EA's Online Passes Have a Limited Shelf Life

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EA's Online Passes Have a Limited Shelf Life

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The activation codes for EA's 'Online Pass' enabled games can expire, leaving gamers without access to a games' online features until they contact EA support.

As one NeoGAF user found out when he broke open his brand-spanking-new copy of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit for the 360. He couldn't access the game's online features because the included activation code had gone the way of bell-bottoms,Windows 98 and 'the cake is a lie' references. When he posted his grievance on the NeoGAF forums, several other users came forward claiming they'd encountered the same issue. A clause allowing EA to do this was subsequently discovered in the Online Pass's EULA, and then it was torches and pitchforks all round.

EA's response to an inquiry from Joystiq was hardly enlightening. Apparently, as a rule, no Online Pass should expire, except those that do. For example, Dragon Age 2's online pass expires on March 31, 2012 according to EA's EULA description, and will require players to re-download the pass, or acquire a new one from EA support. EA stresses that acquiring a new pass is absolutely free.

Adding yet another hoop for consumers to jump through to an already unpopular system seems like an odd move, even for EA, so I'd wait for more clarification on the issue before setting your rage dials to 'incomprehensible.' We'll keep you updated on any further developments.

Source: Joystiq

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Isn't Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit a really old game?

I mean, I've noticed that recent games I've bought had expiration dates, but they expire like half a year from when I got them.

Hm...I thought maybe they'd do it to 'recycle' codes, but apparently there are 20,922,789,888,000-ish unique codes that can be generated on the PS3 alone.

So! I have no idea.

Old news is old?

When I bought Dragon Age: Origins it said the same thing there with the Shale DLC and Dragon Armour DLC which came with it.

Let me see if I can find it. :p

Yup, back of Origins says: "One time use code available with full retail purchase. Expires April 30, 2010"

Kopikatsu:
Isn't Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit a really old game?

I mean, I've noticed that recent games I've bought had expiration dates, but they expire like half a year from when I got them.

Hm...I thought maybe they'd do it to 'recycle' codes, but apparently there are 20,922,789,888,000-ish unique codes that can be generated on the PS3 alone.

So! I have no idea.

Nahh the new Hot Pursuit was released just over a year ago.

therandombear:
Old news is old?

When I bought Dragon Age: Origins it said the same thing there with the Shale DLC and Dragon Armour DLC which came with it.

Let me see if I can find it. :p

Yup, back of Origins says: "One time use code available with full retail purchase. Expires April 30, 2010"

Yep, but those are DLC codes as opposed to Online Pass codes. Separate thing.

Aww i had my rage dial all oiled and everything. I even got my special expensive oil when i saw the title.

Why would it expire if you can just ask customer support for free? Do they want to make it as annoying as possible so the lazier people won't actually claim it?

Grey Carter:

therandombear:
Old news is old?

When I bought Dragon Age: Origins it said the same thing there with the Shale DLC and Dragon Armour DLC which came with it.

Let me see if I can find it. :p

Yup, back of Origins says: "One time use code available with full retail purchase. Expires April 30, 2010"

Yep, but those are DLC codes as opposed to Online Pass codes. Separate thing.

Ah, herp derp. Reading is hard. My fault then, as you were. ;)

DLC=/=Season Pass, that sucks.

Kopikatsu:
Isn't Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit a really old game?

November 2010. Depends on how you define "really old."

Was I the only one to figure that out? I knew it a 4 months ago when I bought BBC 2

You would think that EA might someday want to try to tone down all the negative press they get, I understand sometimes you need to shut down servers when its costing you too much, but this seems like just putting an arbitrary deadline on things to add another step.

Is EA's design philosophy "How far can we go to annoy our customers before they actually do something about it"?

Between origin, this, forum to game library bans, and years of just dick moves that have helped sully gaming, project 10 dollar, activation codes, selling cheat codes and unlocks.

How did we as consumers allow this to happen?

They expire because they go bad like fruit right? oh wait they are a digital good that never goes bad? Gasp then why would EA do this? Wait this is a shameless money grab, because in the end they don't care about customers only the money in your wallet, and why should they worry about repeat business? Between them and Activision who else would you buy shooter 2012 from?

Grey Carter:
...Adding yet another hoop for consumers to jump through to an already unpopular system seems like an odd move, even for EA, so I'd wait for more clarification on the issue before setting your rage dials to 'incomprehensible.'...

Too [COPYRIGHTED] late!

Seriously! What the [COPYRIGHTED] is EA smoking to come up with this [COPYRIGHTED]?

Yet another reason never to buy another [COPYRIGHTED] game from EA

EA's putting an expiration date on numbers? What do they think we're going to do with it, horde them all and wait until the Great Dragon Age Scarcity of 2014 before scalping them?

Really, EA. I respect that you're trying to protect your IP. And yes, I support you in the sense that Valve isn't the only boy that's allowed his own D2D game service. I even defended the codes since I'm a PC gamer and seeing console gamers having to sit through the same crap I have for years fills me with a schadenfreude-tastic joy. But this... this is just bad.

One day soon, there's going to be some positive news about EA.

I hope.

It does raise serious questions though about "What do their PR people actually do?"

Are they going the Ubisoft route and just throwing PR to the wind?

I know its a big nono to wish certain people would drop dead, so im just gonna wish that whomever thinks up all these stupid ideas at EA gets crotchrot...

and then hit by a truck.

I'm not surprised they expire, but its totally bullshit that they do, if anything drives people to piracy its shit like this.

EA has yet to understand that treating customers right and making money are not exclusive options.

Would have bought Battlefield 3 if it wasn't for Origin.

XT inc:
Is EA's design philosophy "How far can we go to annoy our customers before they actually do something about it"?

Between origin, this, forum to game library bans, and years of just dick moves that have helped sully gaming, project 10 dollar, activation codes, selling cheat codes and unlocks.

How did we as consumers allow this to happen?

Gamers are quick to defend the industry in the name of "they have a right to protect their game against pirates, used buyers and rude people on the forums". Selling cheat codes is just greedy.

Imagine if Bethesda sold the developers console to 360 and PS3 gamers.

These people really don't like to make things easy on the folks who hand them money, do they? Jesus.

If I still had a modern console I would be so pissed by this, but since I don't I can just not care for now, but when I get either a new console or a good PC again I will be so pissed in the mean time, CURSE YOU FORD EXPLORER!!!!

You would think reckoning day will hit EA pretty fast with the many stakes to the hearth they're inflicting upon themselves.

The more it goes, the less time they have. It is, somehow, sad, but that's what happens when you act the way they do.

Let's just hope their replacement will get a better understanding of PR and customer relationship.

Wait... What?

Why would they make them expire, if you can just get a new one for free? Isn't that just more work for their support hotline? And more money used that way?

EA, I don't understand this.

zacattack14:
Was I the only one to figure that out? I knew it a 4 months ago when I bought BBC 2

Nope. The article was about some other guy who ALSO figured it out. Looks like you weren't the only one. Strange.

Good old EA. They could, as an option, not have them expire. It's not like it's beyond their technical prowess to make that happen. So, we can chalk this up to them being massive douche bags and yet another reason why they do not deserve your money. And I know you can get them replaced for free, it's the part where you have to jump through hoops to make it happen, which shouldn't be expected of paying customers.

Oh, gods, really EA? REALLY?! Isn't it enough that you're being the only dick in the industry who charges people extra if they buy the game used? (Let's not get into that whole used games vs. new games issue! PLEASE!) Now the Online Pass expires? So then...what's the point in buying the game new if the pass will expire eventually anyway?

Honestly, I don't play a lot of EA games online because of that bull, which is why I barely found out about this. I decided to not support them that way. Yes, I love me some Dragon Age, but it's alright. I don't need to play online. There's better games that offer a superb online experience. But...I say we need to teach EA a lesson. It seems they believe they can make us bend over lower and lower without any consequences. Not only that but they think they're setting up the mark; they expect other developers to be equally malicious as them. Well, it might seem insignificant, but they've lost a customer.

I'm never giving my money to EA again. I don't feel bad about buying used games because the developers do see a share of that profit (Let's not get into that! Screw it if I'm wrong or right!), but at any rate, I'll happily buy used EA games with no online pass. As it is, I'm waiting for DA2's price to go down so I can buy it.

Sorry, EA. Keep up with your dicks moves and you'll just keep alienating your customers more and more. Now you've managed to alienate even those few who still supported you. Bravo, sir. Bravo indeed.

EA and Activision... both huge companies, probably the biggest gaming ones and both are d-bags. The rest of my comment belongs in Religion & Politics so I will end here.

Grey Carter:

Adding yet another hoop for consumers to jump through to an already unpopular system seems like an odd move, even for EA, so I'd wait for more clarification on the issue before setting your rage dials to 'incomprehensible.' We'll keep you updated on any further developments.

Sounds par for the coarse for EA to me...

The_root_of_all_evil:
One day soon, there's going to be some positive news about EA.

I hope.

It does raise serious questions though about "What do their PR people actually do?"

Are they going the Ubisoft route and just throwing PR to the wind?

You know, in this tough economy sometimes you have to let people go. And you always start out with the ones doing the least for your company. In this case.... well I don't think the PR people came to work anyway.

Guess it's a good thing Bioware is starting to go down the tubes. I'm having even less a need to purchase games from EA. This is yet another reason to hate those ass holes. Until they stop treating me like garbage they can fuck right off.

I'm really starting to think EA are doing this on purpose. It's like they've secretly invented a machine that converts gamer hatred into money and they're doing their best to keep it fuelled.

My friend noticed the expiry thing when he purchased Dragon Age: Origins, though that was DLC, not online pass. Also for some reason the code worked even though it expired a few months before he redeemed it.
This just confirms I made a good choice in getting Hot Pursuit for PC. I hate filling in codes using a controller, waste of time and I haven't even used the multiplayer once.

I like that picture!

I am starting to think I can't play Mass Effect 3 anymore after all this nonsense. I assume it will need origin to play it on pc. I really wish Bioware wouldn't have sold itself to EA sometimes.

Such a shame.

I guess that ever expanding group of people who are bad and deserve to be punished for not bending over includes people who wait a while before buying games. Lovely. If I thought I would ever play that piece of shit DA2 ever again I might go back and check to see if I actually downloaded that bonus store thing.

synobal:
They expire because they go bad like fruit right? oh wait they are a digital good that never goes bad? Gasp then why would EA do this? Wait this is a shameless money grab, because in the end they don't care about customers only the money in your wallet, and why should they worry about repeat business? Between them and Activision who else would you buy shooter 2012 from?

In what way does this have to do with money? If anything this idiotic nonsense is costing themselves money, not the consumer.

I mean, I'm all for being angry, but lets be angry about the right things.

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