The Last Post About This, SeeminglyThis kind of thing is happening so often now that I'm going to stop noting it (after this post), because it's no longer news:
Starting with Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11, out June 8, EA Sports games for PS3 and Xbox 360 will include a title-specific "Online Pass" that enables access to "online services, features, and bonus content." If the code has already been redeemed (i.e. if you bought the game used) additional Online Passes will be available for (you guessed it!) ten dollars. Each game will include a seven-day free trial.
The online services under the Online Pass vary by game, but an EA rep told us they can include basic online multiplayer, as well as group/league features, roster and playbook updates, downloads of user-created content (like Photo Game Faces) and tournament support.
So what's in it for us? Nothing. Actually, it's worse than nothing--it's negative, because it reduces the value of a used copy without any corresponding decrease in the price of a new one.
Negative change in value to the consumer. Also no longer news. Let me just say this, though: increasingly, it seems like big gaming companies are treating us as adversaries instead of customers, and that is dangerous business, indeed.