The one thing that publishers have tried to combat for many years is the used video game market, but each of their attempts proved ineffective. Electronic Arts has recently revealed that all new EA Sports games will include an EA Online Pass which would allow that person to play online, to hopefully prevent consumers from buying used games.
Once EA revealed this new plan, people all over the internet were talking about how unfair this is, which is why Ubisoft has also announced that they are doing the same thing. Since there is a lot of outrage towards this plan, it almost seems like it could finally slow down the used game market.
Now if you completely refuse to spend an extra 10 dollars on a new game, you will still be able to buy a used game like Madden, but you cannot play the multiplayer. In order to connect online with other players, you would have to buy an EA online pass which is aptly priced at 10 dollars. This 10 dollar pass would bring up the total price of a used game, even to the price of a new game.
In theory, this online pass seems like it can really stop people from buying used games, but there are two ways in which this plan could fail. The obvious result of this online pass is that gamers could stop supporting a series like Madden, and look towards another game to spend their money on, forcing EA to drop the online pass all together.
The reason why people buy used games is because they save 10 dollars and put that towards something else. The trade in process starts with someone trading in their game, which GameStop then resells for 10 dollars more. All GameStop has to do is sell their games for $40 instead of $50, so the buyer can purchase their used game with an Online Pass, and still save $10.
Regardless of the lower trade in value, there will still be a lot of people trading their games because they want to buy something new. For gamers who buy new games and don’t trade them in, it doesn’t affect them, but it really affects GameStop’s sales. Since GameStop is a business, their goal is to make a profit, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they offered an incentive to keep trading in and buying used games, making the online pass not that big of a deal.