EA Sports titles, beginning with July's release of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 on Xbox 360 and PS3, are to be the latest in the line of EA titles which encourage gamers purchase new rather than pre-owned.
EA Sports is introducing Online Pass, a unique access code which enables online functionality for a EA Sports title. The catch? These codes will be supplied with new copies of games.
"It's quite simple – every game will come with a game-specific, one-time use registration code with each unit sold new at retail," explianed Andrew Wilson, Senior Vice President of World Wide Development, EA Ssports. "With your Online Pass, you'll have access to multiplayer online play, group features like online dynasty and leagues, user created content, and bonus downloadable content for your game including, for example, a new driver in Tiger."
What if you buy pre-owned and the code has already been redeemed?
"If the original access code has been redeemed and fans wish to get access to the online content (for example, if you pick up a used copy), you can access a free 7-day trial or additional Online Passes will be available for $10."
Attempting to add some reasoning to its decision, Wilson said: "We actually view the second sale market as an opportunity to develop a direct relationship with our consumers, and with Online Pass everyone has access to the same premium online services and content regardless of how and where you buy the game.
He continued: "In order to continue to enhance the online experiences that are attracting nearly five million connected game sessions a day, again, we think it's fair to get paid for the services we provide and to reserve these online services for people who pay EA to access them. In return, we'll continue to invest in creating great games and offer industry-leading online services to extend the game experience to everyone. I don't think even the harshest cynic can argue with that and instead I think fans will see the value we're committing to deliver when they see all the services, features and bonus content that is extending the life of their products."
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 is scheduled for release on July 2 for Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii.