I like Online Pass, but I call total B.S. on EA’s justification of why Battlefield 3 would need it.
Gamerzines.com recently tried to get a straight answer out of EA as to if Battlefield 3 would use the company’s controversial Online Pass system, where used game buyers are required to pay another $10 to EA to play online, and they ended up with an interesting (and total BS) explanation as to why the company feels justified in having the program. [BTW they never did get a straight answer to the question, but I would assume that it will use Online Pass]
“The whole idea is that we’re paying for servers and if you create a new account there is a big process on how that is being handled in the backend. We would rather have you buy a new game than a used game because buying a used game is only a cost to us; we don’t get a single dime from a used game, but we still need to create server space and everything for you. We want people to at least pay us something to create this because we’re paying for it. It was actually a loss for us to have new players. Hopefully people understand why. It’s not to punish people. To us it’s compensation.” - DICE’s Patrick Bach
First things first. I’m fine with Online Pass. EA made the game and the servers to run the online, if they want to charge people who didn’t buy the game new $10 to play online they have every right to do so and more power to them.
With that said, the idea that a used game buyer “costs” EA money just doesn’t hold water.
To make it simple, let’s say that EA plans to sell 100 copies of BF3. So they make the 100 copies and the server to handle 100 players. 100 people buy the game, play online and everything is fine. Then lets say that 25 of those people trade the game in and those 25 games end up in the hands of the evil used game buyers, who get online and create 25 more online accounts.
OMG, now EA is in trouble because there are 125 accounts on their 100 account server! Time to upgrade the server and that costs money, and those 25 people didn’t even pay anything to EA! Whatever is EA going to do?!?!?
Except for one problem, there are also 25 people who no longer have the game or play it online. That means the total number of players is still 100, despite there being 25 additional used game accounts.
Like I said I’m fine with EA wanting to use Online Pass, but the simple fact is that every single used game out there was once a “new game sale” that EA did plan for and got money for. If they want money for a used game to go online that’s fine, just be honest about it and not try to come up with these grand excuses that bend the laws of reality.