Players who buy a second hand copy of Battlefield 3 will be locked out of multiplayer unless they purchase an online pass, Dice has confirmed.

Designer Ian Kertz made the confirmation on his Twitter feed, in response to a question from a follower about whether players would need to purchase Battlefield 3 brand new in order to play on Xbox Live.

Kertz replied: "You can also purchase an online pass for a used copy."

When questioned about the rationale behind the move, Kertz stated: "Because servers cost money, and used games don't make developers any money."

An online pass system was hinted at by executive producer Patrick Bach in an interview with GamerZines some weeks ago. (via Eurogamer)

"The whole idea is that we're paying for servers," explained Bach, "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."