According to a Wall Street Journal report, Electronic Arts president Frank Gibeau has revealed that the publisher is currently in the process of “formulating” a policy on used game DRM, following Microsoft’s explanation on how the Xbox One will restrict pre-owned game sales.
Speaking during an investor meeting at E3 2013 last week, Gibeau told shareholders that “EA has a position of looking at used games from a user standpoint and a gamer standpoint.” Adding, “We will definitely be looking at gamer-first and creating an opportunity to have a relationship with used games such that it’s a positive experience.”
Gibeau did not detail anything specific about the company’s upcoming pre-owned policy announcement, but did promise that it would be “a nuanced and sophisticated approach,” and not the same “blunt instrument” that was used in their recently abandoned Online Pass system.
The report also indicated that we won’t have to wait long to find out what the publisher has in mind, as Electronic Arts plans to announce their new system for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 pre-owned games “within the next couple of weeks.”
We can only speculate as to what Electronic Arts final policy on used games will be, but it appears that the company is having to scramble a bit to come up with a unified system after Sony confirmed the PlayStation 4 will not inherently restrict pre-owned game sales.
At this point, we are guessing that their final solution will involve making all of EA’s Xbox One and PlayStation 4 games online-only and authenticated through their Origin service — similar to the method used in SimCity. This is just a bit of speculation on our part, but it makes sense when you consider the Origin infrastructure for such a plan is already in place.
We will keep an eye out for any confirmation from Electronic Arts on how they plan to handle used game DRM on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and let you know as soon as they make any announcements. In the meantime, let us know your thoughts on the situation in the comments below.