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Online Pass for Battlefield 3 Needed to Play Co-Op and Multiplayer Modes

Battlefield 3 released Tuesday and enlists the company’s Online Pass for its multiplayer, arguably the key selling point of Electronic Arts’ biggest game of the year.

The Online Pass comes in all new copies of Battlefield 3 on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The 12-character code is needed to unlock the online co-op and multiplayer modes in Swedish developer DICE’s latest game. Selecting these modes in-game brings up a prompt to buy the 100KB download or redeem a voucher for the Pass. If you buy the game used or rent it, the code costs $9.99 on the PlayStation Network Store or 800 Microsoft Points for Xbox 360 players.

At retail Battlefield 3 includes five different competitive multiplayer modes like Conquest and Team Deathmatch playable on nine different maps. Cooperative mode is separate missions outside the single-player campaign where two players attempt to complete objectives. Players can compete against their friends for co-op high scores through the Battlelog feature. At least on the PS3, even if one person redeems the Online Pass, other users on the same console can log into their own PSN and EA account to access these online modes. (Note: this was tested before publication)

Besides the Online Pass, players also need to sign up for an EA Origin account. If they ever played a Electronic Arts game before on their system, their EA account was automatically transferred to Origin.

If the Limited Edition version of Battlefield 3 was bought, the Online Pass also gives players free access to the game’s first expansion pack “Back to Karkand,” which will release in November. The expansion includes four multiplayer maps from the 2005 PC release Battlefield 2, as well as vehicles and weapons from the game.

The Online Pass for EA’s military shooter was rumored to exist during the summer. A DICE developer tweeted a few weeks ago that players could buy an Online Pass if they bought the game used, further adding fuel to the rumor. Battlefield: Bad Company 2 had an online pass called the “VIP Pass” but it didn’t lock anyone out of the game’s multiplayer. Instead it gave players free downloadable content. Bad Company 2 released for the PS3 and Xbox 360 in March 2010.

It’s not clear if GameStop will print Online Pass voucher codes for Battlefield 3 like it currently does with used purchases for another blockbuster release, Batman: Arkham City.

EA is the originator of the online pass system, which the company began in 2010. The publisher has made $10-15 million from online pass downloads since its introduction. It claims the Online Pass is needed to manage server costs for the online title it’s used for. Publishers don’t earn any profits from customers who buy used copies of games. EA is expected to earn $4.1 billion this year.

In the past several months Electronic Arts has made statements that Battlefield 3 is competing against and will surpass Activision’s Modern Warfare 3. Battlefield 3 is predicted by analysts to sell 8 million copies in 2011. Along with Modern Warfare 3, both games are estimated to generate more than $1.4 billion, or 15 percent of total sales, for the game industry this quarter. Modern Warfare 3 will not require an online pass.

Unfortunately Xbox 360 owners currently can’t play Battlefield 3 online. The servers for the 360 version are down. An estimated time when the servers would be working wasn’t provided by EA or DICE.

Battlefield 3 retails for $59.99.

Photo by Electronic Arts

7 Responses to “Online Pass for Battlefield 3 Needed to Play Co-Op and Multiplayer Modes”

  1. Collin Bower

    Because virtually everything in GameStop is pre-used, my online pass wont work. So thank you EA and Gamestop, thats 25 dollors I have to spend on the shit that should have come free. Again GameStop, good work making Gaming just a little more frustrating.

  2. C.loftus

    That is total B.S.. And you all at EA know it. Don’t care how much it cost next year, but I’ll be going to modern warfare four instead of bf4. Y’all just messed it up for me. No one cares if if you make a million dollars off online passes. We already buy a system that’s not like the Xbox for a reason. Don’t have to pay to play online.then we pay for Internet access at our homes,then we go out spend money, doesn’t matter if it’s a new copy or not, still ur game we are buying. Unless your not making enough as it is. You still are charging people to play as of today a shitty game. Due to the fact that y’all are taking advantage of lower income people. It’s hard to make my children happy with my income. And thanks to EA its even harder. Sorry but I’m now lobbying for mw3. Thank you for reading,………..a BF3 hater!..thanks to EA…d&cks

  3. rickie

    this is BULLCRAP i’d enter the pass to play online and months later i can’t play online nomore how do suspect people to like this game

  4. Richard

    This is bull-*******-****. I aswell, got the game used. It’s just me and my mom. I am 14, in highschool and without a job. Wish I had one but I’m searching for one. My mom makes low to medium income. But with the tv, internet, food, clothes, rent, cat & dog, gas in the veichle (sorry can’t spell it), hot water, and gas, we don’t have the money to just be spending the money. To play battlefield online without a pass code, it takes internet connection (about $80/month), xbox live ($5/month), buying bf3 ($30 used $60 new), 1000 MP ($14.50 [lowest]), that comes to about $102.5 for the first month when the game is used. $132.50 for the first month when the game is new. On top of that, you continue to pay about $85 a month after your first month. For a year that’s $1064.50 for the first year with used bf3 ($1020 after first year) and $1094.50 for the first year with new bf3 ($1020 after first year). to sum it up, thats $44.50 one time payment used and $74.50 one time payment when new. On top of that you pay about $1020 yearly. Your already paying for the game. You shouldn’t have to pay to play online. Just like with the xbox 360, you pay for the system, you shouldn’t have to pay monthly on top of that.

  5. Zak NC

    Fuck you EA games and battlefield 3 I bought the damn battlefield 3 game and my online code doesn’t work and i put it in perfectly and the shit don’t work! I left call of duty games and bought battlefield 3 to play online cause I heard it was awesome but I have to fuckin pay to play online….. THATS BULLSHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Fuck you EA and battlefield 3 for makin me waste my hard earned money on a game I can I only do the campaign for which I beat in an hour

  6. Chad

    Let’s all start a class action lawsuit because I purchased this used game with no knowledge of needing to have an online pass. So basically I am stuck playing the campaign because I refuse to pay $10 to play a game that I purchased. I just want to play 2 player with someone in my house, thats all I ask. Greed is not the way to treat people paying the millions your making.


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