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 porkpie on 5/12/2010 9:48:48 AM , Rating: 3
" You forget one pinnacle economic concept: Substitute goods"

Irrelevant, as EA games are not priced substantively above those substitutes. Further, if EA did as you desired and lowered prices, the substitutes would then be higher in price, not lower. And, if the entire market lowered prices in lockstep (as unlikely as that is), there still wouldn't be a significantly cheaper option to EA.

"I suggested finding a point somewhere between 45.00 and 65.00, probably around 52.00-58.00 "

Are you seriously suggesting that a $10 price drop in new games is going to seriously dent the used market? Anyone willing to buy used is still going to prefer $45 to $55. This transfer charge will be far more effective.

"Rub enough of them wrong and they'll go elsewhere."

I'm willing to bet hard cash that EA's sales data will show otherwise.

You forget that this charge doesn't hit EA's actual customers (those who actually buy new) directly at all. It hits them slightly indirectly (by making any subsequent sale of the used game less valuable) but most consumers will vent their rage at that on Gamestop for offering them less, and not EA for instituting the gap.

RE: EA Sports...
By MrBlastman on 5/12/2010 11:37:35 AM , Rating: 2
This transfer charge will be far more effective.

Far more effective in pissing off their customers. I don't play sports games at all so I could give a crap about whether I have to pay more or not. What I _am_ worried about is the hostility of this action and how it presents itself to future used game sales.

Actually, I'm primarily a PC gamer so it won't effect me one bit. Steam routinely has weekend deals where games go on sale, brand new (if you can call a digital copy that) at deep discounts. Steam makes their customers happy, they spend money on Steam. Simple concept, right? I know a guy who blows hundreds of bucks on games simply because they are on sale (I doubt he'll ever be able to play them all).

What EA is doing is bullying their customers. I imagine quite a few who buy the used game will just forgo playing online altogether.

most consumers will vent their rage at that on Gamestop for offering them less, and not EA for instituting the gap.

I beg to differ. When they are forced to enter their credit card on an EA website, they'll clearly see it is EA that is being greedy by making them do this.

While it is a novel idea that could lead to an infintesimally small increase in revenue and profits, I think there is a much better way to go about enhancing their monetary streams.

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton
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