We had heard that Electronic Arts was discontinuing the Online Pass program for all future games.
Now it appears they're taking it one step further. According to what EA corporate communications representative John Reseburg told Game Informer , you can wave bye-bye to Online Passes for existing games, too.
The company is currently in the process of removing the Pass from all their currently available titles:
"As we discontinue Online Pass for our new EA titles, we are also in the process of eliminating it from all our existing EA titles as well. We heard the feedback from players and decided to do away with Online Pass altogether.
Players will see it first with some EA Sports titles, where a prompt to enter an Online Pass code will no longer appear in-game; with other titles we are simply making Online Passes available free of charge online. These are rolling updates that are taking effect over the next several weeks. We hope players continue to enjoy our games and online services for a long time to come."
The Online Pass was instituted in an effort to combat used games sales, which don't give EA any extra revenue. They weren't the only publisher to implement such a plan; Sony and THQ did something similar and gamers have never been happy with the idea. Now it's time to see if Sony will disband the Pass as well. THQ has already bit the dust, so it's unlikely a nonexistent company could retroactively kill off the Pass that already exists in current games. But who knows?