what I did, is representative of a much greater problem that the consumer/industry are currently engaged in, and it boils down to post product sales.

It goes back to the old adage of bill collectors vs deadbeats "you cant get blood from a turnip" For every drop of blood you willingly relinquish, they will see it yielded blood and begin poking holes elsewhere.

Publishers think they are entitled to every drop of money they can milk out of you. When people willingly approve of something like this with their wallets it tells the publishers that you think it is acceptable to pay for this, and they will in turn begin to think this is an expected source of income and move on to another way to milk the customer out of money.

Look at online revenues. MMOs proved to publishers that Online can = money. So, they started trying to milk money out of people with DLC for stand alone games, which took a while to take off, but eventually proved profitable. Now that they are picking up occasional DLC hits, you see publishers now pushing to sell services like private server rentals, and paying extra for leaderboards, and ranking systems... for shooters.

Thats why even if your not effected by this issue because you buy new, you SHOULD be bothered, because whos to say if this takes off in a year or so, that EA gets a taste of this online access money and feels its justified to start charging all players a 10$ online access fee? If people keep giving up blood, Publishers will keep drilling deeper for it until the well runs dry, and the only way to stop it, is to stop giving up the blood.

EDIT: OT, not trying to sound accusatory. Simply trying to illustrate why everyone should be concerned with this. Not just people who buy used exclusively.

AxCx:
Just a company that wants to make even more money. Nothing new to see here folks, dont get your knickers in a bunch.

I am getting my knickers in a bunch

Does this feat also go for Xbox?

Cause then I'm gonna shoot some people at EA

Logan Westbrook:

Brown's explanation will likely raise a few eyebrows, as buying a game pre-owned doesn't increase the pool of possible online players, it just swaps one out for another. Moreover, for every pre-owned game that exists, someone has paid the full retail price, which would presumably cover the bandwidth costs.

Look it's another video game writer (not you Mr Westbrook your just reposting someone elses article) who doesn't understand how products are sold to retailers. As soon as the pallet transfers to Gamestop's warehouse, Gamestop owns those games. If they choose too they could hand out the pallet to whomever they want.

I swear the video game media is just as bad as our politicians. Suck ass to all the corporations in hopes that they might get a job with those same corporations. It's sad when corruption extends its slimy tentacles even over facets of life so meaningless like video games.

Surprising...well, I supppose if people are actually paying for it...

Maraveno:

AxCx:
Just a company that wants to make even more money. Nothing new to see here folks, dont get your knickers in a bunch.

I am getting my knickers in a bunch

Does this feat also go for Xbox?

Cause then I'm gonna shoot some people at EA

I am 99% sure it does, but if you go and shoot up EA and find it doesnt, dont blame me.

Delusibeta:

viranimus:
Seriously... EA knows its a fail. I suspect they are "announcing" its a success in order to dupe the more gullible into thinking "this is acceptable... other people are doing it, so you should too" in order to gain a public conception of legitimacy.

I can't help but feel that it's already accepted by the general gaming public, frankly.

Same here. Hell gamers have taken far more up the butt already, this would just be another day.

AxCx:

Maraveno:

AxCx:
Just a company that wants to make even more money. Nothing new to see here folks, dont get your knickers in a bunch.

I am getting my knickers in a bunch

Does this feat also go for Xbox?

Cause then I'm gonna shoot some people at EA

I am 99% sure it does, but if you go and shoot up EA and find it doesnt, dont blame me.

well that's just plain ridiculous how much more money do these companies need... what do they need it for? like screw EA then if that's how they're gonna play it

I won't pay for DLC, online modes, or any post production fluff. I wont pay full price for the majority of games, either. You think the newest Assassin's Creed is worth $60? Ha. With Game companies chomping at the block for more of our money (for less and less content) and The Ninth Circuit Court trying to take away our right to sell and buy used software (that'd be games), the allure of piracy is getting more tempting and easily justifiable each day.

I'm a good gamer. I don't pirate. I just buy used. Apparently I'm now a bad gamer. Why not go all the way? If it's all the same to the developers.

Maraveno:

AxCx:

Maraveno:

AxCx:
Just a company that wants to make even more money. Nothing new to see here folks, dont get your knickers in a bunch.

I am getting my knickers in a bunch

Does this feat also go for Xbox?

Cause then I'm gonna shoot some people at EA

I am 99% sure it does, but if you go and shoot up EA and find it doesnt, dont blame me.

well that's just plain ridiculous how much more money do these companies need... what do they need it for? like screw EA then if that's how they're gonna play it

Yeah, it sure sucks. But EA is a company, companys exist to make money, and if they think they have found a new way to make even more of it, they will be damned if they dont try it. Cant blame em really.

I shall get my revenge by buying all EA games used and not getting the online code! Mwhahahahaha! Like, srsly. Cant play FIFA online? OH NOEZ! I dont give a shit.

^^

tehroc:

Logan Westbrook:

Brown's explanation will likely raise a few eyebrows, as buying a game pre-owned doesn't increase the pool of possible online players, it just swaps one out for another. Moreover, for every pre-owned game that exists, someone has paid the full retail price, which would presumably cover the bandwidth costs.

Look it's another video game writer (not you Mr Westbrook your just reposting someone elses article) who doesn't understand how products are sold to retailers. As soon as the pallet transfers to Gamestop's warehouse, Gamestop owns those games. If they choose too they could hand out the pallet to whomever they want.

I swear the video game media is just as bad as our politicians. Suck ass to all the corporations in hopes that they might get a job with those same corporations. It's sad when corruption extends its slimy tentacles even over facets of life so meaningless like video games.

we're talking about a multibillion dollar revenue here. Money is not meaningless to these people. Get your facts straight.
Also yes, this kinda sucks.

viranimus:

Why? Because the issue itself, and the motivation for me to say what I did, is representative of a much greater problem that the consumer/industry are currently engaged in, and it boils down to post product sales.

It goes back to the old adage of bill collectors vs deadbeats "you cant get blood from a turnip" For every drop of blood you willingly relinquish, they will see it yielded blood and begin poking holes elsewhere.

Publishers think they are entitled to every drop of money they can milk out of you. When people willingly approve of something like this with their wallets it tells the publishers that you think it is acceptable to pay for this, and they will in turn begin to think this is an expected source of income and move on to another way to milk the customer out of money.

Look at online revenues. MMOs proved to publishers that Online can = money. So, they started trying to milk money out of people with DLC for stand alone games, which took a while to take off, but eventually proved profitable. Now that they are picking up occasional DLC hits, you see publishers now pushing to sell services like private server rentals, and paying extra for leaderboards, and ranking systems... for shooters.

Thats why even if your not effected by this issue because you buy new, you SHOULD be bothered, because whos to say if this takes off in a year or so, that EA gets a taste of this online access money and feels its justified to start charging all players a 10$ online access fee? If people keep giving up blood, Publishers will keep drilling deeper for it until the well runs dry, and the only way to stop it, is to stop giving up the blood.

EDIT: OT, not trying to sound accusatory. Simply trying to illustrate why everyone should be concerned with this. Not just people who buy used exclusively.

Fan of conspiracy theories? I ask seriously, because you seem to mistake two different things. Over last years the used game market grew to the point where it's not just person A selling a game they got bored with to person B at a lower price. Big retailers came to join the fun and leech the money on products they already sold once without having to pay a single cent to the producers of that product.

And yet there is a whole lot of you that think's creating games is some sort of charity business and companies, especially publishers, should not make money. Sorry to burst your bubble but if EA doesn't make enough money they won't invest it into new titles, which means either there will be less games produced or the quality will drop down. You want that? Keep buying used games and boycott the DLCs/online passes, or just pirate everything. Both cases those evil, sinister companies won't see your money. After all thou art a true rebel against the corporation dominance over the lives of simple mortals.
Game development costs rise up every year and i haven't noticed any major rise in prices lately. Over those 20 years i play i even noticed a drop. Back in 90ties PC game here was usually 150-170PLN (that's about how much i paid for Baldur's Gate i think) which is about 50-60 $, now they are closer to 120-130PLN so ~40$.

MMOs also proved that if your multiplayer sucks you will go down fast. Most companies that jumped on the MMO bandwagon with unfinished products struggle to keep them running. If EA or any other publisher can prove that their multiplayer will be worth the fee i see no problem. Sign me up. If it will be crap, i'll live without the online world. The market is varied enough to let me choose what i want to pay for and last thing those big 'money milking' companies want is to loose customers fast.

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