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Top game publisher won't say if it will embrace Microsoft's option to ban used games

In an interview with Polygon, Electronic Arts, Inc.'s (EA) chief operating officer Peter Moore the executive opened up somewhat about his company's controversial DRM efforts, while dodging other questions on the issue.

From 2010 to 2013 EA had embraced a controversial form of digital rights management (DRM) dubbed "Online Pass".  Consumers received a code that allowed them to access online content, while used game purchasers were locked out of add-on content.  The feature was killed off this month amid EA's financial struggles; rumor had it that the program was losing money.

Mr. Moore, claims the decision was not financially motivated but rather was made out of EA's deep compassion for customers.  He comments, "Online Pass was more trouble to the consumer than it was worth. It was a mistake. The consumer's feedback was that this thing gets in the way of a good experience so let's get rid of it."

Peter Moore
Peter Moore, EA COO [Image Source: Polygon]

He hints at more DRM may be on the horizon though, via Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT"always-on" Xbox One.  He remarks, "[O]ur official position is, 'I'll get back to you'. Sony have announced what they are going to do which is, y'know, business as usual, and then Microsoft are looking at allowing a publisher to opt-in, should they choose to do so. But if we opt in, do [Microsoft] charge a fee, and if so, how much?"

But he denies allegations that Microsoft's new anti-consumer policy was the result of EA lobbying.  He states, "I can tell you that EA did not aggressively lobby for the platform holders to put some gating function in there to allow or disallow used games. I am on record as being a proponent of used games. I like the ecosystem. I like the fact that it's kept pricing at a good level for eight years. I like the fact that someone can buy a physical game and see some equity in that game. That keeps GameStop vibrant and they are a great launch and marketing partner for us."

Xbox One
EA's COO claims his company didn't ask Microsoft for more DRM.

"EA has never had a conversation, and I have been present at all of them, with all of the manufacturers, saying you must put a system in place that allows us to take a piece of the action or even stop it. Absolutely incorrect."

The sort of good news for gamers is that should EA "opt-in" to Microsoft's DRM used game lockout, it may still be compelled to avoid extreme DRM on Sony Corp.'s (TYO:6758) PlayStation 4.  Sony does allow used game lockouts, but unlike Microsoft it does not offer game publishers the tools to do it, leaving them to their own devices.  That raises the costs of implementing such a scheme, and as EA's Online Pass scuttling shows, may ultimately mean the fiscal infeasibility of such a program.

Source: Polygon



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this is EA
By GulWestfale on 6/12/2013 9:39:59 AM , Rating: 3
they will use any and all options to make this worse for gamers. why? i don't know. why would a company do everything in its power to make games worse and lose customers? i really don't have an answer for that. but EA has been doing just that for many years now, and i no longer believe anything they say.




RE: this is EA
By DiscoWade on 6/12/2013 1:06:42 PM , Rating: 2
I find it interesting that the COO for EA looks like a douchebag in that picture with that smirk across his face. There is a reason why EA won Consumerist's worst company in America award two years in a row, it ain't because they produce a sorry NFL game. Look at the Sims franchise. They release an expansion every few months, and then when they run out of ideas for expansion packs, they release a new version of the game. Sims 4 is coming out next year, and you better believe it will follow the same model as the previous two.


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