In an announcement that is sure to surprise absolutely nobody, DICE has confirmed that Battlefield 3 will in fact have an online pass. Most figured, given EA’s proclivity for including these online passes in their popular releases, that the highlight of 2011 for the publisher would also be sporting a play-to-play pass, but now it is for sure.

But don’t fret — if Battlefield 3 does happen to come into your possession by way of a used game purchase all hope is not lost. It has also been confirmed via Twitter that the online pass for Battlefield will be available for purchase in the online store.

Yes, an online pass is one of the new trends in gaming that have put many of us off, but it’s also a natural progression for those publishers hoping to combat used games sales. In fact, such a big chunk of revenue is made from online pass sales that it helps bolster sales of many games regardless of their popularity, but Battlefield 3 is a different entity in my opinion.

As the most anticipated element of Battlefield 3 — although the game is sporting a much more robust single player experience — multiplayer is where most will flock. With that in mind it would be fair to imagine that online pass purchases might be extremely high, for those that haven’t already pre-ordered the game that is.

Even more interesting to consider, given Call of Duty’s competition with Battlefield, is when the juggernaut shooter franchise will also begin imploring an online pass. Yes, Activision does offer Call of Duty Elite premium subscribers the chance to purchase all of their DLC, and some advanced stat-tracking ahead of time, but the multiplayer is completely free.

Perhaps, if Battlefield ever wants to catch up to Call of Duty, (although developer DICE has said they will not make their title an annual release) EA might have to reevaluate the online pass in this particular circumstance. With a leg up on the competition in terms of visual quality, due in no small part to the very impressive Frostbite 2.0 engine, Battlefield might want to hedge their bets by at least equaling Call of Duty in investment.

Will the inclusion of an online pass affect Battlefield 3 sales in any way? Do you think that EA should consider dropping the pass to remain competitive with Call of Duty?

Battlefield 3 releases October 25, 2011 for the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.

Source: Twitter