Battlefield 3 has an online pass, sort of

Call of Duty Elite pissed off a lot of people – why should players have to pay for a social and statistical integration that we get for free in every other game? Capitalizing on that disillusionment, Battlefield 3 developers DICE responded with the Battlelog, which offers “powerful social tools, feeds and detailed player stats.” Cool. Kind of a given, and a smart business move, but for something like that to be considered an add-on shows how much we’ve lowered our expectations over the last few years.

Nonetheless, EA scored one against Activision – but now the goliath publisher have shot themselves in the foot, revealing what’s essentially a continuation of the publisher’s anti-used-game Project Ten Dollar initiative introduced last year. Speaking to GamerZines, DICE’s executive producer Patrick Bach said the game would “probably” need a register code for players to access online content, meaning if you’re buying the game used, prepare to add an extra $10 to that purchase. Bach tried to distinguish the code from an ‘online pass,’ justifying it as a means for DICE to pay for the game’s backend.

“The whole idea is that we’re paying for servers,” said 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,” he continued. “Hopefully people understand why. It’s not to punish people. To us it’s compensation.”

Call me cynical, but this is a used game we’re talking about – the original purchaser will not need that server space again unless they buy another copy. Is Bach trying to suggest it costs $10 for every single account used to play Battlefield 3? Gee – I really hope they don’t sell 10 million copies, or they might be 100 million dollars up shit creek.


  1. n/a

    Simple cash grab as the original buyer bought the use of the game and its content for the life of the product in the intial purchase and EA already factored in the server costs etc. The new user is simply replacing the spot of the old user hence no extra burden on the servers.

  2. ThatGuy101

    I think that you’re not looking at this from all possible angles, the method you are describing makes sense but is not very practical.
    Example: Person A buys BF3 new, Person B steals/borrows Person A’s copy of BF3, Person B pays $10 to play on-line, by your method Person A loses his “space” on the server to Person B, is that fair to Person A? I don’t think so.
    I really don’t think that anyone has the right to remove a user from a server without a justified reason.

    EA’s reason for the doing this makes sense, they have servers they have to maintain. If don’t we support them, then they won’t support us and at least they are being somewhat truthful to us unlike some other companies.

    Plus this online pass thing has been going on for over a year now, so saying that EA “have shot themselves in the foot” is really a fair statement, they had it last years Need for Speed game and various games, for them to “shoot themselves in the foot” would have been them NOT implementing this type of fee.

    Anyway that’s just my thoughts on this, I’ll be buying the new so none of this really affects me

    • They’ve shot themselves in the foot because they were building a head of steam against Modern Warfare 3, and it’s definitely not in their best interest to piss off a fanbase that’s desperate to support them on the virtue of them not being Activision. That’s why they announced the Battelog for free – good PR. They haven’t made themselves look good with the Origin-Steam debacle, and it doesn’t look like COD are gonna charged used buyers $10. It’s a dick move and it’s really one they can’t afford, because right now EA is hedging its bets on BF3 beating out MW3.

  3. Ph

    So, does it cost $10 everytime a sign up an account to every Tom, Dick and Harry gaming site just to leave a comment? What about the other 1 million online games out there that log the player into their servers? How come they’re not moaning about the cost?

    The reality is they want to make money of 2nd hand purchasers, don’t try and paint it as something else. I can understand that, but EA’s online pass system is shite. BF3 is off my Christmas list now (well…probably) so it looks like it’s going to be Gears 3 and COD 3. I’d rather encourage online usage to be free, especially since I already pay for an XBox Live gold membership, which is suppose to cover any Xbox online compatible game :/

  4. Knuckle D

    If they do what BC2 did and release free maps every month I’m not fussed, but if they just use it like MOH and Homefront then fuck em, I’ll still be buying the game brand new so it don’t bother me.

  5. kryteris

    There is no logic there. The game was purchased for 60$, and that server fee was covered. Regardless of whoever now has the game, that server origination fee was covered. So that is all fN BS!

  6. kryteris

    Unless he is saying it cost them $10 bucks to create a new account, which you shouldnt have to do anyway. And that’s a load of crap too! Ten bucks to submit a registration? lmfao.