EA to Charge $10 Fee for Online to Those Who Buy Used Games


“It’s quite simple – every game will come with a game-specific, one-time use registration code with each unit sold new at retail,”

So what do you think? I know several people that purposely wait for used games or price drops to save money. On the other hand, the developers lose money each time a game is sold used.

Its quite the double edged sword, but as a gamer, I will not be buying any EA Sports games used going forward.

I know Madden 10 did something like this already.

So even borrowing the game from a friend will cost you $10.

Read the full story at Edge-online


Written by: Eddie - Contributing Editor


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  1. #1 by narmonteto on May 11th, 2010 [ 265 Points ]

    I think that’s a wise decision since they don’t get any money from used games

  2. #2 by bad company on May 11th, 2010

    EA is ****ing greedy

  3. #3 by Emrah on May 11th, 2010 [ 7319 Points ]

    This coming from the same company that closed down the servers of their 2 year old games. I hope they stop doing that, at the very least, now that this is happening.

  4. #4 by Emrah on May 11th, 2010 [ 7319 Points ]

    Also, what will happen is, this will slightly reduce the 2nd hand value of such games. I can understand why EA wants to make money from used game sales, and the free market will react in that manner.
    Also, the negative effect of used game sales market on the developers is exaggerated as is the case with piracy. However, used game sales market is much more innocent than piracy, as the money made through selling a game goes towards another game most of the time, I’d guess, so that money didn’t vanish for the game developers all together.

    I’m sure, if companies could get away with it, they’d sell the game to each person in an household, imagine the wonders of buying LittleBigPlanet 2 to all of your three kids, three copies, with no way of selling it again! The software industry would flourish! /s

  5. #5 by Klass1K on May 11th, 2010

    Thankfully I stopped playing EA sports MADDEN when the 2005 servers ended. I played a few madden games after that and they ALL felt the same. Not that, that is a problem, but for what? 1 maybe 3 new features every year and one or two features taken out and a roster update for $60? No thanks. With this new money hungry $10 a month charge buying the game NOT new is absurd. If anything, EA sports should make their games cheap at retail release. The price for their roster updates (new year) is ridiculous. I know some other companies will follow along and so be it. I’ll be one to not buy your game at all because I like to buy used. I refuse to pay a monthly charge. Unless it’s a game with a backbone to it like the Socom, COD, Gran Turismo, series then I’ll buy new.

    I know the new Battlefield game did something similar to this with their DLC. People who bought the game new got a code for future DLC. People who bought the game used will have to fork up $15 for a one time fee IIRC. Pretty soon console gaming will have monthly charges. If that’s the case then so long video gaming.

    Also I ONLY play my games online so I hope I won’t see more companies charging monthly.

  6. #6 by Eddie on May 11th, 2010 [ 44542 Points ]

    Gamestop is happy about this. They released a statement saying they are behind EA 100%. Reason being is it will spurn more reservations, new game sales and xbox live/psn points for them in the long run.

  7. #7 by Blackstaffer on May 11th, 2010

    I don’t get it. Gamestop makes more from a used sale than a new sale, so who cares about reservations and new game sales? The Xbox Live / PSN points thing seems somewhat of a red herring too – they can’t be making much money on cash cards.

  8. #8 by Eddie on May 11th, 2010 [ 44542 Points ]

    Probably because this won’t stop the purchase of used game sales either. They will continue as they do now minus a few who actually paid attention to this news.

  9. #9 by Macdory on May 11th, 2010 [ 3435 Points ]

    “On the other hand, the developers lose money each time a game is sold used. ”

    I’m not sure how you work this out – they do not lose anything. I agree that they do not gain anything, but they certainly do not lose.

    For me, I am confident that the second hand market will prevail – if this is teh case, and people get less money at trade in for their games, because the second hand seller cannot charge as much for a game with an additional $10 charge from EA, then this just devalues the original purchase, along with the second hand purchase – so it will mean that people will pay less for the original game – easy to do by just waiting a week or two after release.

  10. #10 by Eddie on May 11th, 2010 [ 44542 Points ]

    The loss of potential revenue is still a loss. Its your perspective that changes its meaning. Ask EA and they will say its a loss…ask a consumer and they will not label it the same.

    I also agree with your second hand market prevailing, but I don’t see the original price dropping and I don’t see this having a huge effect either.

    Like I said..Madden 10 does this already. I believe the most recent NBA game does it as well. This article is just EA saying they are going to continue to follow this method on all future sports games.

    This isn’t a “will it work” situation. This is already working. I know people who paid the 10 bucks just to play a season on the same console as a roomate under a different sign on.

  11. #11 by Sinlock on May 11th, 2010

    Just makes me feel better that I tend to focus on single player games.

  12. #12 by nathan118 on May 11th, 2010

    All this will do is drive down the prices of used EA games by $10, haha. Instead of madden going for $50 used a month after release, now it will only go for $40.

    Good try EA!

  13. #13 by Jason on May 11th, 2010

    What about renting?

  14. #14 by Eddie on May 11th, 2010 [ 44542 Points ]

    nathan118….Madden 10 had the same trade in value and purchase price.

    Same thing Jason. They are using a 1 time use access code that gets you online for free. So renting, borrowing or buying used will need to pay $10 bucks to get online.

  15. #15 by EdEN on May 11th, 2010 [ 136063 Points ]

    And now I’m even more glad that I don’t purchase sports games.

    @Jason: If the place you rent from still has it’s code and that code still hasn’t been used, you’re set. Otherwise, come up with the $10.

    I take from this that online gaming is still possible, but online in random matches. Matchmaking, dynasty modes, etc are what is affected.

  16. #16 by Emrah on May 11th, 2010 [ 7319 Points ]

    @eddie: This will reduce the trade-in value and second hand pricing in future, it currently may not do so because this is not common practice, and most people are unaware of the implications. Retailers and second hand market will adjust to it, that’s for sure.

  17. #17 by Eddie on May 11th, 2010 [ 44542 Points ]

    I really don’t think it will Emrah. EA isn’t the only one to do this. Mass Effect 2 does this for store content, Bad Company 2 VIP pass for maps, Skate 3 gives you skate reall and taking pix.

    Ofcourse those are features and not full online.

    Its being treated like add on content thats already on the disk and that you pay for the key to unlock it.

    Considering Gamestop is supporting this so strongly, something is up. They wouldn’t support a loss of revenue.

  18. #18 by Jonaskin on May 11th, 2010

    I prefer to play the (admittedly few) sports games I play multiplayer with friends over in the same room. This is no big deal to me personally.

  19. #19 by Trieloth on May 11th, 2010 [ 3426 Points ]

    Humm, I kinda like that idea. I rarely by used. And rent questionable games. But Iam not a fan of paying to play (xbox live) unless its a final fantasy MMO.

  20. #20 by Trev on May 11th, 2010 [ 26623 Points ]

    Fair enough.

    It’s not perfect but you can’t blame them. If anything it will make preowned games cheaper and if you only want one of their games to play offline you’ve got a steal. it’s not perfect but they have to pay for their servers somehow. It’s just a shame they’ve decided to punish rather than reward like BF:BC 2 did with rewarding 1st time buyers with maps and other in game content.

  21. #21 by EdEN on May 12th, 2010 [ 136063 Points ]

    Now, what happens if their season pass is just that? What I mean is that it only works for one season and then the server for that game is closed.

  22. #22 by cliffster1134 on May 13th, 2010 [ 235 Points ]

    Will this help any with piracy, I wonder?

  23. #23 by Mitsa on September 12th, 2010

    It’s funny that Electronic Arts (EA) is wanting to charge consumers more exactly at the same time that their best game, BFBC2, is having online problems with their ranks system.

    Instead of building on the backbone of what has already been created.
    1. Purchase of online games.
    2. Purchase of DLC.
    3. Purchase of new games sales.

    Now they want to squeeze the value and functionality of already existing games by charging a fee for whoever does not have an original “one time only” code. I already had to pay more because my original code did not work on my brand new game. They had no mercy and made me purchase an extra $15 on a game I just bought brand new.

    When a person buys used, they already sacrifice the new box, new literature, possible scratches, etc. That is not enough for EA. They want you to also not have online play unless you pay more for it. How about all the people who have multiple PS3 in their home? They want them to pay for online access on each machine. The code won’t work from one machine to another, so if you want to play in the living room, or in the bedroom or in the game room, you have to lug the one console that has the came code activated for online play.

    It’s a bad idea. They may make some money on the uneducated consumer in the shirt term, but they will be setting a bad precedence that will give their smarter competitors an edge when they do not complicate the gamers life with trying to figure out how much access they will have to a game they purchased new or used.

    I can see the longevity of good games like battlefield going down the drain when gamers who want to purchase such a game say, no, that is an EA game, and if you buy that, you won’t be able to play with other people, because they made it too complicated to play online.

    BFBC2 is already complicated to play with your friends online. You don’t get to choose the maps you play in after the initial map, therefore, if your friend does not have the extra cost download, then they simply get knocked off the game, no warning, no message, no nothing. Just as cold as EA’s lack of care and consideration to their gamers.

    Don’t get me wrong, I appreciated EA from back in the day’s of Delux Paint, but their most recent strategies seem like they have lost touch with their audience.

    This new idea of charging online access for an already purchased game brings no value to the consumer. The original purchaser of the new game already paid for the online access portion. Who cares if they gave their game to their niece or nephew. It’s not right that the niece or nephew now have to pay for the online access that their uncle already paid for.

    If EA were to keep it to VIP only type access where you got a bonus for having purchased the original game, that would be more reasonable. However, this trend of cannibalizing the functionality of a game by offering less and less on the CD and making more and more content only available for more pay is a huge turn off to me and to all of my friends as well. As it is, we have not been able to play BFBC2 for the last two weeks due to online problems.

    In contrast, take a game like Rainbow Six Vegas 2. What a gem! It seems that once all my friends an I play out a new game we always go back to the tried and true great games like Rainbow Six Vegas 2. Hopefully, new games will come out much more like R6V2.


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