"Do used game buyers of FIFA participate in Ultimate Team? Yeah. Is it possible they might buy DLC? Yeah," he continued. "Frankly, we're being more nuanced and sophisticated about it. Before we used a blunt instrument. Now we're going to be like 'Look, they own it, they bought the disc and it's theirs. They have a legitimate right for not doing anything illegal.'
"If we want to be progressive about it, we will make online services available to them that if they want to buy they can, but they don't have to. At least that way we participate in some monetization. The reputational damage [Online Pass] was causing us was in excess of the dollars we were making."
The decision to scrap Online Passes apparently came about thanks to acting CEO Larry Probst, which may indicate the recent departure of John Riccitiello will lead the company to greener pastures. One can only hope.
Electronic Arts has famously won The Consumerist's "Worst American Company of the Year" award for two straight years, and despite the publisher trying to appear aloof, it's clear that execs like Peter Moore are bothered by it. Making a quick million immediately is great, and EA made that off its passes. Keeping happy, sustainable, long-term customers isn't as easy, but is far more important. It's possible EA may just be scoring brownie points now, but one has to wonder if those in charge aren't finally worried their reputation is in dire straits.
At the very least, EA's got to be happy with the fact Microsoft's well on track to stealing its Consumerist trophy next year.
Of course, I've been saying Online Passes are bad for everybody for months. Ever since the first one was implemented by the now-dead THQ, in fact. It'd be easy to take EA's statements with cynicism and smugness, but instead I'll simply say ... okay. Okay EA, you've said some nice things here, and now we will have to wait and see if you can prove it.
I hope you do.
EA: Online Pass staying dead after PS4 reveal, program's expiration not tied to Xbox One [Joystiq]