DICE confirmed, via designer Alan Kertz on Twitter, that Battlefield 3 on Xbox 360 and PS3 would require the one-use “Online Pass” code included free in retail copies, but costs $US10 for those who have a copy of the game without a code — i.e. those who buy it used.
Multiplayer for all EA Sports games have been placed behind Online Pass access for more than a year now, and titles such as Dead Space 2 and Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit have employed it recently. As EA is using Battlefield 3 to drive PC gamers to its new Origin service, we should expect them to give the console version the Online Pass treatment.
MCV notes that the last EA-published games not to employ Online Pass were Portal 2 and Crysis 2, but those were produced under the EA Partners label, meaning Online Pass was entirely Valve’s and Crytek’s option, respectively.