Battlefield 3 will ship with an Online Pass code in the box that will be needed to access the game’s expansive multiplayer features.
The news was confirmed by DICE designer Alan Kertz on Twitter. When pressed on the reasons for the decision, he said that the decision to use the system was “because servers cost money, and used games don't make developers any money”.
Those who buy a pre-owned version of the game will be able to buy an Online Pass for around £8.
Its predecessor, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, included a VIP pass that could be redeemed to access additional content on the game disc that was otherwise locked.
The last high-profile EA release to not include an Online Pass was Portal 2, and before that Crysis 2. But these games were published under the EA Partners label, meaning their developers were free to opt-in or opt-out of the scheme.