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EA introduces one-time-use 'Online Pass' for sports games

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EA just announced the next step of its "Project Ten Dollar" initiative, one that's likely to affect a lot of people much more deeply than the allure of some extra DLC. 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.

We'd think GameStop would be most upset about this plan, given that it's basically the destination for trade-ins of last year's sports games toward the new model, but CEO Dan DeMatteo offers a cheerful quote in the announcement. "GameStop is excited to partner with such a forward-thinking publisher as Electronic Arts," DeMatteo said. "This relationship allows us to capitalize on our investments to market and sell downloadable content online, as well as through our network of stores worldwide."

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