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No Online Pass for Syndicate, EA confirms

"It's about encouraging people to play it."

Syndicate will not use the controversial Online Pass, EA has confirmed.

EA Partners executive producer Jeff Gamon told Eurogamer the decision was made in an effort to encourage all players to play the shooter, which includes a co-op component.

"We want as little resistance or barriers to entry as possible," Gamon said. "The co-op is equal billing in this. We wanted everyone who owns a copy of the game to have access to the entire product."

EA's policy is to include Online Pass in all its games, but this does not apply to EA Partners games.

Last year EA Partners published Portal 2, made by Valve, and Crysis 2, made by Crytek, and neither included Online Pass. But there are differences between these two games and Syndicate, Gamon said, which makes the decision not to include Online Pass all the more surprising.

While Swedish developer Starbreeze is independent, and EA Partners managed the development of the game, Syndicate is an EA-owned IP and the game is published by EA, Gamon said.

"Under normal circumstances it would have had an online pass, but because it didn't have competitive multiplayer and because we wanted as many people as possible to be playing co-op, we got away with it," Gamon explained.

"Maybe another reason for not having the Online Pass is we were confident in the scope of the online game.

"There are nine maps. It's hard to say, but just to play through the maps once on normal is a good six, seven hours. To progress your character and upgrade a few weapons is a heap of content. That and the single-player campaign means hopefully we won't see much in the way of early second hand sales and rentals."

EA's Online Pass - an attempt to discourage pre-owned purchases - hit the headlines last month when it emerged that it unlocked quest content for single-player RPG Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.

The Online Pass, included in new copies of the open world fantasy, unlocks the House of Valor faction quest, which includes seven individual single player missions. In addition, it unlocks a Mass Effect 3-themed in-game item - the N7-inspired Shepard's Battle Armour.

If you have a second hand copy of the game, you have to pay for the Online Pass to unlock the content.