EA has claimed that it hasn’t experienced any sort of backlash from consumers as a result of introducing its Online Pass in titles such as Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 and the upcoming FIFA 11.
In fact, the publisher has gone so far as to say that gamers are positive about the move and understand the need for new business models.
The reception of the program has been positive,” EA chief financial officer Eric Brown told the Deutsche Bank 2010 Technology Conference in San Francisco last night, according to Eurogamer.
We thought about Online Pass pretty carefully and there hasn’t been any significant push-back from the consumer, because I think people realise that if you’re buying a physical disc and it requires an attachment to someone else’s network and servers, those people realise bandwidth isn’t free.
So the fact that we’re diffusing or covering online costs is not viewed to be unreasonable. We’re well into this program and there is no consumer backlash.”
Of course, what Brown’s comments don’t address is the issue of pre-owned. There’s some debate as to whether initiatives such as the Online Pass and in-box DLC codes are a way to monetise multiplayer or second hand sales. To date EA, unlike rivals such as THQ, has been reluctant to make the link to pre-owned.