In an effort to capture additional revenue from a resale of a videogame, EA Sports is putting in place a system whereby secondhand owners of a game needs to spend an extra $10 to play online.
Dubbed the "Online Pass" from EA Sports, it rewards game owners of new copies with a game-specific, one-time-use registration code for online services, features and bonus content. This applies regardless if the game is played over the free PSN or the paid Xbox Live Gold services. This will start with Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11.
The one-time Online Pass registration code comes included with each unit sold new at retail. Once redeemed, additional Online Passes will be available for $10 – basically for anyone who gets to play the game after the original owner. Fans also may sign up for a free 7-day trial to experience Online Pass, which will be handy for those who borrow or rent the game on a short-term basis.
"This is an important inflection point in our business because it allows us to accelerate our commitment to enhance premium online services to the entire robust EA Sports online community," said Peter Moore, President of EA Sports.
While EA's effort to discourage used game sales (which could devalue a used game by $10) would logically upset companies that make lots of money from used games, GameStop doesn't seem all that displeased as now it has a new opportunity to sell special PSN and MS Points cards.
"GameStop is excited to partner with such a forward-thinking publisher as Electronic Arts," said Dan DeMatteo, Chief Executive Officer of GameStop Corp. "This relationship allows us to capitalize on our investments to market and sell downloadable content online, as well as through our network of stores worldwide."