Jon had a go at the online pass fiasco last week, which shows no signs of disappearing as of yet. It's a disheartening trend, and it appears EA isn't ready to surrender its Battlefield fanbase from the system either, as it appears the publisher is mulling an online pass inclusion for its hotly anticipated first-person shooter's multiplayer arena.
DICE broke the news to GamerZines, confirming that Battlefield 3 will "probably" include EA's online pass initiative. A number of high-profile EA titles, especially those with a popular online component, support the online pass, but DICE is reluctant to confirm their version will be anything like what you see in Fifa or Madden. "I don't think it's an online pass, I think it's our own backend," Patrick Bach said. "I'm not sure I want to call our system an online pass."
"The whole idea is that we're paying for servers," Bach went on to explain. Battlefield 3 will be duking it out with Activision rival Modern Warfare 3 for the FPS crown this Winter, with the inclusion of a paid-for online pass sure to incite much debate between what title fans should plump for. "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."
"Hopefully people understand why," Bach said. "It's not to punish people. To us it's compensation." The online pass is here to stay, it seems, until publishers and retailers can come to some sort of mutually beneficial agreement over how to handle the pre-owned market. As it stands, publishers see no revenue when their game is traded in and duly sold by a retailer, and until that changes, we'll continue to see a rise in titles employing a one time only, paid-for online pass. [GamerZines]