EA: Online Pass has made $10-15 million

By Alice O'Connor, Sep 08, 2011 8:45am PDT

Electronic Arts' Online Pass scheme has produced $10-15 million in revenues since it launched last year, CFO Eric Brown revealed at the Citi 2011 Technology Conference yesterday. Online Pass is EA's attempt to wring money from used game sales by locking off key features of games behind a single-use code included free with new copies or sold separately for $10.

"The revenues that we've derived from it haven't been dramatic--I would say they're the $10-15 million range since we initiated the program," Brown said. However, he called this "found revenue," as it uses features already in the game and EA wouldn't see a penny from used sales before.

Brown also noted that Online Pass saves EA money by locking out those who previously "played and consumed bandwidth for free."

EA introduced the Online Pass in June 2010 with Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 before rolling out across the EA Sports line on PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. It's also cropped up in Dead Space 2, Medal of Honor, and more.

EA's also tapped used sales with the similar 'Project $10' plan for games without multiplayer, which uses single-use codes to unlock extra single-player content in games including Dragon Age 2 and Mass Effect 2. However, Brown here seemed to be referring specifically to Online Pass.

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