EA leaves Online Passes out of Syndicate

External dev goes “include content players won't want to sell” route

Electronic Arts' upcoming Syndicate won't include an Online Pass despite containing substantial online multiplayer content, the game's developer has revealed. Speaking to Eurogamer, executive producer Jeff Gamon explained that the title's multiplayer mode was given “equal billing” with the single-player campaign, rather than restricted access: “We want as little resistance or barriers to entry as possible.”

While Online Passes are standard-issue for Electronic Arts-built games, the title's development occupies a grey area between internal and outsourced. While coding of the EA-owned IP was overseen by EA Partners, indie studio Starbreeze managed to convince the publisher to bend the rules, Gamon says, “because it didn't have competitive multiplayer and because we wanted as many people as possible to be playing co-op.”

Gamon's hope is that the strategy – together with a decent helping of content – will be rewarded with a high user-retention rate. He estimates that players should take “a good six, seven hours” to see all the game's co-op, with the game containing what he sees as a high replay value: “to progress your character and upgrade a few weapons is a heap of content.”

The game releases Feb 21. We're not going to come right out and suggest you reward EA/Starbreeze's risk by keeping your copy until the day you're buried with it, but we're certainly not going to advise against it either.

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