What on Earth is going on here? It’s like Electronic Arts has suddenly decided that their Project $10 is a crappy idea or something. Last week they revealed that the Online Pass for upcoming snowboarding game SSX wouldn’t be as bad as usual. Now it’s been revealed that there won’t be any Online Pass for Syndicate at all.
The Syndicate reboot has a massive online component with a heavy emphasis on a string of four-player co-op missions, of which there are nine in total. Considering the amount of importance developer Starbreeze is placing on the multiplayer, this decision seems a little odd considering that these Online Passes ordinarily lock away the game’s multiplayer modes.
The decision, however, has its merits for both developer and publisher. What’s more, the fact that this is an EA Partners published game has also helped the decision.
Speaking to Eurogamer, EA Partners executive producer Jeff Gamon said:
“We want as little resistance or barriers to entry as possible. The co-op is equal billing in this. We wanted everyone who owns a copy of the game to have access to the entire product…
Maybe another reason for not having the Online Pass is we were confident in the scope of the online game.
There are nine maps. It’s hard to say, but just to play through the maps once on normal is a good six, seven hours. To progress your character and upgrade a few weapons is a heap of content. That and the single-player campaign means hopefully we won’t see much in the way of early second hand sales and rentals.”
Because Starbreeze is an independent studio, and because EA Partners is publishing the game, there was more leeway insofar as removing the Online Pass was concerned. This, despite the fact that the Syndicate intellectual property is still owned by Electronic Arts proper.