Users complain of expired EA 'Online Pass' codes

Though Electronic Arts games regularly feature an "Online Pass" to activate multiplayer and other features, it would appear that the codes due have an expiration date.

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Though Electronic Arts games regularly feature an "Online Pass" to activate multiplayer and other features, it would appear that the codes include a hidden expiration date. Users on EA's own forums have been complaining of the situation since late October, specifically citing issues with Need for Speed Hot Pursuit. Today, there continues to be a problem, according to users on EA's forums and NeoGAF. Based on our tests with new copies of Needs for Speed Hot Pursuit and Medal of Honor, included one-use codes are no longer working. "I ordered a brand new copy of Need for Speed Hot Pursuit on PS3 from Amazon a couple of days back and received it today," NeoGAF user Guy Legend wrote. "Putting in the online code that came with the game gives the message telling me that the code is either incorrect or no longer valid." In two different tests in the office using the PlayStation 3 versions of Hot Pursuit and Medal of Honor, an error message informed us: "The code you entered may not be correct or may no longer be valid." Shacknews reader Kevin Miller checked a code of EA MMA on his Xbox Live Gold account that Shacknews provided for him, noting that the code provided did not work. The tested copy of EA MMA, like Hot Pursuit and Medal of Honor, was brand new. Miller did note he was able to access all EA MMA online features freely without the code, however. Shacknews is still investigating EA MMA's requirement for the 'Online Pass.'

EA MMA's one-use code on Xbox 360 is no longer valid

NeoGAF user Cels complained of the same issue with the PlayStation 3 version of the game, and has been jumping through customer service hoops. In that situation, according to the forum post, EA customer service has provided new codes, which are also invalid. After a "fourth ticket" with EA's service line, the forum user was told "there's something wrong with [EA's] system and that the online codes won't work." It is unclear if EA intended for the codes to expire or if its validation is associated with the platform's network, having been 'flushed out' of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 network. Though this seems unlikely, Shacknews has contacted representatives at Sony and Microsoft for comment. [Update] A Sony spokesperson told Shacknews: "The system doesn't flush out older codes...any code with an expiration date is defined by the publisher." The paper inserts included in copies of Need for Speed Hot Pursuit and Medal of Honor, which house each game's one-use codes, makes no mention of its ability to expire. The inserts do stipulate that EA may "retire online features" after 30 days of posting notice on its Service Update site. This notice however is specific to EA's regular server closure for older titles. EA MMA's one-use code is printed on the back of the game's manual, but offers the same text as the PS3 inserts and makes no mention of expiration. EA's terms of service (ToS) only mentions expiration its online title's subscription services and the trial periods for select content.

It is not uncommon for DLC promo codes to expire, as evidenced by the included content code in BioWare's Dragon Age Origins; however, 'Online Passes' unlock gameplay modes.

Additionally, neither the PlayStation Store or Xbox Live Marketplace offers users the ability to purchase an online pass for Need for Speed Hot Pursuit. A prompt within Hot Pursuit does give players the ability to purchase the pass; however, it is not listed on either platform's digital storefront. The PlayStation Store offers the Medal of Honor "Online Pass" for $9.99; however, it is not available on the Xbox Live Marketplace. EA MMA online pass is not available for purchase on either platform's online service; however, the "full game" is available for sale on the PlayStation Network for $20. GameStop is selling the online pass for games on its site, including EA's MMA title. Shacknews has contacted Electronic Arts regarding, but the company has yet to respond at the time of publishing. [Dragon Age Origins DLC code image via Shacknews reader Ron Tailor]

From The Chatty

  • reply
    December 2, 2011 4:00 PM

    Xav de Matos posted a new article, Users complain of expired EA 'Online Pass' codes.

    Though Electronic Arts games regularly feature an "Online Pass" to activate multiplayer and other features, it would appear that the codes due have an expiration date.

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      December 2, 2011 4:01 PM

      Oh that voodoo that you due.

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      December 2, 2011 4:18 PM

      I am glad I stopped buying games from such shitty company long time ago.

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      December 2, 2011 4:28 PM

      Yup. Got this shit when I tried to redeem my Hot Pursuit online pass last night...and I bought the friggin game directly from EA during their black friday sale. :(

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      December 2, 2011 4:33 PM

      This line seems kind of important: "Miller did note he was able to access all EA MMA online features freely without the code, however."

      Is this the case with all of the games? The article never mentions if this was an isolated thing to that one user or if everyone can now access EA MMA features without the code. Is that different than it was on release day?

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        December 2, 2011 4:39 PM

        It is not.

        On release day the game required a code. As noted at the end of the article, purchasing EA MMA online includes the "full game." This is noted as being the game and its online modes.

        NFS: Hot Pursuit and Medal of Honor do ask for Online Codes and do not work.

        As for EA MMA's experience, we are still investigating other user experiences. I had added that to the article.

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          December 2, 2011 4:41 PM

          Cool thanks. Sounds like a big clusterfuck. I thought for a moment that maybe the codes stopped working because they set it up so that after X months, they turn on online features for everyone, but I guess that's not the case.

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            December 2, 2011 4:47 PM

            I need to check out the EA MMA thing at home because testing this on Xbox is difficult.

            You need the game, the code, and Xbox Live Gold. I didn't bring my Xbox Live account, and the Gold account we had already used a code so it wouldn't work. There wasn't another Gold account to test this. So I had to ask a reader to check it out for me.

            It's complicated, whereas on PS3... it just doesn't work when prompted in the game OR by redeeming the code from the PS3 store/account page.

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      December 2, 2011 4:50 PM

      Updated with a quick comment from Sony.

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      December 2, 2011 6:52 PM

      Gamers need to stop talking about this on the official forums. Read that previous article about people being banned from their own games for posting on the official forums. If EA doesn't like what you're saying, and talking about codes that are expired would certainly qualify, they'll simply ban you from both their forum and your own games.

      That's probably a bigger deterrent to buying games legit than DRM ever will be.

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      December 2, 2011 7:07 PM

      Yup. I picked up MOH on PS3 for about $4 on clearance last week. The included online passcode did not work. I checked out the EA Forums, which are abuzz with complaints about MOH passcodes not working, so I called EA support. I spoke to a super nice guy who gave me a new code, but that one didn't work either. I gave up at this point. I probably never would have tried the MP anyway, especially with BF3 out now. I probably will never get around to trying the SP, either. I picked up the PC version for about the same price on a Steam sale a while ago and never got around to installing it. Yet another game on my ever-growing backlog ...

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        December 5, 2011 7:26 AM

        At least play the single player, while not ground breaking I still really enjoyed it .

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      December 2, 2011 7:11 PM

      The biggest problem with "games as a service" is terrible service. This just goes on the pile of reasons why I'm not buying any games from EA, along with mandatory Origin, and the bullet-point-featuring of online multiplayer in every game they make.

      "The consumer is wrong first." -- Jeff Cannata, back in the golden days of Weekend Confirmed (August 2010)

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      December 3, 2011 6:57 AM

      Someday they will probally expire shit on your Origin accounts too.....

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        December 3, 2011 11:34 AM

        Derp de derp

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          December 3, 2011 4:52 PM

          When is this 'derp' going out of vogue. It just seems like a lame way to piss on someone's post these days.

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      December 3, 2011 10:05 AM

      Fuck EA. That's awful.

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        December 4, 2011 7:25 PM

        double fuck EA, how many times can one game company SHIT on people before something changes.. maybe if people stopped buying their games they might notice.. too bad there are way too many drones that don't pay attention to news posts like this and mindlessly pay their 59.99 for their shitty ea game

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      December 3, 2011 5:51 PM

      Just so I'm understanding correctly, the codes, if redeemed successfully before they expired, are still valid for keeping the online open to you, right? Because I have bought both MoH and Hot Pursuit, and played those games online close to their releases. I won't be locked out now, because I've got the KB unlock download, right?