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Well this is nice: a "reward" for owners of EA Sports games in the form of "online services, features and bonus content".

To access this you need a registration code that comes with each unit sold new at retail. Secondhand buyers get a seven-day trial and then must pay $10 to get their own Online Pass. That's for Americans. The rest of the world will probably pay more.

So, EA is trying to get a $10 clip on used-software sales, by crippling the games experience for secondhand buyers. Sneaky.

The Online Pass launches with Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 - presumably that's how you access the orgy level, an undocumented "feature" - and it will apply to Xbox 360 and PS3 versions.

“This is an important inflection point in our business because it allows us to accelerate our commitment to enhance premium online services to the entire robust EA Sports online community,” said Peter Moore, President of EA Sports.

Gamestop, the big US retailer of used games, is supporting the move, which just goes to show that it cares more about its suppliers than its customers.

No doubt the rest of EA will follow suit, if the Sports franchise Online Pass rakes in the dough. ®

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