Buying used games? EA will charge you for the online mode!

Discussion in 'Console Games' started by Taustin Powers, May 12, 2010.

  1. Taustin Powers macrumors regular

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    #1
    EA just announced something very clever called the "EA Sports Online Pass". Basically, it's a code that allows you access to any online features of the game. It comes with a new game and can be registered only once. If you buy a used game from a friend (or ebay etc.), you have to purchase an Online Pass from EA (~10$) to access the online features of this game. Yes, one Pass for each game. Oh, you can also try it for free for seven days...but then you have to pay! :D The Online Pass also gives you access to "bonus game items", such as a modern golf driver in the next PGA game.

    So, to sum it up: In the future, when you buy a used EA game, it will be stripped of all online functionality and certain game items until you hand over some extra cash to EA.

    I like their sales pitch...it's all just about enhancing the gamers' experience by enabling them to access to premium online services...so, uh, stuff that used to be just part of the game?. :rolleyes:

    http://www.vg247.com/2010/05/11/ea-...u-want-to-play-future-ea-sports-games-online/

    http://www.easports.com/onlinepass
     
  2. macuserx86 macrumors 6502a

    macuserx86

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    #2
    Another example of why the only way to truly own your media is to pirate it.

    I wish developers would realize that this kind of stuff just alienates customers, not stops pirates. Although, if PC gaming dies piracy is less of a concern.
     
  3. Taustin Powers thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    I guess people selling their games are hurt the most by this, because it lowers the games' resale value by ten dollars.

    They bought a full game, but can only sell "half a game".
     
  4. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #4
    This is bogus imo

    Makes me want to quit gaming altogether

    Already leaning that way with having to pay extra to unlock other game modes and get new levels that should have been included in the 60 bucks I paid for the game up front

    Irritating as hell as I feel I pay for beta software and and "pressured" to pay more to get the complete game
     
  5. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #5
    combined with EA's new method of shutting off "last year" game server within 2-3 months after release of the new one

    it really is showing the worst of the industry
     
  6. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #6
    EA can **** right off. The only game of theirs I play is Rock Band 2, and if this is in Rock Band 3... No buy.
    Another company to boycott.
     
  7. sikkinixx macrumors 68020

    sikkinixx

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    #7
    *shrug* makes sense to me. It costs them money to upkeep their end of things for online play. If you buy new, you play for it then, if you buy it used, why should you ride the bus for free? It has the 7-day trial thing for rentals or if you want to lend it to a friend.

    MS charges you for arguably less.

    Now, the big question is if EA will keep servers running LONGER for these new games since people are now buying into them. Or if they will offer a subscription (a la XBL) to play all their online games regardless of how you buy them.
     
  8. txa1265 macrumors 6502a

    txa1265

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    #8
    Huh? That is the STUPIDEST thing I have ever read! If anything, this is done BECAUSE of pirating! If you pirate you still can't play online.

    I'm no fan of EA and their constant hand in my pocket, but given the constant increase in asset production cost, transportation and general overhead without an increase in game price ... how would you have them offset the costs? Did anyone bother, y'know, READING this?

    If you buy the game you have unlimited use, and can retrieve your code even if your console crashes. Unlimited meaning full online and offline. In fact, everything about this protects the original owner, and only partially restricts second-sale terms.

    If you buy the game second hand or trade or (in the case of the PSP) pirate it (i.e. no payment to EA), then you have full and unlimited use of offline modes, and can grab added DLC for offline use. If you decide to make use of EA's servers for online play, you have to pay for the usage.

    They also made it clear that this is for the Sports games - and while I have no doubt that EA will continue monetizing everything, their Sports unit has a different operating model:
    - They killed the online support after one year because the vast majority of online play happens in the first 6 months after release. So by having overlapping support windows they further increase costs - and detract from the support and service for the much more popular current version.
    - Sports games are very similar year-to-year, with added assets, intelligence, and options - all of which are data intensive. This means each year requires more and more bandwidth etc.
    - The general profile of sports gamers is intense initial use and then complete abandonment. The initial use comes either right after the game is released, or at some point during the season. By the end of the season, most gamers have moved on.
    - *Because* of that trend, the business model demands heavy staffing in each sports unit for a period after release, then a portion can move on to other games after things settle out.
    - Second hand gamers put an additional drain on those resources without adding anything.

    So look - I'd rather everything were free and easy and we didn't have to ever pay for anything. But these games cost millions to develop, make, and support. And as gamers our side of the bargain is to pay for what we get. This doesn't make me overly happy, but it is less obtrusive than DRM that punishes *everyone* ... because I tend to be a single-player focused person, so this won't impact me at all.
     
  9. Taustin Powers thread starter macrumors regular

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    #9
    I'll have to carefully disagree with this... One copy of a game switching hands does not generate more costs for EA.

    See, if they sell one million copies of a game, then those sales include the price to keep servers running that can handle that amount of players. That's how it works so far. You pay for the online component when you buy the game. Now if all these buyers sell their games to friends, this doesn't change the amount of players their servers need to handle. Still one million copies out there, not one more.

    So if the first gamer already paid for this copy of the game to play online, why should subsequent owners have to pay for it again and again? EA is double (triple etc.) charging for one thing: the online support for one copy of one game.

    And what is the seller going to do with his "Online Pass" after he sells the game? :rolleyes: Separating an integral game part that is unusable by itself is just plain stupid. The only way for this to make sense would be if EA were to pay back the 10$ to the seller, cause he can't use his Pass anymore! :D
     
  10. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #10
    Because to EA, they still sold the same physical game. It is not as if the original owner is still able to access the online features.
     
  11. Antares macrumors 68000

    Antares

    #11
    Agreed.

    The only reason EA is doing this is because it's a money grab. They make no money off of used games and they want "in" on the action. This is the only possible way to do it. It has nothing to do with recovering the costs of running online servers. EA wants you to pay them when you buy a game...new or used. Period. They are spinning this with clever marketing.

    I bet EA would charge a fee for single player/offline content on a used game, if they could. However, the only way they can collect fees is if people have the ability to go online with their system, first. Not everyone has their PS3/360/Wii connected to the internet. Imagine how people would feel if they had to connect to the internet, first, before they could play a game...even if they have no interest in ever playing said game online. EA would love that.
     
  12. e²Studios macrumors 68020

    e²Studios

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    #12
    EA or any publisher for that matter only makes money on new game sales, GameStop or whatever other rip you off retailer is the only party making money on a used sale. This is more of a way for them to try to stick it to them and in turn also get consumers to buy new instead of used. With the extra $10 it may sway a consumer in to buying it new since those shops only charge $5 less than new for the used copy (of course this is the same game they only gave you $10 for on trade-in).

    If anyone is ripping you off its GameStop or wherever sells the used games. They are to blame for this more than anything.
     
  13. whooleytoo macrumors 603

    whooleytoo

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    #13
    Actually, I think it might cost EA more. I'm sure when any developer releases a game with online play, they have to factor how long buyers are likely to keep playing that game, and from that how much it will cost to maintain the servers.

    If their games are sold second-hand, it's likely to lengthen the time the game is played; and require the servers to be maintained longer. (People get tired of playing any game, I'm sure any second-hand game buyer is likely to play a lot more than the game seller did!)

    Of course, I'm sure that's not the entire reason, and it has more to do with second-hand gaming becoming more popular and EA trying to make money out of it if they can.
     
  14. ScottishDuck macrumors 6502a

    ScottishDuck

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    #14
    -=Pirate Master Race Reporting=-

    Enjoy your consoles with gimped online while I enjoy unlimited free gaming on my PC. ;)
     
  15. JackAxe macrumors 68000

    JackAxe

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    #15
    Hardly.
     
  16. airwalke macrumors member

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    #16
    This sounds like to me that it's less about piracy and more about reselling. EA just wants a cut of the jib when it comes to its used game sales -- and I don't blame them.

    The only dark side I can see to this is if you want to bring over Madden to a friends house to play online together, you have to pay the extra $10 to play it there.
     
  17. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #17
    You are not riding for free, you purchased the game used. EA was paid by the purchaser of the game. I suppose they think this is less offensive than charging a monthly subscription. Game developers seem to be moving towards the Steam Standard, a standard where you don't own the media, you only have access to it. I'm waiting for Microsoft Live to force you to register all games to your account.:mad:
     
  18. NoSmokingBandit macrumors 68000

    NoSmokingBandit

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    #18
    This is precisely how i feel about the issue. The big guys like Ubi and EA are really taking the industry down a scary path.
     
  19. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #19
    Blame for what? Should the original home builder be paid every time the house they built changes hands? Should Stephen King get a cut every time a dog-eared copy of "Carrie" is sold at a used bookstore or handed down from one sibling to another? Used cars, used clothes, used furniture, used computers... the world is full of second hand sales and, at least in the US we gave the First Sale Doctrine.

    So, hypothetically, if a game is widely popular and only new copies of the game were sold do you think it's okay for the publisher to charge everyone additional money if they want to keep playing online since the games popularity made it go 'over budget' in terms of server costs?


    Lethal
     
  20. txa1265 macrumors 6502a

    txa1265

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    #20
    Your analogy is broken - in this case, Stephen King wouldn't get a cut of the dog-eared copy, as EA *specifically* is not doing anything about offline gameplay. In other words, unless you go online ... NOTHING HAS CHANGED.

    It is closer to buying an electronic product where there is a 1 year warranty which explicitly states 'warranty is not transferable'. Why should it matter whether the 1 year of warranty is spread across 1 person or 20? BECAUSE ... the company has figured out the costs associated with warranty are focused on early issues. So they build the cost model around a single user warranty.

    I'm no EA apologist, and I *do* agree that they will only go further down this path - but that is different from misrepresenting what is actually happening in this one case.
     
  21. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #21
    Controversial subject. The situation regarding DRM is not going where most gamers would want it to go. While they don't know anything they are the ones buying or not buying the games. ;)
     
  22. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #22
    My analogy wasn't about EA. It was about e²Studios' apparent opinion that the source of the problem is people buying and selling used games. Also, going online is a big part of many games so saying nothing has changed unless you go online is a little like selling someone a used car and saying everything is fine unless you want to used the backseat or the trunk. ;)


    Lethal
     
  23. SchneiderMan macrumors G3

    SchneiderMan

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    #23
    Wait so what happens if you rent a game and want to play online? Like from Gamefly.. I enjoy online play a lot more..
     
  24. SevenInchScrew macrumors 6502a

    SevenInchScrew

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    #24
    Each game will give you a 7 day trial. So, even if you rent the game, you will have that 1 week period to try out all of the features that each games "Online Pass" will offer. After that? Well, that will cost you $10, of course.
     
  25. macfan881 macrumors 68020

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    #25
    I think I may give Backbreaker a shot this year this is kinda cheesy even though I usually buy sports games new still don't support this idea.
     

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