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Say No To Online Stealth Tax
Written by Super User   
Sunday, 23 May 2010 03:11
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We have started a protest and petition to EA's online charge. This is EA's attempts at combating the pre-owned market by charging to play online should you rent or buy the game pre-owned. There are other companies following suit and we feel that it is time that the consumer (that's you) say something, otherwise it will just snowball...


There is of course no point to starting a petition and sending it unless we have A: the signatures and B : an alternative solution.  Let us start with the why we should all sign it. 


We somewhat understand why EA and other companies - including Ubisoft and THQ adopting similar policies - are using this charge to stall the pre-owned game market, where profits go to the retailer and not the publisher. Retailers like Gamestop are making profits from games they practically paid for next to nothing and are able sometimes to offer just released games to consumer a lot cheaper. As consumers It is only natural we buy the cheapest. 


So why should we sign this:


This is not a petition about the charge but more so as to who they are targeting. If we don't pay it, then EA will seek another solution which may force the developer to go completely online and limit the time on their servers for achievements or DLC. This also could ultimately kill single-player games as they are the main culprits that are frequently traded in after players have completed them. If we all impassively pay the ten dollars, then EA will feel encouraged to charge and again go completely online and limit the time on their servers for achievements or DLC anyway. It's a no-win for the consumer and it's the future they want. Let us not give it to them.


The solution:


They should target the retailer and NOT the consumer. Why not make the retailer pay a royalty on pre-owned games or have a system like the movie rental market, where there are two copies. One for rental and the other not for resale or rental. All chains honor this agreement or lose future products. The one version clearly and digitally marked not for resale until after six or so months have elapsed.


Granted the above solution is not perfect and may need refinement, but it does address that EA cannot continue to target the consumer. Whether you are indifferent to the charge or not, this is the beginning to the end of used games and the choice to buy cheap games if we are not too careful. 


Below is the link started by our Forum Moderator Dooney. If you're a member of our forum , post  in the thread and Dooney will add your name to the list. If you are not a member, post  a comment below and we will add your name to the list. This list will be emailed to EA.