Rumor: EA Sports Planning Annual Subscription Service

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Rumor: EA Sports Planning Annual Subscription Service

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To get the most out of upcoming EA Sports titles, you might have to fork over an annual fee.

EA's online pass system that requires used buyers to purchase a $10 code to play online might not be not be the only way the company plans to generate side revenue from EA Sports titles. EA might also be looking into offering an annual subscription plan that will provide extra features for those that sign up.

EA had been talking about a persistent ID program that would recognize players through multiple games and multiple years, but it wasn't mentioned as a pay service. PastaPadre claims to have received a document that explains an "EA Sports Subscription Service" that would include this feature, while a survey gives us further details.

The document says that a subscription would provide benefits across all EA Sports titles, from Madden to SSX. Subscribers would get discounts on DLC, exclusive DLC, access to full downloadable versions of certain games before release, a "free opportunity" to extend the play experience to the PC and web, and the ability to transfer content from older titles to newer titles.

For example, subscribers would be able to download Madden 12 somewhere around 7 days before release, and purchase it in stores to keep playing. They'd also be able to bring courses downloaded in Tiger Woods 12 into Tiger Woods 13. Information from a survey apparently reveals that EA is looking at multiple tiers with different levels of service that range from $14.99 to $34.99 per year. Those that pay a higher rate get better features.

I've got no problem with companies such as EA offering loyalty bonuses to their fans, but this subscription plan seems to prove how the overuse of DLC is a slippery slope. Subscribers could eventually be given exclusive access to content that certain fans would consider crucial. For example, what if we someday have to pay to bring our data from a games like Mass Effect 2 to Mass Effect 3? EA has to be mighty careful about how it handles implementing a service like this, if it's not just a rumor. Keep in mind that EA may have just been reaching out to judge the public's reaction to such a plan.

Source: PastaPadre, via NeoGAF

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Wow, just wow. I'm speechless.

Times like these I really kinda wish we'd welcome more sports games fans into the main fold of gaming culture. This is the kind of thing that most gamers would riot in the streets over, but Madden fans? They might be ignorant enough to thing this is a good deal and actually invest in it.

I don't need an excuse to hate EA, I'm just thankful when they fall right into my lap like this...

Meh. This looks like a boat load of speculation. I want to see how thing turns out before I fire up the old hate machine and bark that EA is the devil.

When this is implemented I will completely hate EA, good thing I'm not a sports gamer eh?

Eh, doesn't sound much different than what you get from a subscription MMO,except the game keeps working even without it and it comes with extras. Still wouldn't go along with it.

EA Sports' titles already are an annual subscription service. You buy a game for $60, then a year later EA shuts down the servers so you have no choice but to buy the next edition.

i say: "Cow-Money-Milking"

Yeah, no. This is in SSX now? Well, guess I'm not going to buy that game.

wow this is horrible if it happens. They already make you buy the same game every year. Your system should already track the games. I dont see any benfit from the service.

I already found it retarded people kept buying annual sports games but even paying extra for it, that's just beyond retarded and I doubt if logic is present in your brain.

At any rate, I say NO!

Wow, what a good idea. I'll defo pay whatever they want... except I'm not the dick head they obviously think I am. I'm already paying for the game, what more do they want? Past EA games have had online services running without subscription charges so why start now!

Side note, Please refrain from purchasing a subscription when this starts or else the floodgates will open.

You know I don't like how this is looking in particular but I'm not against a yearly fee, if it gave you updates, it'd be a lot better then paying for a new game every year that's really nothing more then a roster update.

Oh goody. EA's really got the hang of this whole "milk the cash cow to death" thing.

If they were to stop with the yearly releases and just updated everything to one game disk then I'd be cool with it.

This sounds a bit silly, but I'm not complaining if one were to actually do this. I really don't get all the bitching about people buying the yearly sports games. What gives me the right to insult another person for purchasing what they want?

Sounds decent to me, especially if you play 2-3 EA Sports series.

Just one EA sports series? Skip it. But those discounts on DLC will add up.

Jarrid:
I don't need an excuse to hate EA, I'm just thankful when they fall right into my lap like this...

Aint that the truth.

/insert mindless rant about how fucked up EA is

And the fact they try to milk EVERY title for 3 times the bank its predecessor made.

And this is how innovation works in the AAA industry; not games, but monetezation models. This is an accountant's industry now.

I've been defending EA lately, particularly their whole "day-one DLC" thing, but this goes too far. I can't defend this.

How exactly would a subscription benefit from the customers stand point on a yearly throw away game? Cheaper/exclusive DLC would be more for a Call of Duty system. I don't think too many people go crazy over EA Sports DLC.

Edit: Of course I'm not naive, but I'd think they would give a grand illusion to lure people to sign up.

If it was some form of system that 'rewarded' subscribers with superfluous items (funny hats, shiny footballs etc.) instead of something game critical then I have no issue with it in any possible way. I highly doubt that would be the case though, which is a little disheartening.

I'm also a little confused by those who like to tear a strip off of sports fans who buy the yearly updates, especially the generalisation that this subset of gamers (and any opinion they express) is somehow less worthy than others solely based on their buying habits (and possibly on a grossly misrepresentive stereotype). I buy them, specifically FIFA and Tiger Woods, and I enjoy them. What more justification does a gamer ever need?

They're already charging people 60 bucks for a yearly roster update, now they want monthly money for... this? I'd say it'd be a good deal if, say, you payed the subscription your roster would update and you'd get all the new courses/fields/whatever, so you could just, say, but Madden 12 and have that update forever and ever thus negating the need to pump out a new Madden game every year. But this plan just sound ridiculous.

If this leaks into my Mass Effects, I shall not be pleased.

Well, thanks God I hate sports titles. Also, this might actually get people to buy these stupid games.

So... wait.

It started off like a subscription just to play their online games like in most MMOs, but I was getting the impression that from all that description that it was just kinda like an "EA club" where you could pay regularly for discounts and extra features. Like the publisher's club here.

Agreed that EA isn't the most trustworthy one with DLC but unless it's "pay regularly to play our games online" then I don't see it as bad. I sure won't be getting it but not effecting my game's quality.

havent read the article
havent read the comments

let me take a guess .... they want to leech more money out of people?

Bye bye EA Sports, can't wait till your studio gets taken down because of this.

Arsehats.

Why not just make people not buy the same game every year by shutting down servers, and just make them pay annual subscription fees to maintain the servers and keep your pouch jingling?

Just a thought.

Funny thing is, I keep trying to avoid EA games...
*looks at his shelf, notices most of them have an EA logo on them*
*sigh*

Seems Mr. Greg Tito wrote an interesting article in February about EA that's pertinent to this story.

10 million people bought the 2011 EA Sports roster update, and it would seem improbable for this service to be the downfall of EA's sport games division. EA knows the Madden addiction runs deep in a fair amount of games, so I'm not too shocked about this rumored plan, especially after posting huge losses last year. But I am willing to bet they are getting quite nervous in the EA boardroom. While the shitstorm created by the electric boogaloo duo of Crysis 2 and Dragon Age 2 turned a profit for them, The Old Republic still hangs in the balance.[1] On top of that, the NFL work stoppage may cause Madden NFL 12 to be scrapped since the exclusivity deal that is currently in place requires the NFL and the NFLPA[2] to be on "good terms with one another", and the NFLPA is going through the process of decertificating itself.[3]

Also, EA canned their NBA 2011 game. And the current collective bargaining agreement between the NBA and its players will expire at the end of the current season. It may not sell like FIFA or Madden, but it's still a game that could be theoretically ready for retail and never make it onto store shelves.

[1] a rumored amount of $300 million in the red
[2] National Football League Players Association
[3] EDIT: decertification, not certification

Doesn't EA already have an anual Subscription fee? Oh, my mistake. they simply just put another year in the title. Totally different.

I thought that playing the Madden games was already a $60 a year subscription?

ryo02:
havent read the article
havent read the comments

let me take a guess .... they want to leech more money out of people?

ZOMG IT'S A PSYCHIC

(haven't read all the article)
I think the business plan will work like this:
you sign up, and it is $60 a year and you get one sports game free that year. Add another game for the low price of $59.99. And so on. But these are not games, per-say, they are updates to previous parts of the game, including rosters, and possible new mechanics.

Oh wait...

If this replaces the annual madden title then this might not be such a bad thing.

I bet people would really feel like assholes if EA decided to release a one size fits all Madden title with constant roster updates for annual subscribers.

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