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Kotick shoots down EA's online pass

You could make a desk calendar out of the zany things that spill out of Bobby Kotick's mouth, but this time the oft-quoted Activision CEO has gone on record with an opinion that some gamers probably agree with. Namely, that EA's online passes have no place in gaming.

In his recent sit-down with Joystiq, Kotick touched on Activision's DLC strategy, contrasting its love of $15 map-packs and premium content with EA's online passes, explaining: "We can do some of these things that EA and others have done. We actually don't think it's in the best interest of the gamer, and so we've chosen not to.”


Above: Even Tiger doesn't look thrilled about it

Reflecting on the fine line between adding value and gouging gamers, Kotick noted that the risk of igniting consumer backlash was far greater than any gains that can be made by trying to capitalize on the used gaming market, adding: "I think you always need to be sensitive to that relationship and not crossing the line to a place where the customer feels like they have been taken advantage of."

Kotick later went on to trumpet Activision's online business model, "As business models evolve, as the way you distribute content evolves, as the ability to do things online changes in terms of pricing or trial or sample, I think we've definitely always been out in front of the rest of our competitors."

This isn't the first time Kotick has ragged on EA's business practices, but it is one of the few times he may be backed up by some of the gaming community. What do you think about online passes, specifically those from the EA Sports line, which will unlock "multiplayer online play, group features like online dynasty and leagues, user created content, and bonus downloadable content" for new game purchasers, but cost $10 to purchase if the code has been previously used?

Nov 15, 2010

[Source: Joystiq]

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20 comments

  • Romination - November 16, 2010 8:12 p.m.

    Wow, I'm surprised by this. But he is set in his own model, I suppose, and as a business man, good on him.
  • Fleshcrawl - November 16, 2010 5:48 a.m.

    Everyone just needs to eat the gun
  • epenn03 - November 16, 2010 3:52 a.m.

    The online pass method would cripple things like Gamefly and any game rental business.
  • FoxdenRacing - November 16, 2010 3:16 a.m.

    This is the first time I've heard of Online Pass, but may the EA exec that thought of it burn in the 17th circle of h*ll for this. To rip off the RIAA in a way they can't sue me for: 'Used car lots don't take the windows out of a car so that you have to buy them from the manufacturer as "punishment" for not buying a new one...taking away core functionality is stealing'... Personally, I think it's bullsh*t. It's one thing to give free expansion content (DLC) with a new game or pre-order...and as long as it's available to be bought by the general public, I'm fine with that. It's another to hold core functionality of the game [multiplayer] hostage to the people that can't buy while their Friendly Local Game Store has new copies on hand. Shelf space is a limited thing, and old titles are constantly being rotated out in favor of new ones. It's a sad day when GameInformer's joke article about an unnamed future Madden game featuring 'air for the ball' as DLC is coming true... This only intensifies my boycott of EA. I will not purchase a game made by EA unless that copy is used, so that EA sees no money from me. I will not purchase a game made by them until they stop the ridiculous practices of abusing employees, borg-style assimilation of studios, taking lively titles and turning them into soulless yearly releases, and other practices that are turning gaming into a sterile corporate wasteland. Rather than addressing the reasons second-hand gaming is huge [badly overpriced games that get delisted too quickly], they're trying to pervert the first sale doctrine to extort extra money from those unable or unwilling to buy on day one (Disclaimer: Some of these laws/legal concepts may only apply in the USA). Here's to hoping some very clever gamer sues them for violating the First Sale Doctrine by crippling a product should it ever be sent to resale, and hits them where it hurts: a massive, ungodly huge fine.
  • farsided - November 16, 2010 2:37 a.m.

    I don't care. When it all comes down to it, when push comes to shove, I'll never touch an Activision game. Fuck you Kotick, you greedy shit.
  • Bonesqaw - November 15, 2010 11:34 p.m.

    I prefer the online pass method, ensures money to the publishers while rewarding those who pay them with free additions.
  • ezmeech - November 15, 2010 11 p.m.

    hes an odd duck. but if you stand back and think about it, he says a lot of true things
  • SwampRock - November 15, 2010 10:38 p.m.

    OK kotick tell someone who gives a fuck about you spouting obvious shit.
  • Cleanser247 - November 15, 2010 10:15 p.m.

    Damn!
  • QWERTYCommander - November 15, 2010 10:14 p.m.

    I'm off to make a desk calendar out of the zany things that spill out of Bobby Kotick's mouth now.
  • spongejerk89 - November 15, 2010 9:48 p.m.

    THANK YOU, EA is way out bounds.
  • Crabhand - November 15, 2010 9:45 p.m.

    I don't technically support the online pass, but I am somewhat opposed to the practices of used game sales (namely the shitty pricing). It may not be popular, but unless stores like Gamestop amend their used game pricing strategy, online pass at least promotes giving credit (money) where credit is due (publishers/developers). And if Gamestop sold a used Madden game to me for $45 instead of $55, it benefits me, someone who can enjoy sports games but doesn't give a shit about the online. But I would rather buy a game new than overpay for DLC. I think $15 for a map pack is a little ridiculous, and I spend rather liberally for DLC.
  • kamikaziechameleon - November 15, 2010 9:22 p.m.

    Ok he kinda tears down a bad plan and replaces it with a worse plan. I think that 15 dollar map packs are way more of a consumer rip off than a one time online pass with firstime purchase of a title.
  • ThatGuyFromTV - November 15, 2010 9:13 p.m.

    Kotick has a point (for once), but the used games market gives nothing to the devs. Tough call, but I'ma side with EA on this one.
  • Pruman - November 15, 2010 9:09 p.m.

    I said this before when Sony put feelers out there, but I wholeheartedly endorse the idea. With used anything, you pay a bit less because you're getting something that is generally going to be of lesser quality than a brand new item. A book may have faded or yellowed pages, a car may have 75,000 miles on it and a bad muffler, the warranty on the TV may be expired, etc. With games, there is no difference in the experience between a used and new item, save for the condition of the packaging. A new disc or a used disc will do the exact same thing when put into your console. Locking down features on used games is a great way to counter the rampant and destructive profiteering of GameStop while sending a message that there is a price to pay for not buying new. Also, it annoys me when people bring libraries into this argument. You don't get to keep any books you borrow, plus libraries are supported by tax dollars, so there is a "cost" to them if you're a taxpayer.
  • flabslapper - November 15, 2010 9:02 p.m.

    You know what the best way is to stop overpriced DLC content that doesn't add much to the overall game experience and is more often than not stuff that would have been included in the game in the first place? STOP BUYING THE DLC YOU GODDAMN SHEEP!!!! Seriously, you know how much I had to hear a guy I used to work complain about how EA releases the same golf courses for Tiger Woods every year and you need them to play other people, and then HE WOULD STILL BUY THE DAMN COURSES? Stop it! Stop it doing that and they won't make any money any more! STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT I had too much coffee!
  • hester2 - November 15, 2010 8:38 p.m.

    I definitely prefer Activision's model, even if it can get pricey.
  • shadowreaper72 - November 15, 2010 8:36 p.m.

    Eh online passes dont bother me since I usually buy games new anyway so whatever. Oh and may kotick burn in the flames of hell for all of eternity.
  • Fenny12 - November 15, 2010 8:34 p.m.

    Does he ever NOT have that shit-eating grin plastered on his face?
  • PaulieWaulie - November 15, 2010 8:32 p.m.

    He's still a cock and as pointless as it was, I played MW2 for over 3 days on multiplayer and even though I would have enjoyed new maps I wouldn't pay the over inflated price for them because I felt they were "crossing the line to a place where the customer feels like they have been taken advantage of."

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