Scheme to fight pre-owned losses not unpopular, firm says

EA: People accept our online pay-wall

Publishing giant Electronic Arts says consumers are empathetic to its plan to start charging for online multiplayer in certain cases.

The firm is initiating the ‘Online Pass’ scheme in a bid to clamp down on lost margins in the pre-owned market. Many EA games will soon charge customers an additional $10 for multiplayer services on games bought second-hand.

“We thought about [Online Pass] pretty carefully and there hasn’t been any significant push-back from the consumer,” EA CFO Eric Brown said, as quoted by Eurogamer.

“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.

“The reception of the program has been positive," he added.

Brown expressed his view last night at the Deutsche Bank 2010 Technology Conference in San Francisco. He estimated that the used game market now makes up 20 per cent of total game sales.

“The fact that we’re diffusing or covering online costs is not viewed to be unreasonable,” he said.

“We’re well into this program and there is no consumer backlash.”

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