First Online Pass Enabled Game in Stores

June 8, 2010 -

The first test of EA's Online Pass begins soon, with Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 in stores nationwide. Of course the real test won't begin until first-time buyers dump their shiny new copies of EA's golf game back into retails stores like GameStop and used game buyers either buy it or boycott it. In case you haven't been following EA's Online Pass, it is a serial code based system for Xbox 360 and PS3 sports games from EA Sports that charges used game buyers $10 to access online play.

While the industry and angry consumers await the results of this little experiment, Joystiq's Law of the Game points out that game publishers maybe playing with a fire they can't put out: government regulation. Here's a sample, though there are more points worth reading in the rest of this article:

Many of you may recall that I've mentioned the FTC's lingering desire to regulate more online content, as we've talked specifically about DRM and EULAs in the past. If the FTC is really looking to make a splash, all it needs are a few complaints about the Online Pass, especially related to multiplayer. Why multiplayer? The box will almost certainly list that as a game feature, and one of the things the FTC always focuses on is misleading advertisement or labeling. In fact, if anyone at EA is reading this, proper box text could be the difference between the FTC looking into the issue and choosing not to address the issue. Like so many other things, if other companies choose to start making similar systems mandatory for certain content and play types, then the probability that regulators get involved goes up significantly.

The one other important point made in the column is that Tiger Woods is not the real test for Online Pass; it is going to take a game like Madden to see whether or not Online Pass will fail and chances are that - if the FTC does look into this - it will be because some high profile individual or a player somehow connected with someone at the FTC will get burned by a used game.


Comments

Re: First Online Pass Enabled Game in Stores

I thought golf games would be hard enough to sell in the first instance, let alone second hand. The only thing worse is watching golf on television. Although I think it's a perfectly fun sport to play IRL.

Re: First Online Pass Enabled Game in Stores

As if tiger woods' name being on it was enough reason to not purchase it.

Re: First Online Pass Enabled Game in Stores

Yeah, who in their right mind would want to play a game starring one of the most elite sportsmen of the modern era, a man who was named athlete of the decade by the Associated Press, especially now that it's come to light that he's sunk enough hole-in-ones to take a run at Wilt Chamberlain's record?

Do you find the oxygen gets a little thinner up there on your high horse? ;D

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Fangamer

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Fangamer

Re: First Online Pass Enabled Game in Stores

There's the rub: the best way to avoid an FTC smackdown is to prominently print, on the box, that online play requires an extra $10 -- which is exactly what you DON'T want to do if you want people to buy your game.

Re: First Online Pass Enabled Game in Stores

A self imposed catch 22. Either they don't put it on the box and get in trouble wit hthe FTC, or they face the wrath of customers who take the time to read the box.

Re: First Online Pass Enabled Game in Stores

They'll probably put it on the box, in small print, somewhere near the bottom.  Lost amidst a sea of other legal notices they feel they have to put there to cover their butts.

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Chris Kimberley

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Chris Kimberley

 
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InfophileAnd here's why you never judge an article by its title: "Microsoft Gives All Windows 10 Users the Finger" - http://www.themarysue.com/microsoft-windows-10-middle-finger/ (I'm looking at you, people still mad about "Gamers are Dead")07/31/2015 - 5:09am
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2015-07-31/khan-academy-s-sal-khan-studio-1-0-full-show-7-30- not game related, but this is a good interview.07/30/2015 - 8:52pm
Goth_SkunkFinally, I never misspelled Chipman's name. So, feel free to try your luck again, but pick an opponent you can beat.07/30/2015 - 8:32pm
Goth_Skunk@Technogeek: I paid for the experience of the seat, and upon completion of the movie determined that the extra for the seat wasn't worth it. Additionally, your opinion is not law. You thinking the movie is crap does not make it so.07/30/2015 - 8:31pm
Craig R.1st I heard of Pixels was seeing trailer in theater. Was interested until Sandler appeared, then it became an instant 'Nope'.07/30/2015 - 4:52pm
james_fudgesick burns are not always allowed in the shoutbox.07/30/2015 - 4:28pm
MechaCrashIt's especially funny because I said "you'd have to be a moron to enjoy it," and Goth boasted about enjoying it, as if that does anything to change my opinion of the movie or of him.07/30/2015 - 4:19pm
TechnogeekMatthew: Back when that law was first implemented, I kept trying to come up with a scenario where it would be anything other than an unmitigatedd sisaster. Nothing ever came to mind.07/30/2015 - 4:16pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/07/new-study-shows-spains-google-tax-has-been-a-disaster-for-publishers/ no duh Sherlock!07/30/2015 - 4:10pm
TechnogeekI can't even make a joke about that. It's like poking fun at Donald Trump's hair.07/30/2015 - 4:01pm
TechnogeekSo you willingly paid more money than you needed to in order to watch a crappy Adam Sandler movie (but I repeat myself), just to spite a reviewer that you can't even spell the name of properly.07/30/2015 - 4:01pm
Goth_SkunkMy one regret was paying extra for a DVX seat, which jostles and vibrates in relation to the action on screen. What a waste of money.07/30/2015 - 3:55pm
Goth_SkunkYes, I did watch Pixels just to spite Chipman. I was originally going to see Minions, but moved it down the list. AND I ENJOYED IT. So nuts to you, MechaCrash.07/30/2015 - 3:44pm
Matthew Wilson@phx works fine for me, but I did it the long way. I upgraded, made a recovery drive, than did a full install.07/30/2015 - 3:24pm
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PHX CorpWell I'm offically on Windows 10 Laptop Wise(I had to download the Windows 10 Media tool from Microsoft to get it now rather than waiting for the update through windows update)07/30/2015 - 12:16pm
ZippyDSMleeI dunno I'd go to see it, seems liek dumb fun, better than half assed serious stuff that has so many holes large enough to drive mac trucks through(coughinterstellercouch).07/30/2015 - 10:58am
Andrew EisenGoth - Wait, you went to see Pixels just to spite Chipman?07/30/2015 - 10:49am
MechaCrashYou can see Pixels, which requires you to be a moron to enjoy it, or you can actually spend that time and money watching something actually good. Gosh, what a choice.07/30/2015 - 10:49am
 

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