In a controversial move, Electronic Arts has made the decision to lock out multiplayer modes on used sales of its sports games. Beginning with the release of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, the publisher will introduce a new Online Pass, a one-time registration code included with each brand new copy of the game. The code allows players to access "online services, features and bonus content."
Players who purchase the game used can buy an Online Pass for $10 or sign up for a free 7-day trial. The pass will be implemented for NCAA Football 11, NHL 11, Madden NFL 11, NBA 11, FIFA 11, and EA Sports MMA as well. The pass offers different features for each title, however, players will not have access to basic multiplayer features if purchased used.
"You will be unable to play multiplayer online game modes or use your downloaded content in online game modes," EA says. Online leagues, dynasty and franchise modes are also only available with the Online Pass. The break down for each title can be seen on the publisher's official website.
"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 Peter Moore, President of EA SPORTS.
Despite being one the leading companies in used game sales, retailer GameStop is supporting Electronic Arts' new direction.
"GameStop is excited to partner with such a forward-thinking publisher as Electronic Arts," said Dan DeMatteo, Chief Executive Officer of GameStop Corp. "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."