Print 99 comment(s) - last by MrBlastman.. on May 12 at 11:37 AM

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: EA Sports...
By SeeManRun on 5/11/2010 1:07:23 PM , Rating: 2
I am using logic. EA does not dictate what Gamestop sells it's games for. If EA drops the price to 50, then Gamestop can just drop their price to 45 and will still make tons of money because people will see the exact same good for 5 dollars less. The online pass changes that, and makes a used game worth less, so Gamestop has to charge less for that game because it is not the same good any longer.

This tactic will not force EA to sell their new games for any cheaper, but only to get a cut of the continued service they have to provide for buyers of the game for which EA received nothing for.

And for the other readers of this, they can say the first buyer paid the price so EA should not be getting anything after first sale, as they already got their money. The problem with that is online gaming is a service that costs thousands a month to maintain. Take the example to the extreme. EA sells 1 million copies of a game, and then after 2 months every player sells his copy. Then 2 months later they all sell their copy. EA has to continue to fund the servers indefinitely all while receiving no money. There is no incentive for them to continue hosting the servers, because every month they have those servers up they just spend money with no income generated. Obviously this is a contrived example, but it should be enough to illustrate the point that servers cost money, and EA needs some income to support a good online experience.

Microsoft discontinued support for Windows XP for the same reason, they weren't making enough money to keep it going any more, so there is no incentive to keep supporting customers.

RE: EA Sports...
By porkpie on 5/11/2010 1:17:17 PM , Rating: 2
Hello, I was replying to BlastMan, not you. Had you read my post, you would see I was agreeing with you.

"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings
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