Electronic Arts sent waves throughout the gaming industry with its announcement of EA Online Pass. Essentially a deterrent to used-game sales, Online Pass charges $10 to gamers that buy used titles and want to access all their purchase’s online features. Ubi Soft has stated that it will likely use a similar solution and it’s looking like this will become the norm. I’ve gotten into several Twitter arguments about the matter, since it’s unclear how “the $10 solution” directly benefits developers. I see publishers getting richer, while decreasing gamers’ choices and screwing retailers.
With all of that in mind, I loved this video by Chett Muzzalupo, owner of Level One Games, an independent game store in Dublin, Ohio. Muzzalupo shares his (justifiably angry) perspective on EA Online Pass. Just in case you’re checking this on a mobile browser or can’t watch the video at work, here are some select quotes:
I’m appalled. I’m completely appalled.
This is about destroying the buy-sell-trade business. This is about stopping the sale of used games.
This doesn’t help you. This doesn’t help me. This helps EA and no one else.
If this becomes the standard of all games, potentially it can kill every store like mine.
Again, it’s a fantastic rant and I encourage you to watch it. Naturally, I want to hear your thoughts on the matter. Do you think EA Online Pass if bad for the business? Do you think it will indirectly benefit developers by forcing gamers to buy new games? Or do you think it’s mostly a way for publishers to make more money?
I’m going to interview Muzzalupo tomorrow morning. If you have any questions you’d like me to ask, please leave them in the comments section.