Following a week of rumors, a Crytek representative has confirmed that Crysis 2 will indeed be launched without the EA Online Pass, which is a one-time code that enables the online multiplayer portion of several games published by EA. Apparently, the developer chose not to participate when the system was offered to the studio during early stages of the development process, as it wasn’t interested in becoming a “testbed” and also wasn’t looking “to put a wall up to keep people away from the multiplayer.”
The EA Online pass was used for multiplayer components components of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit as well as Dead Space 2, and was also used to issue additional free DLC to owners of Medal of Honor. The system was intended to discourage players from purchasing games on the second-hand market, as they would have to pay an additional fee to unlock these multiplayer components.
Crytek is launching Crysis 2, without the online pass, on March 22nd in North America, and on March 25th in Europe.