EA Sports Planning Subscription Service

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Posted April 22nd, 2011 at 10:30 am

It was only a few weeks ago that EA Sports president Peter Moore talked of a persistent social profile that would transfer from game to game. Now the manner in which that may be carried out is becoming clearer. Thanks to several people who took the time to forward over the included document, the plan of a subscription service that EA Sports is investigating has gone out in the open.

The first thought when the idea of a “subscription” is breached may be to assume it relates to online play. In this case it does not appear to have anything to do with online access as the company already has the “Online Pass” implemented. Instead this service would be framed as an optional value add-on of highly desired features and perks that could be had for a yearly fee.

The ability to carry over downloadable content from one year to the next would be well received. That in particular would come in handy with a series such as Tiger Woods considering the cost of all the courses being offered as DLC. Its already difficult to expect consumers to shell out $110 for the complete Tiger Woods 12, but especially so when knowing those same courses would have to be re-bought come Tiger 13.

Even more intriguing would be the ability to download full games before the street release date. Moore has made it clear that the industry is going in the direction of digital distribution and this would be a way to wean consumers onto the prospect of purchasing the games in a manner that may still feel foreign to many.

The reaction to this “subscription service” would likely be positive given the features being delivered are of real value while not restricting what consumers already have come to expect out of these games. Essentially this would appear, on the surface at least, to be a win-win though much of course depends on what the charge for such a service will ultimately be.

Update: A survey circulating in regards to the potential subscription lists annual prices ranging from $14.99 to $34.99 depending including all the advertised options, the extent of the discounts, and up to a full week in advance to download games before they arrive in stores. Possible plans to be offered below.

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  • When companies look at how to sunset something from a product standpoint, they do a couple of things. They will ensure the ‘new’ product has bells and whistles the older product/version does not. They’ll immediately address bugs/issues in the new system, while leaving them in the older one and telling the customers the fix is to upgrade. Eventually they’ll kill support altogether (if possible), and in case of ASP’s disable the service (this only occurs when the cost of maintenance exceeds the service revenue stream). Basically it’s a carrot, stick, electric prod, and finally sudden death approach.

    As I’ve said before, ASP/Service based gaming is the golden chalice of all gaming companies as all revenue streams for these games are literally 12x (and greater) than the sale of a normal video game. Blizzards revenues for WoW have eclipsed anything before it, and companies want to replicate that success. From a company perspective, I can’t blame them for doing it, but as a consumer, it’s horrible. Who wants to pay $120 a year to play football (or pick your sport)? Not this gamer, and make no mistake. This is Peter Moore’s vision for EA Sports. A subscription based sports gaming company with a virtual economy to boot (this is how M$ succeeded when Moore was part of the gaming unit).

    So for those who see this as a good thing, beware the carrot, for the stick is soon to follow.

  • Mc979007

    Since I only play football sims this wouldn’t bet a problem for me, but for a week now, the Playstaion Net has been offline, and I haven’t touched Madden or NCAA…why? Weak AI. So I don’t invision this new EA idea as a good thing, in other words, their hype is better than their products!

  • Billiez4

    Overall it sounds like a good idea. I do love the idea of carry over content. That’s one thing that I wish COD had. If I feel the final price point is acceptable, I am likely to purchase it. The only thing that concerns me is the wording “download & play the final version of any PARTICIPATING game before release. I would like to know what games those are before I purchase. I don’t wanna shell out my money before hand and find out its only for extra content for FIFA, Tiger Woods, or SSX.

  • ImAGuest

    can u play like battlefield without it

  • Kings

    I pay 50 bucks a year for xbox live now a new way to tap into people pockets….

  • Nope

    Wow. So they want me to pay for the game, pay for DLC, and now pay a subscription fee to join some kind’ve insider club piece of crap too? Not happening. You know what else sounded great on paper? Online Franchise. Remind me how that worked out.

    They aren’t getting a cent outta me from any revenue source until/unless they cut back the money-grubbing and make the basic product more worthwhile.

  • Lol

    I remember when they rolled out the online passes for Madden, etc. we had lots of people talking about how that was a reasonable thing to charge people for and how everything would be fine as long as it didn’t go any further.

    Now we see they want to charge for features other games come with (DLC carryover, etc) and we have lots of people saying this is a reasonable thing to charge people for and how everything is fine as long as it didn’t go any further.

    Next year they’ll add roster updates and online head-to-head to the subscription and plenty of people will say that’s a reasonable thing to charge people for and how everything will be fine as long as it doesn’t go any further.

    Madden 2014, after booting past the console logo screens, will display a giant raised middle finger informing people that they need to subscribe if they want to play the game at all. At that point lots of people will be talking about…

  • Lol

    I remember when they rolled out the online passes for Madden, etc. we had lots of people talking about how that was a reasonable thing to charge people for and how everything would be fine as long as it didn’t go any further.

    Now we see they want to charge for features other games come with (DLC carryover, etc) and we have lots of people saying this is a reasonable thing to charge people for and how everything is fine as long as it didn’t go any further.

    Next year they’ll add roster updates and online head-to-head to the subscription and plenty of people will say that’s a reasonable thing to charge people for and how everything will be fine as long as it doesn’t go any further.

    Madden 2014, after booting past the console logo screens, will display a giant raised middle finger informing people that they need to subscribe if they want to play the game at all. At that point lots of people will be talking about…

  • If they would actually make offline franchise playable and put back in all the things that were gutted from the game when switching to the next gen consoles, I would consider it although I should not have to pay extra for that. It will really depend on what the subscription price is. If Michael Vick is on the cover, I am not buying the game anyway.

  • If they would actually make offline franchise playable and put back in all the things that were gutted from the game when switching to the next gen consoles, I would consider it although I should not have to pay extra for that. It will really depend on what the subscription price is. If Michael Vick is on the cover, I am not buying the game anyway.

  • Bhurst99

    Except for the DLC for Tiger Woods carrying over to new games, I am failing to see the appeal of this. If you could carry over your franchise or Be A Pro to the new FIFA or NHL I would definitely pay for that but to just get a discount for new DLC seems rather lame.

    I guess it also depends on how early you might get to access the full version of a game via download. If it’s like seven days I could see a lot of people jumping on that. If it’s just one or two days probably not.

  • Bhurst99

    Except for the DLC for Tiger Woods carrying over to new games, I am failing to see the appeal of this. If you could carry over your franchise or Be A Pro to the new FIFA or NHL I would definitely pay for that but to just get a discount for new DLC seems rather lame.

    I guess it also depends on how early you might get to access the full version of a game via download. If it’s like seven days I could see a lot of people jumping on that. If it’s just one or two days probably not.

  • mickey mouse

    i guess getting ripped off every year for a flawed game isnt enough

  • Jjoe6275

    This may be the way of the future but its possible that it would create many more problems. What about online security? Will your $60.00 get you the basic game and anything else will be more. Will publishers push out incomplete games and what about people that do not have PSN or Xbox live? I think companies like EA and Activision see a goldmine.