Battlefield 3 'probably' charging secondhand users for online - Report

EA DICE executive producer says modern military shooter will likely have pay gate for renters, used game buyers.

Battlefield 3 stands, arguably, as Electronic Arts' biggest release of 2011, and the publisher appears to be backing it with one of its most controversial initiatives of the past couple of years. Speaking to GamerZines, EA DICE executive producer Patrick Bach reportedly indicated that the modern military shooter will include an Online Pass-equivalent pay gate for secondhand users of Battlefield 3.

Don't call it a war on used-game retailers. Call it a conflict.

Bach reportedly told the website that players will "probably" need to input a code to activate the game's multiplayer modes. The scheme is reminiscent of EA's Online Pass initiative, where new copies of games are sold with a single-use code that is used to activate their online multiplayer modes. Those who pick up the games used or as a rental can purchase full online access for $10.

And while Bach indicated that secondhand owners will be required to pay for access to Battlefield 3's online multiplayer, he stopped short of associating it with EA's Online Pass program.

"I'm not sure I want to call our system an Online Pass," he said. "The whole idea is that we're paying for servers. If you create a new account, there is a big process on how that is being handled in the back end. 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," he continued. "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."

EA had not responded to a request for comment as of press time.

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