Online Passes is the new feature that is gradually being implemented in various games in order to "encourage" players to buy the legit version of the game rather than pirating it. However, due to how it is handled, it will probably be hated even more.
1) Multiplayer is locked content on the disc
What people hate a lot is being forced to pay to "unlock" certain features that are already part of the disc. Having players buy an online pass in order to play the game online is exactly this. You already payed $60 (potentially) for a game, but now you have to pay an extra $10 to use online mode and this is not counting the extra money you have to fork over for DLC later on. Remember that you have to do this every time you buy a new game. Publishers are not offering $10 for online access to all their games but rather just one game. Of course some of them are offering a subscription package that lets you buy each of the online passes for a slightly lower price, but I do not think it is worth the extra $50 subscription to EA Games. Back then, we had this thing called a CD key that prevented people with the same CD key from going online. Online passes are the same thing except it is NOT included in your package. You have to pay EA and they will tell you your CD key. At least CD keys were reusable. You just could not have 2 players with the same CD key online at once. I am pretty sure online passes will be bound to your account and not usable once someone else has used it though.
It turns out they're event locking out story mode content unless you pay extra.
2) Tapping the used game market
One of the issues that publishers have been trying to deal with is trying to tap into the used game market or completely eliminate it. Players often buy used games because they are more affordable. Expensive games are likely to deter players from buying. Forcing players to buy an online pass basically forces them to pay an extra $10 for the game if they ever decide they want to play online. Of course, they could avoid this problem if they simply lowered the price of their games. There's a reason why Steam offers sales on their games and why the prices of games drop to under $20. It is because digital distribution has made this possible by requiring no physical medium to actually exist. The problem is that publishers decide they still want the full $60 price tag and a little something extra.
3) Why we need game sampling
Each time you place one of these restrictions through DRM or an online pass, you are basically feeding the trolls and asking them to troll more. Misleading packaging and false advertising in the past created problems. There is a reason why there are demos. It allows players to sample the game before making the full purchase. When no demo is offered for the game AND you lock out certain features of the game, you are just encouraging people to find a way around it. Rental was the way to go at first, but now games come with limited installs on DRM. This was a problem for PC games, and now it is going to be a problem for console games since you can force an install and limit the number of times you can install the game as well. Of course, this takes the pirates a few days to break at most making you wonder why they spend millions of dollars developing a system that only slows down the pirates for a few days and encouraging players to get an illegal copy to get around the DRM.