Battlefield 3 Online Pass: Gamers Vs developers

By Alan Ng - Oct 17, 2011

If you are not familiar with the online pass trend that is currently sweeping the video game industry, then let us remind you about it by telling you that the upcoming Battlefield 3 shooter from EA and DICE will be the latest game to utilize the new format.

It is now beoming standard for developers to choose the online pass system route as they look gain an extra income from used games. However, many gamers do not see it that way, as they believe that even though you are buying a used game, you are still buying the used game in the idea that you are ‘buying the full game’ with the added incentive of a discount price.

Like Battlefield 3 now and so many other games that are coming out, Batman Arkham City, Uncharted 3 to name a few, you will need to purchase a separate code to use the online portion of the game in question, or even single-player mode if you’re buying a used copy of Arkham City.

To give you an idea of DICE’s stance on the online pass argument, here is a past quote from Battlefield 3 executive producer Patrick Bach:

”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’s not a punishment, it’s compensation.”

While it may be compensation for DICE and other developers in the industry, we doubt may of you will feel the same way. Before the online pass was introduced, a popular trend amongst gamers would be to buy games, trade in the next week for another new game, play that and trade in once again, at the expense of a minor fee between each game for the retailer.

It’s understandable why the developers are doing this, but perhaps it isn’t the best way forward for the future in terms of keeping the balance healthy. If you eliminate the whole ‘enjoyment’ idea of buying a used game, it could backfire against developers when it comes to future titles down the line and a loss of a few sales which could prove to be quite costly for the developer in the long run.

Where do you stand on the gamers vs developers argument for the online pass scheme. Do you mind paying another fee on top of the used game price for an online pass, or is it taking away an important element of the ‘full’ product that you thought you paid good money for?

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Also See: EA servers down Oct 27 for FIFA 18, Madden NFL, NHL suddenly

  • Geyst

    While the accounts may not be active for people who sell their games the space is still being taken up.
    As far as the who behind the scenes account creation I’d laugh if it wasn’t fully automated, it has to be due to the sheer number of accounts being created.
    So overall it seems that HD space is the only cost to the developer with new account creation. Fair enough, but 10 bucks is a bit steep for a couple MBs or even a couple of GBs. How about a 3 dollar version? I wouldn’t mind paying that at all, it seems like they are inflating the “backend cost”

  • hyper_boy_4life

    ok for multiplayer, taking the piss making you pay again for single player

  • HoozyerdadE

    That is such a corporate lie!! If the person who bought the original game at full price trades it in, that person is no longer consuming any resources required for that game! so when someone buys it used, and the company already has the money from the first buyer, it now gets to grab the consumer a second time for online play! it hasn’t LOST anything, it GAINS.

    • Goldendomejay

      I agree.  Does noone else see this side of the arguement?  I trade in the game, i can’t play online anymore.  DUH.  Why shouldnt the person that buys my game be able to play online. That was a package deal when *I* bought it, wasnt it?

    • grey0075

       This was Exactly they way I see it its just another one of the ever growing cases of cooperate greed, its like the new parking meters we have in the UK (don’t know about anywhere else), you have to enter your license/registration plate so it gets printed on the ticket so that you cannot pass it on to some one else if you have some time left on it, even though you have paid for that space for 3 hours and used it for 1. Technically you still have the space for further 2 hours and if you want to pass that on that should be your choice.

  • Dynasty2021

    I bought Bad Company 2 on release and traded it in about a year later.  About 6 months after that, I bought it again for £10.  I then bough the VIP pass for £7.99.

    So I had to pay £7.99 extra to play online.  That’s hardly breaking the bank to get hold of all the new maps and modes etc that completely change the game for the better.

    I dont have a problem with online passes.  If you dont buy the game and pirate it, you shouldnt get the online stuff. 

    And DICE has a point about second hand games where they get nothing for each sale.  Preowned and pirating is killing the industry.  Yes, you pay less for the game but when the developer gets no money for it, they get less in the long run and therefore cant keep producing games.

    • Robb_0909

      They may get no money but they get someone else playing there game which may result in DLC sales or even buying a new copy of the next game. I would assume as big as DLC is these days, game companies would want as many people as possible playing there games.

      I understand the concept behind the online pass, but I would just rather download all my games if the future is online pass.

    • grey0075

      why are you talking about pirating. no one is talking about pirating. if you don’t mind paying them twice for the same game then your a mug and that’s why they get away with it cos people like you wear it. The game is garbage any how and I wouldn’t pay a penny more than the rental to find that out.

  • Cast

    I dont like this online pass at all. I bought Resistance 3 and the online pass came with the game already.  If someone wants to play it on their own console they wont be able to play multiplayer. Now is not only of giving someone else your used game, but also if you want to sell it back, the store will give you almost nothing, since you can only play the campaign and not multiplayer. Atleast the online pass should be like transferable or something. 

  • Tom

    I have no problem with this. If you didn’t buy it new you shouldn’t get online free. Plus the used games will be cheaper for people that don’t play online.

    • grey0075

      WHY would I by a multilayer game that I cant play on-line, if this is the way its going then I will sell all my games and console and and just download all the games for free and pay an on-line pass. the game companies are severely shooting themselves in the foot on this. by the game on disk once, or download and pay for a pass one or the other not both.