EA Sports Subscription Service: Poll Results and Analysis

Posted May 2nd, 2011 at 5:45 pm

Recently details on a “subscription service” for EA Sports emerged, one that would be offering games up to a week early and DLC carry over from one year to the next as headlining features. Over 5500 people voted in the poll on the subject and the outlook for EA Sports would certainly appear grim on the surface. 

Its clear that there is a high level of resistance to even the concept of a “subscription”. Over half of the voters stated they would never pay for more than just the game. A quarter of the voters are waiting for the official details to roll out before committing one way or the other, while only 12% felt that as laid out the subscription service would be well worth the cost. The way EA might look at this is 37% are at least open to the idea and that might be good enough for them at this point.

Its interesting to consider that EA was probably hoping that the upcoming program would leak to potentially soften the blow and reduce immediate backlash. This could end up being an E3 announcement and that is only a month away now. The first reactions to the news brought about that expected initial reaction as there seemed to be a level of disdain and frustration that this idea would even be on the table, though once realizing the details many came to evaluate it more on its merits than just outright dismissing it.

It’s difficult to determine what level of participation in this initiative would be needed in order for it to be a success for the company. If it turned out to be just a small percentage of active EA Sports consumers that revenue may not make up for the PR hit and feeling of some that they are being slighted if they don’t buy in – perceiving it as a week wait to get the game instead of just choosing not to get the bonus of a week early for example. Chances are though that once the initial shock of the general idea of a yearly subscription wears off more will be inclined to sign up given the intriguing perks and what would seem to be a reasonable price.

It’ll be an uphill battle for a subscription service to really take off. EA will look to sell the subscriptions in stores, online, and through the consoles but it still will be tough to convince those who are skeptical or don’t see the value. Given that one of Peter Moore’s goals though is to be at the forefront of digital delivery the drawbacks and possible early struggles may have to be fought through in order to be in better position achieve the company’s long term vision.