Introduced earlier this year, Electronic Arts is taking a swing at the pre-owned market by including an Online Pass with the publisher’s sports titles, which ultimately means that if you bought the game new, this pass will enable you to play online for no additional cost. However, scouring and purchasing through the second-hand market will have you pay an extra $10 if you wish to do so.
This business model is said to not have had “any significant push-back from the consumer,” EA CFO Eric Brown explained at the Deutsche Bank 2010 Technology Conference in San Francisco. In fact, the project has been so uplifting that not only do consumers – and Pachter – approve of it (apparently), but publishers like Sony, THQ and Ubisoft are looking into creating similar programs of their own.
“I think people realise that if you’re buying a physical disc and it requires an attachment to someone else’s network and servers, [those] people realise bandwidth isn’t free,” added Brown. “So the fact that we’re diffusing or covering online costs is not viewed to be unreasonable. We’re well into this program and there is no consumer backlash.”
Whether this idea will bear fruit in the long run is yet to be seen, given EA launched the program not too long ago. But all in all, it may very well be a significant factor against the fight of pre-owned games sales and giving EA back some of the losses it’s suffered to that particular market. Now, the question is, do you approve of it, or do you not… ?