It’s probably fair to say that – like it or not – online passes are here for the long haul. Sure, they’re not everybody’s favourite thing, but it’s nice to see some developers having a little fun with it, and trying to make the anti-censorship move something less draconian.
One of these developers, surprisingly enough, is Electronic Arts, who has included an online pass with upcoming extreme sports title SSX. Rather than simply locking out single-player content, multi-player mode or otherwise artificially restricting the game, EA has taken a different approach: You can still play the entire thing, but any credits you earn in Global Events will not be awarded to you without an Online Pass.
The Online Pass code will be included with all new copies of the game, but if you pick it up second-hand, you’ll need to hand over an additional $10 in order to get a new one.
In SSX, players without an Online Pass are able to compete and play in both of SSX’s online game modes, Explore and Global Events with no restrictions. In Global Events, the top finishers from each event are awarded with in-game credits. These in-game credits earned during play will not be awarded to the player if they do not have an Online Pass; these credits will be stored so that at any time, if a player redeems an Online Pass code, all the credits that they had previously earned in Global Events will be immediately awarded to them.
The restriction is an interesting one – you can still earn credits by playing Explore Events. While you might have to work a little longer to get there, it is still possible to unlock all available content and participate in all event drops across both Explore and Global Events using just the credits you’ve acquired through Explore.
Amid all the protests, it sounds like EA might have stumbled onto a workable solution. What do you think? For more about SSX, check out our preview – and stay tuned, the game hits shelves in early March.