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jmanz

EA Sports

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If you buy your sports games used and enjoy playing them online for free, EA would like to have a word with you.

And that word would be "no."

The mega-publisher announced Monday that beginning with the June 8th release of Tiger Woods 11, all future EA Sports games for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 will include a one-time, game-specific "Online Pass" code, which grants access to "online services, features and bonus content."

Sounds fine and dandy, but for one catch: while the code comes free with new copies of any EA Sports game, it can only be used once. Buy the game used -- or even just rent it through a service like GameFly -- and you'll be unable to play it online beyond a free seven-day trial period...unless you cough up $10 for an additional Online Pass.

"This is an important inflection point in our business because it allows us to accelerate our commitment to enhance premium online services to the entire robust EA SPORTS online community," said EA Sports president Peter Moore.

According to the official Online Pass site, online services that will be affected by the feature include "multiplayer online play, group features like online dynasty and leagues, user created content, and bonus downloadable content for your game including, for example, a new driver in Tiger."

The move is part of EA's so-called "Project Ten Dollar" initiative and is considered another attack on the used game market, which many publishers see as a financial black hole. EA has made prior attempts to dissuade the practice, although it remains an affordable solution to gamers looking for a bit of a bargain at the cost of owning new.

Interestingly, leading game retailer GameStop, who enjoy substantial revenue from selling used games, is seemingly supportive of the new program.

"This relationship allows us to capitalize on our investments to market and sell downloadable content online, as well as through our network of stores worldwide," said GameStop CEO Dan DeMatteo.

So is this a smart move by EA, or merely another case of a publisher gouging its customers? Let us know in the comments.

http://videogames.yahoo.com/events/plugged-in/how-playing-madden-online-could-cost-you-10/1398633

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I remember back when EA Sports meant quality. Their games were untouchable when it came to the sporting titles to get. Not so anymore. It's like they don't even care.

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The biggest issue I have here is that if I pay the $60 for the game and play online sure its free. Now I get sick of it, sell it to CPav and he wants to play online. Why does he pay another $10? Sure they want to make more money, but they already got their $60 out of the game, and now that I got rid of mine it's not like they suddenly have to up online capacity, i don't play online and CPav would take my spot.

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I agree, it is dumb. I don't play EA games online so far so it doesn't personally affect me but the premise is unfortunate.

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