The lights are on
Update: An EA representative has explained why some online passes are now available at no cost, and what players can expect in the weeks to come.
The price cuts were indeed by design, and they came as a response to the company's decision to ax online passes. And while the Xbox 360 was the first platform to see these price removals, they'll be trickling down to all platforms in the weeks to come. Here's what John Reseburg from EA's corporate communications department told us:
As we discontinue Online Pass for our new EA titles, we are also in the process of eliminating it from all our existing EA titles as well. We heard the feedback from players and decided to do away with Online Pass altogether.
Players will see it first with some EA Sports titles, where a prompt to enter an Online Pass code will no longer appear in-game; with other titles we are simply making Online Passes available free of charge online.
These are rolling updates that are taking effect over the next several weeks. We hope players continue to enjoy our games and online services for a long time to come.
The price changes were noticed by NeoGAF poster Vert Boil, and it means that players can download content that would ordinarily cost the equivalent of between $10-15. Perhaps the biggest draw is the original version of American McGee's Alice, which can be downloaded in its entirety at no cost. It was the digital extra bundled with new copies of the game's sequel, Madness Returns.
The passes haven't received a similar price cut on the PlayStation Network. We've reached out to EA to see if this was, indeed, intentional, and if PS3 players would be reaping similar rewards.
In the meantime, click on the links below to check out the content.
American McGee's Alice
Bad Company 2 VIP
Bulletstorm Online Pass
Dragon Age: Origins - The Stone Prisoner
The Black Emporium (Dragon Age II)
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Online Pass
Cerberus Network (Mass Effect 2)
Medal of Honor Online Pass
SHIFT 2 Unleashed Online Pass
Skate Share Pack (Skate 3)
Email the author Jeff Cork, or follow on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Game Informer.