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EA Sports games will require "Online Pass" for online play

Buy your games new, or pay a $10 fee to access online features

EA Sports is introducing a new "Online Pass" that will be required to play its Xbox 360 and PS3 titles online.

Online passes will be bundled with all new copies of EA Sports titles in the form of one-time registration codes, beginning with Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11. The pass will enable buyers to access the game's online services, including online multiplayer, other "features and bonus content".

Second hand buyers will need to pay a $10 fee if they want to access all of a given game's online features, including online multiplayer.

"It's quite simple - every game will come with a game-specific, one-time use registration code with each unit sold new at retail," Andrew Wilson, senior VP of worldwide development at EA Sports, said in a blog post.

"With your Online Pass, you'll have access to multiplayer online play, group features like online dynasty and leagues, user created content, and bonus downloadable content for your game including, for example, a new driver in Tiger.

"If the original access code has been redeemed and fans wish to get access to the online content (for example, if you pick up a used copy), you can access a free 7-day trial or additional Online Passes will be available for $10."

He added: "In order to continue to enhance the online experiences that are attracting nearly five million connected game sessions a day, again, we think it's fair to get paid for the services we provide and to reserve these online services for people who pay EA to access them.

"In return, we'll continue to invest in creating great games and offer industry-leading online services to extend the game experience to everyone. I don't think even the harshest cynic can argue with that and instead I think fans will see the value we're committing to deliver when they see all the services, features and bonus content that is extending the life of their products."