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EA: Project $10 saw over 70% of new buyers redeem code

Goal is to "stop consumers thinking game begins and ends with the disc"; second hand uptake in "low single digits"

EA has said that over 70 per cent of new purchasers of Mass Effect 2, Dragon Age: Origins and Battlefield: Bad Company 2 went online to redeem their Project $10 bonus codes, while the number of consumers purchasing the code for the used copy a game was a "low single digit percentage".

But COO John Schappert said that the aim of moves such as Project $10, and EA's just-announced Online Pass, was to stop consumers thinking the game began and ended with the disc and to encourage them online, where they'd find even more bonus content.

Speaking at a call to investors following the release of EA's year-end financials, Schappert said: "We saw that by giving people this access code we got them into the online world and so we saw very very strong uptake in downloadable content across all of those titles because we had content available from day one and because we seeded it with a bonus token."

"That is really our drive with our online pass," he added.

"Invariably the consumer is getting a boat-load more content than they otherwise would," explained CFO Eric Brown. "We used to pull people off games 4-6 weeks pre-ship and they'd go to work or something else because the game was done.

"Our teams are [now] being held in place through and beyond ship and they continue to create content and entertain the consumer with new content associated with the IP they like.

"This is why we believe we can successfully go from 73 or 75 titles three short years ago to 36 titles - halving our title count and retaining our revenue.

"By generating more revenue per IP, by extending our business model into subscriptions, into micro transactions, into downloadable content and then into new platforms like social networks or putting our IP out through Pogo or building directed services like Tiger Online, FIFA Online and Battefield Online."

Brown said the company had been preparing the Online Pass for "the best part of 18 months" and that the infrastructure just hadn't been ready in order for it to introduce the scheme in time for the World Cup.

The infrastructure and databases had "not been simple to build," he said, adding that EA hadn't wanted to make mistakes.

On the subject of retailers, he said that they would ultimately find a way to participate, pointing out that GameStop was supporting the move while the majority of retailers were also behind it.

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