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EA Sports Changes Online Play

It’s either the most dastardly move in the history of the video game industry, or one of its best business decisions in recent memory, depending on who you ask.

On upcoming EA Sports titles like Tiger Woods PGA Tour ‘11, NCAA ’11, NHL ’11, Madden ’11 and FIFA ’11, the company will write in code that only lets players play the game online if they’ve bought the game new. Players who pick it up used will have to shell out an extra $10 for an “Online Pass” from the company.

On the surface, this seems like an inherently evil move by the company, to wring more money out of customers when video games are already massively overpriced.

But from a business perspective, it actually makes perfect sense. Studios have LONG been haunted by retailers like GameStop selling games used, as when that happens, they get nothing, and the store gets everything. This is opposed to a new game, where the store only gets 25% of the profits, and the rest goes to the platform, publisher and studio.

Gamestop is equally at fault as EA Sports.  They take games that you buy for $60, give you $15 dollars for it, then turn around and sell it for $40.  As these giant corporations fight amongst themselves, we the gamers, ultimatly are being punished.


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  1. I think it is a smart Idea because if buy the game used and only save 10 bucks why not buy it new . Now EA has given the Customer a choice to make buy it used and save 10 bucks and you have to pay extra to play online or buy it new and get all the bells and whistles for free . Smart !

  2. It also will cut down on people quitting. People rent the game and play a game online and quit right away.

  3. You’re not getting anything for free. $60 bucks is already hella overpriced for a video game. Buy 4-5 of those games and you could have bought a brand new system. Better yet, wasted a paycheck; 2 weeks worth, working for minimum wage at Burger King. Why buy a horrible game with cosmetic upgrades (like we haven’t seen that before) and no fixes for continuous errors?

  4. man i think this is a rip off people shouldnt have to play extra for a crucial part of the game i could see if it was an add on or something but its not its been going on uncharged for years now making video games is for the enjoyment of the customers and this is ridiculous im 17 and i see the flaws on this this is horrible and is making me consider getting into the video game business just to make competition and buy these guys out so i can run the whole op. this is BS! they arent even thinking about the younger people they expect that every one just has money falling from their ass in this crisis they dont this is retarted!!!

  5. There’s no way Gamestop is to blame for this. Customers who buy used games from them or sell used games to them have the right to do so. If EA wants a ‘cut’ of that pie charging $10 just to play a used game online isn’t the way to do it because they’re already ripping customers off with a $60 game.
    Lower the price of their games and people will buy it new…but games like Madden are all about rehashing old garbage and keeping the fanbois on their toes with things like ‘simpler, quicker, deeper’…what they’re really talking about is the Bulls-hit that they put you through just to play a video game with friends online.

  6. F### you, EA.

    60 dollars to buy the game.
    10 dollars (essentially) to play online w/ just the console.
    AND 20 dollars for a manual with a code that you have never needed before with any EA game??

    This pisses me off.

  7. online play in madden 2011 is BS cuz if your opponent quits, it doesn't give you the option to finish against the computer. WTF? Is there a way to get around this?

    1. Actually it's does, at according to my last online opponent from my online franchise. We were playing last night and in the forth qtr the game froze and said the peer lost connection, the only choice I had was to press the x button to quit I waited because I wanted to finish the game after a minute pressed x and it went to the menu and registered me with a loss. I text the commisioner because I thought the other guy cheated some how… The other guy responded that I had quit that he got the same message but was able to continue the game…Weird thing is I have a great internet connection and haven't lost connection in 4 yrs… Anyone have a explanation for what happned???

      1. What happened was EA has a bug in the online game this year. There are a ton of people chiming in to say that this problem has happened to them as well. EA is trying to fix this problem but until it's fixed it will eventually happen again.

        1. Well I’m glad I viewed this form before buying madden 11.
          If I buy it I won’t be able to sell it for much because who
          Would want it? I guess the CEO will get another $50 million
          Dollars in bonuses this year. Well he won’t get another dime
          From me.

    2. i feel u dude do u no how to get online witha used madden11 game

  8. I want to know if you can challenge a friend to a ranked game? If not im not buying this crap. You can't even rematch players you don't know online. The price is too much but oh well, what isn't?