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.

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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.

Discussion

692 comments
dellis66
dellis66

they do pay for servers, but you would think that would be part of the bottom line when initiating a budget for game development. they're just finding justifiable ways to make more $, can't hate I would do the same thing

redclaw01
redclaw01

This wont effect any of you anyways because places that sell used games will have to lower the cost of this used game because of that. When new games come out that are popular (59.99) then are resold by gamestop used they are usually (54.99) give or take so now they will have to lower the cost of it used below the "new" threshold or people will just buy the new one. So it shouldnt effect anyone really, just gives the developer some much deserved money.

masakri50
masakri50

stfu EA, youve been treading on thin ice with me since before BF2 and who am i? what does it matter what i think? im no one, and nothing but screw them.

redclaw01
redclaw01

Places that re sell games to the masses should be required to give a large portion of the income to the developer then they wouldn't have to do this. But they dont, they keep all of the profit to themselves! They are the greedy ones! Its like I spend millions of dollars to make a program but then one person buys it and just lets everyone else use it for a fee that he keeps then I see nothing. Its no different, the developer deserves profit from every use of their product from each new consumer.

Stick32
Stick32

@Frame_Dragger: Not really, Both pirates and used game buyers pay 0 dollars to the publisher. As for other markets that have a used market associated with it, they grossly mark up their products to account for the durable nature of the product. You don't think it really costs them $20,000 to make a ford focus do you? or a couple thousand dollars for a recliner chair? The video game industry doesn't have this same degree of markup built into their products... not yet at least... @Gelugon_baat: I think somehow we're agreeing we're just disagreeing on the finer points. The whole thing about purchasing a game that gamestop has already purchased is a bit nit picky though. I don't understand your stance, though. Are you pro game pass or against it? If it's the latter how are you arguing against EA making profits from an already lost sale? I'm confused.

ZombiePhoenix72
ZombiePhoenix72

I guess that makes sense because Publishers make no money from people selling something secondhand. Won't affect me though because I'm going to pre-order this anyways:D

AG-Vuk
AG-Vuk

@Frame_Dragger See, but the issue is who is doing the lease/rental. It isn't EA. It's ,say for example, Blockbuster. So Blockbuster is renting the CD , which basically grants you access to EA's intelectual property. This agreement in no way involves EA. The minute you load the game and press the user agreement you have entered an agreement with EA. The problem is with the rental agency , it can't guarantee provider/user interaction . That is between those two entities. The real problem is the rental agency for years have been misrepresenting the relationship . In terms of realistic outcomes, anything that minimizes the piracy profit margin limits piracy , by becoming less desirable or too troublesome.

AG-Vuk
AG-Vuk

@Frame_Dragger Problem is your preception of this. You're looking at as a physical object exchange , when in fact EA is/will claim it's intellectual property. While you may oiwn a hard copy, it only grants you access to it's intellectual property, much like any disk grants you access to any program. EA is ascerting control of what is it's intellectual property and if you want access to it you'll have to pay. It's what every PC program does in essence. ( those that choose to at least ) Can you rent a copy of Windows 7 ? No, why ? EA is putting the exact same restriction on it's property . Arguing that a court case will be pending on what is quite clearly intellectual property is laughable. Especially when a company decides how that intellectual property is to be accessed. I get you're on a crusade , but you are quite clearly wrong.

dalua360
dalua360

@collingtonuk hmmm, so they are just taking our money! Well, I'll have to stick with my 3rd option that I mentioned before: I'll play anyway because we can't change the world and BF3 is gonna be EPIC! Anyway, this is not valid for brand new game buyers, but I know what you mean!

TK_DeMoNiK
TK_DeMoNiK

@Frame_Dragger yea, I agree with you. They should at-least add the option of being able to transfer a account or to disable one, so it can be reused when the game is sold.

campbell153
campbell153

hmmmm... kinda getting ****** off with reading about how games developers are going to be charging people for this and that... when i buy a game on release i feel 40 pound is a lot of money so some times like a lot of people i would rent it or buy a pre-owned copy, the above just feels like a way to rip gamers off and this seems to be the "trend" at the moment with many up and coming games and i`m sick of it! its about time games developers and hardware developers gave something back to us (the people that have made them rich by buying their games and consoles)... anyway... time for ice cream!

vegasdan30
vegasdan30

Good because renters suck online cause their all noobs or 5 year olds. They never use team play and basically don't care about developing their skills so they just jump and run around making the experience for real players less realistic.

maxnaughty
maxnaughty

It takes massive budgets and lots of risk to build a AAA game and a large number of investors and developers loose their shirts every year from making the wrong bets. EA has become very successful from building great games and I for one love the Battlefield franchise. I am very happy for EA to make money from me, because then there will be more projects funded, more developers employed and I'll get to frag more of your whining asses online in great games! Rock on capitalism!

chechak7
chechak7

there full online access for $10. daaaa

AG-Vuk
AG-Vuk

If you own an X-box or a PS 3 , you pay a monthly fee to play online. M$ and $ony may not have created the game and are getting a cut. EA is creating the game mainly for PC and wants a cut of the used PC game market . They are basically setting up with Origin an access port for their games , not unlike M$ and $ony . This really hits the folks that play consoles harder then PC gamers, but hey they're already use to it. It will also allow EA to more importantly track and find pirated games. This is probably at the heart of the move. The good thing about consoles is the impact it had on pritaed games . EA is implementing something they believe will limit this in the PC market. Whether you like or not get use to it . It's the new reality. If you don't like I guess you won't playing any EA PC games in the future.

alixkid
alixkid

EA are you not making enough money??? quit screwing over gamers who have bought your products since day one by using theses crapping tactics.

Viralmessiah666
Viralmessiah666

I really hope the people at EA aren't stupid enough to believe this,and the people buying their games aren't stupid enough to buy it. the first person who purchases a game,pays for the server space,when he sells the game,he doesn't need it anymore,and the person who buys from him gets his space free. they're not charging for server space,they're charging because they want to make money everytime a game moves,simple as that

Stick32
Stick32

@Gelugon_baat I'd like to address a few of your points. 1) If your buying a game used, from gamestop. You're not even a customer of EA. You're pretty much the same as a pirate. Why should they care. After all, EA isn't just selling a game here, they're selling their stat tracking/social service (which is free of charge I might add). 2) Their VIP map packs is, and always has been, a way to combat piracy/used game sales. For them to try and ensure that their *actual* customers get rewarded while the used game people have to contribute something to EA. 3) Pre-order bonuses and day 1 dlc are a symptom of the industry and how AAA titles in general work these days. EA isn't alone in this, and I think there are much worse examples. Now, I'm no EA fanboi. And more and more of what EA is doing these days is pissing me off. The BS with origin especially. I'm just saying I see no evil here with the way EA is handling the BF3 launch. Not yet at least.

vallan2
vallan2

@Nexrad I've read your comments thus far and have come to the conculusion that you either a: Work for EA/DICE (which would make sense, based on your comments) b: Have/make more money than the average adult to afford every new game that comes out, unlike most adults who have to pay bills (which implies you probably still live @ home w/parents) or c: Have been brainwashed into believing that multimillion dollar companies cannot afford to run a few servers, which makes no sense seeing as how many people run their own personal server for games like this In any event, this slippery slope leads to worse charges being laid down by "poor me, poor me" companies who "cry wolf" every time they see something they think is unjust. I just hope you have the foresight to see this coming (though if you're a kid, you prob never knew what older gaming was like in the '80s/'90s, when games came COMPLETE, without companies trying to double dip)

nd4spdr
nd4spdr

@Gelugon_baat If you buy BF3 before day one you get a free DLC/expansion pack - because they love and respect the BF supporters. I can't think of many DLC packs that were free, oh yeah, except for like the plethora of maps that BC2 gave me for free. And to your statement about profiting: do you know of any company that isn't above profiting?

ZoTrAcK
ZoTrAcK

''likely'' lol ...I think we all know EA! Like a cancer, EA destroyed everything the gaming community stood for. Please EA, get off the real gaming platforms as quick as possible and concentrate on your facebook and i-**** games! That's the new way of gaming, you said it yourself, leave us alone now, we don't want and don't need your products.

blakeney
blakeney

@Emma_R No its not, EA have done this with ALL their games for a year or two now. This is just news paid for by Activision lol.

maxnaughty
maxnaughty

They write a great game that I want to see get even better in the future so I'm happy to support the company by buying new or at least paying for online access. Games provide far more hours of entertainment per $ than virtually any other entertainment medium!

Emma_R
Emma_R

They won't do it. This is just a ploy to make more people buy the game when it comes out.

strothers101
strothers101

Not saying that I agree with this totaly but if they handle it in the same manner as bad company 2 ( On consoles) then I dont really see an issue. If like in BC2, Which I bought second hand, you pay a one off fee (VIP access) which then entitles you to a multitude of new maps for free then I think thats ok, But if they then try to start charging people to buy map packs etc ( like certain other games) that would suck.

sir_inverno
sir_inverno

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

method115
method115

A big process for creating a new account? Thats BS, well I guess a "big process" is all in the eye of the beholder. You don't have to create server space for a used game because they simply take the space of the person who had the game before them. Unless he's talking about the account information which is such a small amount of space on a server it's not even worth mentioning.

thorwolfe
thorwolfe

EA has always been greedy. They monopolize the sports game industry pretty much and release the same game every year with different rosters and slight graphic upgrades. They are even releasing EA Sports which you pay 25$ a year to play sports games 3 days before release (still have to go buy the game at a store on release day) and DLC. So it isn't very suprising that they are spreading that greed to their other departments.

OGKNav
OGKNav

Remember when no one gave a ****? I do. Back in the days of SOCOM 2. Tribes 2. Uhh BATTLEFIELD 2. Woooooooo! Money money money! Loadsa money!

thereal-15-cent
thereal-15-cent

@jedediahpelland: But if someone just wants to rent the game, they have to pay $10 just for the multiplayer. EA is being greedy. They're getting money for the first time someone buys the game, and someone who wants it used shouldn't have to pay an extra 10 dollars for the most important part of the game. People buy games used so it will be cheaper, this eliminates the entire purpose. Considering that their rival Treyarch is the one with the "Greedy" Image, EA should try to come off as caring about their customers... They aren't doing that.

bluebird08
bluebird08

just make it like bad company 2, that game does not require a online pass so why make battlefield 3? i understand why they want to do this but i have 3 brothers and we all live in the same house and they want to play battlefield 3, so if i got a code with battlefield 3 that activates multiplayer that is a one time use does that mean that my brothers wont be able to play on there own PSN accounts

SolidSizzle
SolidSizzle

@Frame_Dragger You make amazing points! thanks for explaining all that :-P

Colinschindler
Colinschindler

If the game is made well enough people won't get bored and sell it...

TK_DeMoNiK
TK_DeMoNiK

@isshiah if you sell your game, are you also selling your Multiplayer account with it? Otherwise you are still keeping a part of the product, the few mb's of space on their servers and also the bandwidth you will be using if you are still playing it. This is why I understand EA's decision with this.

isshiah
isshiah

they've already got my money for buying the game, why should they get more if i sell the game to a friend? it's still the same product. they sound like lawyers inventing 'fees' to take out of a client's settlement. next they'll ask us to pay a 10 dollar surcharge for 'developer stress and strain'.

isshiah
isshiah

they've already got my money for buying the game, why should they get more if i sell the game to a friend? it's still the same product. they sound like lawyers inventing 'fees' to take out of a client's settlement. next they'll ask us to pay a 10 dollar surcharge for 'developer stress and strain'.

d100la
d100la

Everytime a brand new single game gets sold, it is still +1 for EA in the sold column. What happens after is really none of their business IMO

Attactix
Attactix

If they sell 10 million copies, and you need a copy to play online, then they're will never be more than 10 million users playing their game and using their server. Even if you sell it to someone else, the amount of people playing on their server wont change, you stop playing it, and someone else starts playing it. This charge is absurd. They are basically banking on the fact that only a fraction of people who buy their game will utilize their online services and are trying to minimize their server costs even further by complaining about second hand game buyers. Their complaint only makes sense as if all gamers where utilizing their online services and were making copies of their game and handing it out their friends.

Attactix
Attactix

As far as buying second hand, I highly recommend Glyde.com. You'll save a lot money buying from them if you're the type of person who buys used games from Gamestop. In fact, the savings you'll get from Glyde might even cover the extra money you'll have to pay to EA for server space.

Attactix
Attactix

This is a load of garbage! I'm tempted to call EA a bunch of greedy pigs, but I know that probably wouldn't do this unless they had to because its going to create very negative feelings in gamers. I'm going to have to agree with some of the other comments on here that hackers are costing EA a lot of money and there being forced to make the paying gamers cover those losses. No way around it, it sucks.

GodGundamNT1
GodGundamNT1

you can thank the hacker pirates for EA doing this, if those idiot hacker pirates would not be causing chaos we would not have to worry about crap like this.

SlayerX13
SlayerX13

Get a job and pay DICE and EA their dues for creating the best FPS ever.

ErikElfEar
ErikElfEar

Well this make's renting battlefield 3 pointlessly expensive, Good job EA, you managed to shut out some of your perspective post-release fan base with your constant "PAY US" for thing's that we shouldn't even have to worry about. They're making money, period, I don't see why they have pull BS like this.

AG-Vuk
AG-Vuk

@dbz_nappa Basically EA is saying you might as well buy it new. What EA is trying to do is cash in on the dissatisfied user that tries to sell their copy soon after release . The further the game gets from release date the lower the price . In fact , some games get pretty cheap , just watch the sales on Steam . I think if there is any potential problem with EA acting as the gate . It really affects what the price of the game will be 6 mo , 12 mo , 18 mo, 24 mo. I think that's where the real impact will be felt . Since Steam is effectively being taken out as competion , EA sets the prices. I see this as the looming issue. With Origin in place they are really limiting the portablity of the games they sell. The only way to really bypass this is to have multiple email accounts with one EA game on it. Then when you are done with the game sell the email account.

N1njaSol1d
N1njaSol1d

Ill "probably" never buy this game.

Entropy730
Entropy730

@dbz_nappa yeah i can agree with you on that... Either way you look at it, this might be minor to me but it stands true that this ISN'T a good thing. As long as anything bad passes with people being quiet and unopposed, it will continue down this road. I just wish people were this vocal and mad and searching for justice with the current govt. and economic situations also lol. but more than voting, American's true power is voting with our wallets and most people don't understand that. No Activision or Blizz games on my want list