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EA Sports, the hottest sports gamemaker around, is setting a new trend, saying you'll have to pay double to play your used games fully. You'll first have to buy the game at the store, and you'll then have to pay EA $10 to reactivate multiplayer services.  (Source: Daily Radar)
GameStop will be helping Electronic Arts implement its scheme

Electronic Arts is the king of the sports game market with hot upcoming titles including NCAA Football 11, NHL 11, Madden NFL 11, NBA 11, FIFA 11, and EA Sports MMA.  Now it has made a controversial decision concerning all of those titles -- it will lock players who buy used copies out of online multiplayer.

When it comes to sports games, a multiplayer mode is one of the chief draws.  And now that the internet allows playing with fans all over the world, online multiplayer provides massive amounts of fun.

Purchasers of a used game get locked out of that goodness.  "Online services, features and bonus content" will all be covered by a one time code, that won't work for the new purchaser.  EA describes, "You will be unable to play multiplayer online game modes or use your downloaded content in online game modes."

Used purchasers do gain access to a 7 day trial, but they will have to purchase a $10 pass if they want to continue to play online.

EA claims its all about offering its customers more, "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."

Ultimately, the slick move is likely designed to help it rake in bigger profits, though.  Many purchasers will likely pay the $10 fee to renew their online access.

Retailer GameStop is partnering with EA to implement the plan.  States GameStop Corp. Chief Executive Officer, Dan DeMatteo, "GameStop is excited to partner with such a forward-thinking publisher as Electronic Arts.  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."

GameStop recent landed itself in a bit of trouble when it was caught selling used games which it claimed they were new.  Hopefully it doesn't try that again, this time around.



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RE: Why?
By Schrag4 on 5/11/2010 12:58:12 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
My question is, once they sell the game ONCE, why should they feel entitled to any more profits from the game? Is $60 per new game not enough?


They're not any more entitled to your 10 bucks than you are entitled to play on their servers.

I know I'm going to get flamed for saying this, but EA can charge whatever they want, and you can decide not to buy EA if you want. Nobody's forcing anyone to buy new OR used EA games.


RE: Why?
By Motoman on 5/11/2010 2:26:23 PM , Rating: 2
The first statement you made is what is in question. Whether or not a purchaser of a second-hand product actually has a reasonable expectation that said second-hand product will work as advertised.

Obviously, no one is forcing you to buy any particular game or use any particular game service. And I encourage anyone who is dismayed by this to write to EA and inform them that you will not be buying any NEW EA games because of this policy...and then you actually have to not buy new EA games.

But on the flipside, I think there's an important legal question to be answered here - whether or not EA can really do this. Interesting questions about property rights, rights of use, rights of resale, etc. This isn't cut-and-dried.


RE: Why?
By Schrag4 on 5/11/2010 3:28:40 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But on the flipside, I think there's an important legal question to be answered here - whether or not EA can really do this.


I suppose if those purchasing used (or heck, even new) games and EA entered into some sort of contract that holds EA to provide their online services at no charge then there would be a legal question. However, I think maybe customers should just shift their expectations about what they should be entitled to (hint: it's less than something).

I suppose if EA customers (even second-hand ones) are entitled to online services then the government should step in and fund these servers. After all, EA could fail financially. What, then, of those entiteled customers? *rolls eyes*


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