EA Sports to make used game players pay for online access

Electronic Arts has drawn the ire of gamers in the past for its use of digital rights management (DRM) and other controversial decisions.  The game studio will now force gamers who buy used video games to pay a $10 pass to play Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 on Xbox Live or PlayStation Network.

The new EA Online Pass will be required for all new Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 sports video games – but the studio said gamers shouldn’t be disappointed.  EA will offer additional content for Online Pass users, such as new levels, weapons, and other add-ons.

EA Sports to make used game players pay for online access

“This is an important inflection point in our business,” said Peter Moore, EA Sports President, in a statement.  “It allows us to accelerate our commitment to enhance premium online services to the entire robust EA Sports online community.”

I’m not surprised Moore released a statement like this one, especially considering the amount of criticism EA will receive from the gaming community.

This isn’t the first time video game studios have started dabbling with vouchers and registration codes for used video games.  Sony’s SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 3 video game ships with a single voucher in the box, and a replacement voucher sets gamers back $20.

If you find this to be a troubling trend, don’t expect it to change any time soon.  Retailers are able to re-sell used games and earn revenue, but game studios are tired of being cut out of the solution.  The use of Xbox Live and PSN gives developers a new ability to control game content, but gamers and publishers will have the chance to continue their battle later.