Battlefield 3 marks a special case though. Why does it need an online pass, you ask? Let's find out from executive producer Patrick Bach:
"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..."
In other words, account creation coming from someone who purchased the game used costs $10. For data. On a server handling millions of these accounts. Uh huh.
Spin-off Battlefield: Bad Company 2 also shipped with a special pass, although it wasn't for online play, err...sorry, data creation. How silly of me. That little bonus offered specific in-game content, leaving the online play open for all.
See, the kicker of it all is that some people have begun to see the light, cracking into the scheme of the online pass. One copy always remains one copy, i.e, if a person purchases the game new, trades it in, and someone buys it used, there is still only one person playing online. The bandwidth is equalized no matter how the game is purchased.
As such, Bach is trying to cover by stating the back-end, which is undoubtedly complex, costs a significant amount per user. Never mind that rival shooter series Halo has been tracking significant stats and user data since around 2004 with the advent of Xbox Live and Halo 2. How is Battlefield 3 any different in terms of this fantastical amount of data being streamed through the air? It's not, further cementing the online pass concept as a sick joke on this industry's consumers.