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EA denies lobbying for Xbox One used game restrictions, calls Online Pass program a mistake

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EA electronic arts logo
EA electronic arts logo

Electronic Arts COO Peter Moore has said the company made no attempt to push Microsoft and Sony into implementing restrictions on used games in their next-generation consoles. "EA did not aggressively lobby for the platform holders to put some gating function in there to allow or disallow used games," Moore told Polygon at the E3 conference in Los Angeles.

"EA has never had a conversation, and I have been present at all of them, with all of the manufacturers, saying you must put a system in place that allows us to take a piece of the action or even stop it."

Microsoft's Xbox One has a built-in capacity for publishers to block used games, whereas Sony yesterday made a point of highlighting that the PlayStation 4 has no such restrictions. While PS4 discs can be passed from console to console freely, the Xbox One will only let users lend each disc a single time to a person who has been on their Live friends list for at least 30 days.

"I am on record as being a proponent of used games."

"I am on record as being a proponent of used games," says Moore. "I like the ecosystem. I like the fact that it's kept pricing at a good level for eight years. I like the fact that someone can buy a physical game and see some equity in that game. That keeps GameStop vibrant and they are a great launch and marketing partner for us."

EA has done more than most publishers to limit the proliferation of used games with its Online Pass system, which was recently scrapped. The program involved a single-use code, included with purchases of new games, that enabled online multiplayer and other content. Players who bought the game used could purchase an online pass to unlock the functionality.

Moore now calls Online Pass a "mistake," saying that it "wasn't consumer friendly" and caused trouble for legitimate customers. "The consumer's feedback was that this thing gets in the way of a good experience so let's get rid of it."