Battlefield 3 will likely feature some kind of online pass, developer DICE has announced.

The game's executive producer Patrick Bach told GamerZines that players will "probably" have to register a code included with new copies of the game to access multiplayer modes.

However, he then added, "but I don't think it's an online pass, I think it's our own backend. I'm not sure I want to call our system an online pass."

When asked directly whether it was demanding anyone buying the game second-hand to pay to play online, Bach responded, "I think we are."

Bach went on to defend the move, explaining that enabling online play was an expensive process, and one that players picking up a used copy of the game should be expected to contribute towards.

"The whole idea is that we're paying for servers 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.

"Hopefully people understand why. It's not to punish people. To us it's compensation."

EA is yet to confirm an online pass for the game, but we'll update when it has made things official.

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Fred Dutton

Fred Dutton

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Fred Dutton is Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.

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