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EA defends online pass

"My job to is make you not want to trade the game in", says Moore

EA Sports president Peter Moore has claimed that gamers appreciate the need for the publisher's controversial Project $10 anti-trade-in technology.

The Online Pass requires that purchasers of some second-hand EA titles must pay an additional fee in order to access their online modes. As of this month's Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11, it will be used on all EA Sports titles.

Gamers "recognise the business model implications of new versus used," Moore told gaming site Kotaku.

"Whilst I'm not sure they're angry, they absolutely look at what's going on in the marketplace and understand totally what it is we're doing. One thing I have to do, and it's my job, and my development team's job, and my marketing team's job, is make you not want to trade the game in."

Approximately 70 per cent of access codes in new games featuring the online pass have been activated, according to EA. However, only a "low single digit percentage" of gamers buying trade-in copies paid the additional $10 tithe to enable online functionality.

"From our perspective, [it's] conditioning you to punch a code in, to get you going, get some digital content, and conditioning you to look at digital content as a value-add to the game experience itself," said Moore.

The trade-in market has been blamed for second-month sales of new games declining by 60 per cent since 2001. While most publishers agree on the nature of the problem, the response has differed.

Earlier this month, THQ's Danny Bilson told that the publisher had come up with an alternative anti-resale system that "makes everybody happy" and, unlike Moore, argued that second-hand gamers "don't see what I'm dealing with."

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Alec Meer


A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.