Gamers waiting to pick up a used copy of Battlefield 3 and Mass Effect 3 at a somewhat discounted price might as well purchase a freshly printed version, as the multiplayer components of both games will require an Online Pass. Those who purchase new retail copies will get this pass for free, but customers lingering in the used games sector will have to fork out the extra bucks if they want to play online.
"The Mass Effect 3: Galaxy at War feature can be activated via the Online Pass code found in every new copy of Mass Effect 3," the company said in an official statement. "The Mass Effect 3 Online Pass can also be purchased separately on the Xbox 360 videogame and entertainment system and PlayStation3 computer entertainment system."
Just days ago Battlefield 3 core gameplay designer Alan Kertz said that an Online Pass can be purchased separately for used games. While most of us already know that it's a way for publishers and developers to generate revenue from the used games sector (because, after all, they get absolutely nothing from second-hand sales), Kertz said the Online Pass revenue also helps pay for the cost of keeping multiplayer servers up and running.
Earlier this week EA went into further detail about Mass Effect 3's multiplayer mode, explaining that progress made the multiplayer component and "a suite of Mass Effect games and applications" will directly link back to the player's main campaign, helping Commander Shepard "rally the forces of the galaxy to eliminate the Reaper threat once and for all."
"Featuring four-player cooperative gameplay, multiplayer in Mass Effect 3 puts players in the role of a team of elite Special Forces soldiers sent to protect resources and assets that can help the war effort against the Reapers," EA said. "Players will have the option of playing as one of six classes and from six different races: Human, Krogan, Asari, Drell, Salarian and Turian."
Details surrounding the multiplayer portion of Mass Effect 3 can be found here.