EA recently promised gamers around the world that it was ready to end its Online Pass programme, after apparently listening to feedback. EA made it clear that none of its new games would include the feature which, much like a stealth tax on pre-owned games, required you to pay a fee to play games online if you chose to buy a pre-owned copy.
Today however, EA have retroactively cut the price of a rather large amount of Online Passes and DLC, making the vast majority entirely free. NeoGAF users spotted the huge sale with Battlefield Bad Company 2’s VIP Pass, Skate 3’s Skate Share Pack plus Online Passes for Bulletstorm, Kingdoms of Amalur, Medal of Honor and Shift 2 Unleashed all having been cut from 800 Microsoft Points to nothing.
In box DLC has also seen a big cut with Dragon Age: Origins “The Stone Prisoner” and Mass Effect 2’s Cerberus Network Pass, which were originally 1200 points each, all now free.
A lot more DLC has been cut, with more joining the list, which is a pretty generous move from EA (perhaps in a bid to better their standing with gamers who have moved to distrust their micro-transactional ways) considering that some of this in-box DLC gave access to a significant amount of extra content. The Cerberus Network Pass for example added the extra squad member Zaeed, plus new vehicle-based missions and other goodies into Mass Effect 2.
Not all Online Pass content has been made free just yet however, you’ll still have to pay 800 Microsoft Points for Online Passes to more recent EA games such as Tiger Woods 14 and Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel.
There’s yet to be any comment from EA as to how long this cut will last and if it will eventually extend to their whole back catalogue, but fingers crossed.