Battlefield 3 utilizes EA's increasingly ubiquitous Online Pass program, which requires you to input a single-use code to access online multiplayer features. If you're buying a used copy of the game, you'll have to shell out $10 for your own code, allowing EA to reap a bit of profit from the resale market. That's all well and good, but what happens if the code you get with your brand new copy doesn't work?
That's what's happened to many gamers who purchased Battlefield 3 for the Xbox 360. Apparently a mix-up caused many retailers to recieve shipments with invalid codes, leaving paying customers unable to access what is arguably the game's biggest draw, online play.
EA's official support has now weighed in on the matter, and their advice is simple: go get a new one. "We are aware of the invalid code issue and we apologize for the inconvenience. Since certain retailers are affected by this issue, please check with the retailer where you purchased Battlefield 3 in order to receive a replacement code."
While it's admirable in its simplicity, the response seems to leave many lingering questions unanswered. What happens if you purchased the game online or from a reseller on eBay? What happens if the retailer doesn't have any replacement codes to give? Hopefully the publisher will have a more exhaustive solution in place soon.
EA isn't the only company to suffer a mix-up with Online Pass codes. Warner Bros. Interactive recently sent out several copies of Batman: Arkham City with blank code sheets, forcing those affected to go through a cumbersome confirmation process to get a viable replacement.