This fall’s Battlefield 3 shipping with a VIP Pass system akin to last year’s Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is a “probable” scenario, according to developer DICE. “But I don’t think it’s an online pass, I think it’s our own backend,” says executive producer Patrick Bach. “I’m not sure I want to call our system an online pass.”
Bad Company 2‘s VIP Pass treated its owners to a total of seven free content packs, some with completely new maps, some with existing ones modified for new game modes. The pass shipped with all new copies of the game while those with pre-owned copies had to purchase the pass separately for $10.
When asked if the studio would be taking a similar approach with Battlefield 3, Bach said: “I think we are.”
He further explained: “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 make this official, though frankly it’d be a surprise if such a pass wouldn’t be included; essentially all of the publisher’s recent online-enabled offerings have made use of an Online Pass.