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EA: No change to discontinued Online Pass policy after Xbox One, PS4 announcements

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Electronic Arts says its decision to discontinue its Online Pass program remains unchanged in the wake of announcements from Microsoft and Sony about their respective next-generation consoles. The scheme is still "dead," according to an EA spokesperson.

"[There is] no change to our decision to discontinue Online Pass," EA senior director of corporate communications John Reseburg told Polygon. "It is dead."

"As we said a few weeks ago, none of our new EA titles will include online pass, and we are removing it from existing games as well," Reseburg said. "Nothing else on today's news, but did want to be clear that our online pass decision was based on player feedback, and there's no change."

EA confirmed in May it was ending its Online Pass program, an attempt to both curb and generate revenue from secondhand sales, which it instituted for certain games in 2009. Other publishers followed EA's implementation of the Online Pass program, which used one-time use codes to access downloadable content and online multiplayer modes.

The publisher's move was interpreted by many as a response to rumored anti-used games policies expected in next-gen consoles. Those policies were believed to have been requested by publishers like Electronic Arts, Ubisoft and Activision, but EA COO Peter Moore told Polygon that his company did not demand such features.

"As the guy who is the chief operating officer of Electronic Arts, I can tell you that EA did not aggressively lobby for the platform holders to put some gating function in there to allow or disallow used games," Moore said at E3. "I am on record as being a proponent of used games. I like the ecosystem."

At E3, Sony Computer Entertainment's Jack Tretton said his company's PlayStation 4 will support used games, much as its predecessor did. Today, Microsoft announced changes to its used games policy, saying that Xbox One would have "no limitations to using and sharing games."