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Published on June 17th, 2013 | by Hensley Carrasco

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EA’s online pass program to end for future titles, current game elimination in progress

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In an attempt to fight back against used video game retailers such as GameStop and Best Buy, Electronic Arts (EA) created an online pass program that required players to input a code found in new games in order to access any online multiplayer content and roster updates (for sports games).

EA’s President of EA Labels Frank Gibeau told Joystiq that “[the online pass is] dead, it’s dead, it’s deep-sixed, it’s at the bottom of the Mariana Trench.” He told Joystiq that the idea of having players input codes to get online with their games was “flat out dumb.” With the extinction of the codes, EA has been working throughout the last couple of weeks to eliminate the necessity for the passes for their games, first to games on the Xbox 360.

The elimination of this program brings joy to gamers due to the trouble it has caused them. Gamers have asked since the program’s start in 2010 for the removal of the program because it was cumbersome to use in some cases. Why remove the program now? “The amount of money that we made…didn’t replace the amount of frustration we put on our customers and it didn’t offset the reputation damage it caused the company. So we said ‘it’s not worth it,’ and so the idea was, look, ‘don’t do stuff like that anymore,'” Gibeau told Joystiq.

GameStop normally priced pre-owned, new-release games at $47.99 to take into consideration the online pass needed to play the game. Now that the program is over, it will be interesting to see the prices of those games go back up.

The EA Sports Online Pass website has yet to reflect the changes on its initial site, but clicking over to the FAQ shows the information that the program has ended.

For all of our new EA games, Online Pass will no longer be needed or included.

For previously-released EA games that required an Online Pass, we are in the process of eliminating it from those games as well. For some games, the prompt to enter an Online Pass code will no longer appear; for others, you will still need to download and install an Online Pass, but they will be available free of charge from your console’s marketplace.

EA removing the program is a giant step for those wanting to play any one of their pre-owned games, but it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the online pass program for good. Ubisoft has used the pass in their games as well, and there has been no word yet on whether or not they have eliminated their program as well. Just know the program isn’t coming back for EA, a company that was not well-received in a recent poll, “we’re not going to replace [the online pass program]. It’s not coming back. It’s dead,” Gibeau said.

With the removal of the program, some games’ additional content has become available for download in the Xbox 360 marketplace or the Playstation Network. A list was created of the EA games for Xbox 360 that had free content once withheld due to the program. Some of the links, however, do seem to be broken.

A couple more were added by user Vert boil:

Here is a list of the Playstation titles.

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My name is Hensley and I'm from Rhode Island. @Sir_Hensley



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