Battlefield 3 Online Pass

Published on August 1st, 2011

will “probably” ship with an online pass system, DICE’s Patrick Bach has told GamerZines, but there’s still some confusion over how the team plans to implement it.

Talking to us last week, Battlefield 3′s Executive Producer told us that players would “probably” need to register a code included in the box to access the game’s multiplayer, “but I don’t think it’s an online pass, I think it’s our own backend. I’m not sure I want to call our system an online pass.”

Confused? So were we.

We asked Bach directly whether DICE would be locking second hand players out of the game’s multiplayer unless they were to buy an online pass separately, to which he replied, “I think we are”.

An EA representative then asked us to pick up the conversation at “another time”.

Of course, if Battlefield 3 were to ship with an online pass, it may automatically give Modern Warfare 3 the upper hand.

Modern Warfare 3′s publisher Activision has made it clear that it will never charge players to access Call of Duty’s multiplayer and has yet to include an online pass system in any of its games.

Bach, however, denied that the inclusion of an online pass with Battlefield 3 would give Modern Warfare 3 an advantage, saying that Battlefield games have “always had a code in the box in one way or another”.

“The whole idea is that we’re paying for servers,” continued Bach, “and if you create a new account there is a big process on how that is being handled in the backend. We would rather have you buy a new game than a used game because buying a used game is only a cost to us; we don’t get a single dime from a used game, but we still need to create server space and everything for you.

“We want people to at least pay us something to create this because we’re paying for it. It was actually a loss for us to have new players.

“Hopefully people understand why. It’s not to punish people. To us it’s compensation.”

Battlefield: Bad Company 2, which released in March 2010, shipped with a VIP Pass, a code that gave new buyers access to additional content free of charge.

The vast majority of games published by EA within the past year, however, have shipped with an online pass system which blocks second hand users from accessing the game’s online multiplayer unless they purchase a pass from Xbox Live Marketplace or PlayStation Store at an additional cost.

Other publishers have since followed suite, including Warner Bros and Codemasters, with Sony and Ubisoft both due to introduce their own online pass systems with Resistance 3 and Driver: San Francisco next month.

Battlefield 3 ships on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC on October 28th.

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