EA boss John Riccitiello has called Project Ten Dollar and the new EA Sports Online Pass initiative a "positive consumer experience" that offers a "boat-load" of content buyers otherwise wouldn't have access to.

Development teams can afford to stick around and work on the IP for longer, Riccitiello explained to investors during an earnings call this evening. He also said this business model allows EA to halve its title output and focus on quality.

The EA Sports Online Pass, revealed earlier today, is provided for free as a code to first-hand buyers. This needs to be entered for access to "online services, features and bonus content" - even multiplayer.

Pre-owned EA Sports games contain no free code, so second-hand buyers will need to fork out $10 for the Online Pass.

Riccitiello later admitted that EA currently has no way to distinguish between a first-time buyer and those snapping up second-hand copies. He could therefore offer no comparison between pre-Project Ten Dollar second-hand game sales and those after.

But apparently that's not the point. "I don't view what we're doing is opposition to the second-sale market," Riccitiello went on to say. EA, he believes, has moved its business "direct to consumers".

Fellow EA exec John Schappert summed up the EA mindset and said: "Our goal is to turn customers from thinking that it ends with the disc to it starts with the disc."

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Robert Purchese

Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.