Today, EA Sports announced Online Pass, an initiative to help encourage gamers to buy the game new while giving the company a way to make money off of used game sales. Currently, they receive nothing from sales of used titles. In 2008, 23% of GameStop's total annual revenue came from used software and hardware sales (over $2 billion), and used sales accounted for 48% of their total profit ($974.5 million). [Source
] For comparison's sake, EA Sports reported net annual revenue of $4.2 billion in fiscal year 2008 and a $1.08 billion loss. Needless to say, any revenue from used game sales would be huge for the company.
Starting with June's release of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 and continuing through the EA Sports '11 titles (including NCAA Football 11), brand new copies of the game will receive a code allowing the user to play online. Should you buy a used copy of the game, getting the code to play online will cost $10, though gamers can sign up for a free 7-day trial to experience Online Pass.