GamerZines reports that Battlefield 3 Executive Producer Patrick Bach stated in an interview last week that the game would "probably" require a code for access to multiplayer. When pushed on whether EA would lock out second-hand players through use of an online pass, he replied, "I think we are." EA told the site it would pick up the conversation "another time."
The latest major iteration of the Battlefield franchise, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, implemented a "VIP Pass," granting access to extra content, but placed no initial limitations on multiplayer access. EA's online pass (i.e. Project Ten Dollar) -- now utilized by many publishers, with Ubisoft being the latest -- cuts off multiplayer to anyone who doesn't purchase a code, which comes bundled in new copies of games. Of course, with today's announcement of EA Sports Season Ticket (i.e. Project 25 Dollar), there's a whole new level of possibility.
"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 back end," Bach said. "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."
Update: EA's statement: "We have not made any announcements regarding Battlefield 3 and Online Pass."
We've reached out to EA for clarification.