EA Makes $10 - 15 Million Off Online Pass

September 9, 2011 -

According to a Gamasutra report cover comments from Electronic Arts CFO Eric Brown, EA's "Online Pass" has made the company $10-$15 million since. Interestingly enough, the company categorizes that figure as "not a lot of money." I suppose to a company the size of EA that amount of money is chicken scratch to them.

"The revenues we derive from that haven't been dramatic. I'd say they're in the $10-$15 million range since we initiated the program," he said.

He went on to say that while the amount of money gained from the program has not been dramatic, all this "found revenue" has come from consumers who were consuming "bandwidth for free."

EA launched its Online Pass earlier this year as a way to earn some money off of used game buyers who wanted to play their games online. The Online Pass typically cost used game buyers an additional $10 - which, oddly enough, puts the price of a used game + Online Pass near the cost of a new game, typically.

Source: Gamasutra


Comments

Re: EA Makes $10 - 15 Million Off Online Pass

"Found revenue" makes it sound like it was missing. It wasn't.

Re: EA Makes $10 - 15 Million Off Online Pass

Bandwidth consumed via communication with your end user is just another cost of business, like say, electricity. In the long run, trying to recoup such costs from your customers is bad for your business and infrastructure.

If you are really worried about bandwidth, get a connection to a tier 1 ISP (a penny a gigabyte) or become an ISP to yourself.

Re: EA Makes $10 - 15 Million Off Online Pass

Forcing me to use there privacy invasive software will preclude me from buying any of their games in the future.

Re: EA Makes $10 - 15 Million Off Online Pass

...all this "found revenue" has come from consumers who were consuming "bandwidth for free."

Uh, you do realize the original owner of the game is no longer consuming your bandwidth, right?

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: EA Makes $10 - 15 Million Off Online Pass

Any sensible business model would account for the average life time of a game for a single player. In other words, costs allocated from the sale of the title would generally account for the fact that the purchaser of the game will see their gameplay wane. When you resell a game this behaviour changes such that there is likely an increase in the amount of network service usage per disc sold and I would expect this increases with every second hand sale of the game.

Game publishers/developers have to absorb a huge amount of risk for any game they publish, EA is no exception here. Personally I don't have an issue with them charging for online access so long as the fee is reasonable ($10 is reasonable), the fact that you are paying close to new disc rates after the purchase isn't the fault of EA, it is the price gouging that occurs by the reseller. Your beef should be with GameStop (or where ever you bought the game), clearly the second hand value of the game is not inline with your expectations.

Re: EA Makes $10 - 15 Million Off Online Pass

Interesting way of looking at it but the sensible business model would then account for the used market and understand that, thanks to second hand sales, the total number of users might not wane as quickly.

And to be clear, I have exactly zero problems with the "online pass" idea.  Thanks to GameStop's absurd used pricing, I think it's an excellent way to make buying new a more attractive prospect (unless the used buyer didn't care about online in the first place).  I would expect GameStop (and I don't shop there so maybe they do this) to knock an additional $10 off the used price of games that do the "online pass" thing.

 

Andrew Eisen

 
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Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.gamespot.com/videos/the-point-destiny-the-hardcore-gamers-slot-machine/2300-6425852/ this is very good, and well researched.07/03/2015 - 12:41pm
InfophileOther features to become standard: The ability to remap controls however the hell I want. Quicksave at any time (especially for handheld and mobile games). Plus everything Andrew said07/03/2015 - 10:43am
InfophileRegion-freeing becomes tricky for games with a strong online component though, especially when the servers are run by different branches in different regions.07/03/2015 - 10:41am
InfophileI'm in favor of getting rid of region-locking for any purchased games. I can understand an exception for free, ad-supported games, as many ads are only relevant in certain regions, and it's a ridiculous hassle to get ads for all regions.07/03/2015 - 10:40am
PHX Corphttp://kotaku.com/payday-2-has-been-broken-on-xbox-one-for-three-weeks-1715384186 Payday 2 Has Been Broken On Xbox One For Three Weeks07/03/2015 - 8:44am
Matthew Wilsonhttps://www.reddit.com/r/OutOfTheLoop/comments/3bxduw/why_was_riama_along_with_a_number_of_other_large/ here is a more complete acount of whats going on.07/03/2015 - 1:32am
Matthew Wilsonredit is on fire right now. most subreddits have been set to private.07/03/2015 - 1:24am
MattsworknameYou know andrew, those are actualy rock solid ideas, I woudl like those features a bunch ,especially with games that a cut scene heavly. looking at you kojima!07/03/2015 - 1:18am
Andrew EisenActually, "things I'd like to see become standard in video games" ain't a bad idea for one of my future YouTube videos.07/03/2015 - 1:05am
Andrew EisenYou know what I'd really like to see become standard? The ability to pause cutscenes. Rewind and skip (with "Are you sure?") would be nice too. Oh, and maybe display the duration of the cutscene when it's paused.07/03/2015 - 1:03am
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Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.theverge.com/culture/2015/7/2/8888243/reddit-subreddits-private-after-ama-victoria-taylor-fired bad optics by Reddit.07/03/2015 - 12:33am
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MattsworknameFor example, all games with any for form of spoken dialoge should be i subtitled, and region locking in any form should be illegal07/02/2015 - 9:03pm
MattsworknameDoes anyone feel that there should be a set standard for all games in terms of certain basic features. Ie subtitles, region lock, etc07/02/2015 - 9:01pm
MattsworknameSo, now that the Article stuff is over, I want to bring up another subject07/02/2015 - 9:01pm
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