As an EA executive confirmed in May the nixing of the proverbial Online Pass program, president of EA Labels Frank Gibeau revealed today the company is putting the final nail in its coffin.
“It’s dead, it’s dead, it’s deep-sixed, it’s at the bottom of the Mariana Trench,” Gibeau tells Joystiq in an interview at E3.
Gibeau continues by saying there was no linkage between EA’s Online Pass cancellation and Microsoft’s Xbox One digital rights management (DRM) plans, and PlayStation 4’s recent revelation wouldn’t have changed EA’s decision to get rid of Online Pass. Gibeau even referred to the Online Pass program as “flat out dumb”.
“We’re not crafting a strategy to bring [Online Pass] back, you will not input codes to unlock your game, it’s not going to happen,” Gibeau says.
Gibeau says the revenue from the Online Pass program didn’t compensate for the frustration imposed on customers, nor shed light on the company’s damaged reputation. Gibeau concluded the complications caused by the Online Pass program “wasn’t worth it”, and the company shouldn’t do “stuff like that anymore”. Gibeau said EA had the chance to “wipe the state clean” under interim CEO Larry Probst.
In terms of the future, Gibeau says EA would implement other services for generating revenue. He used FIFA Ultimate Team as an example of the company’s strategy to make money off authentic DLC purchases.
“Look they own it, they bought the disc and it’s theirs. They have a legitimate right for not doing anything illegal,” Gibeau said. “If we want to be progressive about it, we will make online services available to them that if they want to buy they can, but they don’t have to. At least that way we participate in some monetization. The reputational damage [Online Pass] was causing us was in excess of the dollars we were making.”
So, in summation, according to Gibeau: Online Pass is “not coming back. It’s dead.”