Wednesday, May 12, 2010

EA To Lock Out Buyers of Used Games, Unless They Pay

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Electronic Arts the giant publisher of games for just about every device for with a microprocessor has a new plan to stem the tide of what they claim to be lost revenue from those who buy copies of their games second hand.  staring with the 2011 versions of the EA's popular sports games on both PC's and consoles there will be a code that will unlock online features of those games.  For those buying previously enjoyed copies of future games from EA, they will need to hand over an additional ten dollars to play online and unlock other online features.

Those wanting to play Madden 11 or Tiger Woods PGA 11 will have to buy a brand new copy, pay the extra 10 dollars if they buy a second hand copy or don't play online since EA has exclusive licenses with the NFL and PGA.  Puckheads on the other hand have another option, Online players who wish to play with a second hand copy will get to do so at no additional charge with NHL 2K11. 

Demanding more money from people just because they choose to buy a second hand copy of a game is a form of digital extortion.  As much as the music and movie industries would like to people to buy used CD's and DVD's to pay the big record labels and movie studios they can't.  Firstly there isn't the technical means to detect a used CD or DVD and report it to get people to pay up.  Secondly the RIAA and MPAA face consumer animosity because of the heavy handed approach to fight piracy of music and movies.

EA's Online Pass isn't even an anti-piracy move, it's just a way of collecting yet more money from people who are buying legitimate copies of their game software even if it's not brand new.  It would be different if they were collecting money from people borrowing copies of games to make it more of rental but that would still be heavy handed and greedy.  This just shows how heavy handed and greedy EA is.

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