EA Sports President Peter More Explains Online Pass…Badly

EA has been getting a lot of heat for its Online Pass, also known as “the $10 solution” that combats used-game sales. While it’s clear that it makes money for publishers and indirectly benefits developers, it also limits consumer choice and hoses retailers. EA Sports president Peter Moore explained the reasoning behind Online Pass to MCV and the his words were…interesting:

Online Pass is a way for us to frankly bring more digital experiences quicker. If it is going to be successful, it is up to us to create compelling, fresh, 365-days a year, digital experiences. And there is a cost to serve that we deserve to get paid for.

What our consumers are telling us, and the growth that we are seeing, is that the preference now is not to buy lots and lots of games, but to spend more money on fewer games. In fiscally challenging times, maybe a gamer won’t buy three games anymore, maybe they’ll buy two and spend the other $60 or £30 on extendable content, on experiences they know they love, rather than taking the risk on another product.

The first paragraph is reasonable, though certainly arguable. The second paragraph is just a bunch of crap. In a “fiscally challenging” time, EA’s strategy is to make games more expensive and less accessible? Really?!? My budget has been limited lately and I’m definitely buying less games. I’m definitely not spending more money on less games.

I have a ton of respect for Moore. He’s smart, approachable, and one of the coolest execs in gaming, but I can’t back his stance on Online Pass. I’d love to hear what you think of Moore’s comments. Shout it out!


Author: RPadTV


36 thoughts on “EA Sports President Peter More Explains Online Pass…Badly”

  1. @Raymond Padilla

    You took the words right out of my mouth. In Moore's defense, he has to spin it some way and I guess that's the best spin he could come up with.

  2. His reasoning is off somewhere. I believe some of us have expressed our discontent with dlc, especially day one dlc. It makes look you planned on selling us an incomplete game and then decided to release the remainder. People buy dlc to enhance or extend their gameplay not to have something advertised and not be there. *cough* fight night round 4. I never buy games that have dlc day one.

  3. He used to work for M$ lets not forget that so he knows how to squeeze money out of us.

  4. This guy and put whatever spin on it he wants but 2 things are going to still happen 1) I won't believe him in the slightest and 2) I'd prefer the additional costs not be there, but I am not really concerned with it currently but only because it hasn't affected me yet.

  5. @RRODisHere For various reasons, I expected something better from him.

    @tokz_21 I think day one DLC is a better deterrent than the Online Pass. At least it's not punishing the consumer.

    @Big Blak I've known him since his Sega days. He's an exceptional man. I just don't like what he's selling this time around.

  6. I don't buy many EA Games apparently. Battlefield 2 is the only EA game I play right now.

  7. @rpad

    I can only see Day one DLC being a deterrent if it's not offered after the first two weeks someone buys the game. If they're trying to fight used game sales that would be one way. If we use Fight Night Round 4 for example, the advertised ODH but didn't make him available in the game only through DLC. If they would've had him day one DLC for two weeks then people who really want the game and want ODH in the game; would buy this game right away instead of waiting and buying the game used like i did; it ended up being way cheaper than $59.99 plus $10 for ODH dlc.

  8. @tokz_21 That's not what I'm talking about. Look at Dragon Age, for example. If you bought a new copy, you received a code good for free DLC on day one. I wouldn't mind publishers being more aggressive with practices like that.

  9. @rpad

    I get it now. I think your idea and my idea combined would be way better than the EA Online Pass.

  10. Peter Moore is full of shit. Once again if I buy the game new and then trade it in or give it to a friend then that person has to pay for some digital work? No. The cost was already covered in the new game Peter. So by charging any kind of sum to a secondary owner you aren't providing anything that wasn't already paid for.

    I have to rant here. I'm not a pro piracy guy. I don't mind getting sone freebies every now and then but I buy my fair share. Crap like this, DLC after two months, all these damn mini subscriptions are really just are nickel and dime tactics. This bull about some digi enhancement fee is retarded. I pay for p2p on my xbox, WTF should I pay for to log into your server??? I'm not trying to shit all over content creators but distributors of content need to stop breaking it off in the consumers who buy a product.

  11. @smartguy

    that's exactly what i've been ranting about since Chet has come out with his rants. If i buy it then why shouldn't i try to make some money back from the game if i'm tired of it. This is not like people are pirating the game. They are buying a legit copy of the game from either a store like L1 or from us gamers. It's complete garbage and i will boycott each EA/Ubisoft game that comes out with this Online pass bs.

  12. I couldn't have said it any better than Smartguy.

    I would also like to point out that Mr. Moore's math doesn't add up. While it may be true that gamers may be buying less games now due to financial constraints, I seriously doubt that they are using the extra $60 (that they would have used to buy the third game, according to Mr. Moore) to buy DLC for the two games that they bought. That would mean that someone who has only bought two new games in one year (or whatever timeframe they are using) would spend $30 of DLC for each of those games. Now, I'm no fancy USA Today pollster, but I can't reckon any gamer I know of to spend $30 worth of DLC for two games he/she has bought. I can tell you what is much more common is for a gamer to buy a game new, play it, return it to a gaming store for credit, and then using said credit to buy another new or used game.

    Mr. Moore, you are officially a tool. God bless you, your family and your paycheck, but you're still a tool.


  13. @Big Blak Silence would have been better, but I'm sure EA — especially Moore since Online Pass started with an EA Sports title — is getting bombarded with questions. Someone had to speak eventually.

    @smartguy Your rants are welcomed! I hope more people pay attention to this issue.

    @Iceman I disagree with Peter on this one, but I wouldn't call him a tool. He's one of the better execs out there. For one, he actually plays games.

  14. @Ray

    then he is a mouthpiece right now. If he were on the outside looking in, he'd call a spade a spade as well. I also don't buy the piracy hurts the bottomline angle. If someone pirates anything it means they had no intention of buying it anyway, so it wouldn't have been a sale anyway. Why not just lock the consoles down (as if they aren't already) and use the old key method. One key online at a time. But I guess that isn't invasive enough and can't be monetized.


    the poor schmucks who will buy the new mw addon will have spent $30 on dlc. No offense to any present company.

  15. Fine. Since I've never met the guy, I'll reserve my final judgment until I do. Since you have met him and have gotten to know him, I'll yield to your view on the man personally. I will, however, say that he is a tool for EA (in the form of a mouthpiece, as Smartguy said). That is his job, after all.

    @ Smartguy;

    I actually am a poor schmuck, but I still will never buy any Modern Warfare 2 add-on. The cheap, used copy I have with the campaign and co-op are enough to justify the reduced price I paid (take that, $10 solution! And yes, I know it's Activision and not EA this time). I think the only DLC I've EVER bought on my Xbox 360 has been Shadow Complex. All the other DLC I have has either come with the GOTY version I bought of the game or on a separate disk (i.e., Episodes from Liberty City). I also buy whole games on Steam every now and then because I can play/download the game on any computer I own.


  16. You know, in this case Peter Moore kinda stepped all over himself. Happens to all of us from time to time.

    That being said, I understand why EA is going this route w/ digital content. The used game market, while good for gamers in the short term due to the instant gratification of getting the game for less, is bad for gamers in the long term because it doesn't provide a profit to the companies actually making or distributing the games.

  17. @nightshade

    maybe they should make a better product? Perhaps even price competively

  18. @Smartguy: Let's not fool ourselves here. If they drop the price to $50 a game, GameStop's still gonna sell the used copies for $45, and people are still gonna choose to go that route. All that's going to do is cut into their own profit margins even more because they'd be skimming $10 off the top themselves.

    And look, I'm not saying that I like it, just that I understand where they're coming from.

  19. @nightshade

    you only mention the used market, but what about rentals? You yourself use gamefly and would be adversely affected since you review games. I know you aren't a fan of online multiplayer but a lot of ppl are. Furthermore why should they in essence charge you a fee for something that was already purchased, and resold legally? Their bottomline is fine on sports titles since they don't make it from the ground up each year.

    They could have a point if they provided the servers to play on but then again those are paid by initial purchases so a used copy puts no burden on that model. If anything this will make used copies cheaper.

    If someone wants to pay $45 used as opposed to $50-$60 new that's their decision. This would also affect me giving you an old game, or letting you borrow a title.

  20. @Smartguy: Once again, I'm not saying that I like it, just that I understand it from their point of view.

  21. On another note… I went to Gamestop last week and took everything I could bare to trade in and they were gonna charge me about $65 total for RDR. What I had to trade… wasn't enough.

    So… I pulled some strings and ordered it new from Amazon (using Ray's links) and got it brand new with the golden guns code inside for like a total of $48.

    Moral of the story… unless your trading, use Amazon and Ray's links over going to Gamestop or even buying used games at what they want to charge you for them there.

  22. @nightshade

    once again, just making conversation. It's easy to see their pov. They want more money.

  23. "In fiscally challenging times, maybe a gamer won’t buy three games anymore, maybe they’ll buy two and spend the other $60 or £30 on extendable content"—why not just spend that extra $60 on another game with all new content, story, plot, etc. and get more for your money rather than only have 2 games as opposed to 3??? Variety is the spice of life, after all.

  24. @Smartguy: About the rentals, the EA Online Pass comes w/ a 7 day free trial for used or rental copies. So it's not a lose/lose for gamers who only rent, considering most store based rental programs are 5 day rentals. Sure you can keep a game out as long as you want w/ Gamefly, but frankly if you're keeping a sports game out more than say 2 weeks and you're constantly playing it, you probably should have just bought the game to begin w/, and you should certainly Keep It from Gamefly before they charge you for your next monthly bill, otherwise you're essentially paying retail cost to rent it.

    And with the Buy it Now option w/ Gamefly, they usually send the original packing materials w/ the case, meaning that you should theoretically get the code that way (not 100% on this because I haven't personally bought a EA game from Gamefly since they started doing these passes). But honestly, this is why I use Gamefly and don't buy games used from the stores. If I do choose to keep it, I already know the disc works because I've been playing it, I get it for less than I would get a used copy at GameStop, and it comes w/ all the packing materials.

  25. @nightshade

    a friend of mine buys used from GF as well. He hasn't had an issue with them so far. I'm not part of the rental market, so I've never used them.

    The trial pass is nice if you are able to find enough time in the period to use it, but more and more busy adults are gamers.

    I'm so bored at work today, not harping, just bored.

  26. @Smartguy: Yeah, I get ya. I called out today otherwise I'd be in the same boat.

    The trial pass is a perfect option for me if I'm reviewing a game that has the EA Online Pass because I can still rent the game, not pay for the full pass, and still give a review of the online, so long as I play the online component of the game first. We're going try to get our reviews up in 10-14 days after launch if we can anyways when the new site launches, so it's not like I have unlimited time to do every review.

  27. @ Ray

    No need to thank me… that's a true story. I also didn't mention that only one of my 3 local Gamestops actually had the game… and it was the "opened display copy".

    I'm just about done with those people.

  28. @N8R: One of my friends is a GS store manager. I justify buying the occasional game at his store as "helping out a buddy." Otherwise I wouldn't buy from them at this point either.

  29. @Ray: Speaking of helping a buddy out….I just bought a couple of books on Amazon by following the banner ad on your page. Hope it helps.

  30. @ Nightshade

    Does he get commission based on your purchases? I could understand that. But otherwise, if he doesn't own the store, it's just continuing a cycle.

    I don't mean to harp either, I'm just saying Amazon really does have a better deal and is a great way to avoid the online pass thing… and of course it helps Ray.

  31. @N8R: He gets to keep his job if his store does well. Plus bonuses based on meeting goals. Etc.

  32. @ Nightshade

    Right on. I'm not here to change anyone's mind on anything, don't get the wrong impression.

  33. I don't buy GS. I don't get how every game I wanted was in some sleeve under the counter but they sell it for new unopened price. Not trying to put malice where there is none but I prefer my games factory sealed when I pay a new price.

  34. @ Smartguy;

    OMG! They did that to you, too? I was at one GameStop and wanted to buy this one game new (I forgot which one it was). The guy behind the counter went into the drawer to get the game and put it in a box and rung it up as new. I said "WTF?" and he started to assure me that it was brand new, but the box had been opened for some reason I forgot now. He even showed me all the shiny, new contents of the box and how the game disk had no scratches or marks on it.

    Long story short; that's the last time I've ever gone to GameStop, which is a shame because I have a year-old $25 gift card that I haven't used yet since I can't bring myself to go into that accursed place. If I'm going to buy something new, it better damn well have the factory-sealed wrap on it. That a-hole behind the counter should work at a used car lot.


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