Forthcoming EA Sports titles such as Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11, FIFA 11, Madden NFL 11 and NHL 11 will require an ‘Online Pass’ to access release-day bonuses and multiplayer.

A single-use Online Pass will be included with every new EA Sports title and, once activated, will be tied to your PlayStation Network or Xbox LIVE account. If you buy a used game (and want access to the multiplayer) or lose your Online Pass, it will be necessary to buy a new one for $10.00 USD.

In marketing-speak, this will “fully immerse you in the entire sports experience.”

Back in the real world, it is likely that this is the latest attempt by the industry to restrict second-hand game sales. By introducing the Online Pass system, EA Sports has reduced the resale value of its future titles and made the purchase of used copies far less attractive.

With the help of some clever marketing, features which just a few years ago would have been included in a game as standard are now being re-invented as some kind of luxury retail bonus.

“This is an important inflection point in our business because it allows us to accelerate our commitment to enhance premium online services to the entire robust EA Sports online community,” said EA Sports President Peter Moore, breaking all records for the most business jargon included in a single sentence.

It sounds to us like EA will need to re-record the immortal slogan of that annoying bloke at the start of every EA Sports title.

EA Sports: It’s in the game – unless you bought the game second-hand in which case it isn’t.

Paul Younger
Founder and Editor of PC Invasion. Founder of the world's first gaming cafe and Veteran PC gamer of over 22 years.

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