Thank You EA, And Checkmate — But What Comes Next?
Last week we shared the news with you of Electronic Arts finally doing away with its silly online pass system. This came on something of a rollercoaster day of good news, especially so for myself, who took this news so well because, after all, if you’ve been paying attention, I’ve kinda gone to war with Electronic Arts over online passes.
Two weeks ago I shared an article with you all about EA possibly shooting themselves in the foot with their online pass system which has devalued their games and led to consumers opting to rather wait out the initial release period in the hopes of a bargain a few months later. I for example, paid a fraction of the price of Dead Space 3 for Xbox 360, only a few months after it released.
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Now I’m not going to presume to have made an inch of a difference here, nor will I step up and claim any sort of glory for myself, but I do want to call a hearty, happy, “Checkmate,” to Electronic Arts. War’s over guys, we’ve won.
At least for now…
Before I continue with this, I do want to sincerely thank Electronic Arts for removing online passes. I’m not exactly sure what it means for current games which require the silly 25-character codes, but I am sure that there must have been someone at EA who was thinking straight, either in terms of business or customer service, and I want to applaud them for that. It’s kind of like that meme about the worker who has an epiphany, which the boss then takes to heart and a week later, sees pay dividends. You know, instead of throwing him out the twenty-fifth floor window.
And now the conspiracy theorist in me comes out to play. We know that publishers are all about money. Electronic Arts took a ‘Worst Company In America’ award for the second year running in their pursuit of the almighty dollar, so why would they cede an inch of ground to consumers they know will pay for their systems regardless? Has the vocal outcry become too much? Has the online pass system come to harm them, as is my belief? Have they finally seen the error of their ways?
Or, and I’m just spit-balling here, is this the same as a Queen’s sacrifice in chess, where you give a little to get a lot? What if in future, we don’t just have an online pass in our games but, let’s say, an Origin Pass? Same basic principle of 25-character codes, only this applies to all of EA’s games and shuts out the entire game to anyone who does not own an Origin Pass? This effectively means that if you belong to a household with more than one person who plays games, each of you will require a copy of the game, rather than being able to share.
Sounds silly? I sincerely hope that it is considered too silly to be marketable, because if experience with the gaming industry has taught us anything, it’s that if you get good graces, you ought to watch out for what they’re not telling you, as well.
Maybe it’s just me, though. Maybe EA genuinely is looking to repair its reputation.
I don’t actually know which seems more farfetched.
What do you think about it? Let us know in the comments.