I am definitely not a fan of Online Passes for video games. These things are a waste of resources as well as bad business for gamers. One of my problems with them is the volatile nature of them. There are no guarantees that even if you buy a game new that the online pass will work 1, 2 or more years down the line, let alone be able to buy the content in the future if you got the game second hand. It looks like that future is already upon us.
EA has announced that it will be killing the servers for 14 games in the next 30 days. I can understand the need to stop services for games that have little or no use, but there are problems when the games require a server in order to function. That is the state of games with an Online Pass. Now if you decide to get one of the titles on the list you will be completely out of luck if you want to utilize any of the online content.
One thing to note here is that many of these games are barely 2 years old and are also sports titles. What this really tells me is that EA wants you to stop playing the older sports titles that you enjoy and go out and buy the newest iteration. This is a slap in the face for those players that like the features of the older title over whatever minor changes were made for the new update.
In the end, we will be seeing a lot more of this type of behavior from game companies. The prospect of capturing revenue from the used game market has blinded many publishers on how to properly handle such a move without turning off the customer. Perhaps one day we can look forward to a digital world where the game companies actually care about how the gamer feels and what they want. Until then, we will be stuck watching gamers be harmed by moves like this.