Still yet to be officially confirmed by EA
Rumors are still circling that DICE and Electronic Arts have opted to include an online pass code with Battlefield 3 that will be required to gain access to online play. This, as with previous EA titles using the online pass code, will require purchasers that do not have the code to purchase an access from the Xbox Marketplace or the Sony PlayStation Store to gain access to the multiplayer parts of the game.
If the online pass code is the route that DICE and EA elect to go, we suspect that this will only be for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game. Sources tell us that it is highly doubtful that DICE and EA would use the online pass code with the PC version of the game.
Currently, this has yet to be confirmed by either DICE or EA, but recent statements by Patrick Bach do seem to suggest that they are leaning in this direction. Expect DICE and EA to issue a public statement soon on what their intentions are with regard to the Battlefield 3 online pass strategy or lack thereof.