EA to charge for online content on pre-owned sports titles

EA is planning to charge gamers for accessing online content on its sports titles. Starting with next month's release of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11, an online passcode will be provided with the game when bought new. Once this code has been used, subsequent owners of the game will have to pay around $10 to access the online goodies.

EA's move shows that it is exploring avenues to still earn money from a product even once it has already been purchased. It is, however, giving secondary owners the chance to try out the online content first via a 7-day free trial.

A possible downside for EA is that its most popular sports games such as Tiger Woods PGA Tour, FIFA Soccer and Madden Football are updated annually and the depreciation of titles from previous years is severe. A quick look on eBay shows, for example, that you can pick up a copy of the PS3 version of FIFA Soccer 09, the second most recent version of the franchise, for 99p plus postage.

Are people really going to pay $10 to access online content for a game that they probably only paid less than half of that amount for?