EA Sports subscription service planned?

Leaked document appears to indicate publishing label will be offering premium tier that will offer exclusive DLC, discounts, early access via downloadable titles.

No Caption Provided

Source: Sports blog Pasta Padre.

What we heard: Earlier this month, EA Sports president Peter Moore used his MI6 2011 keynote address to reveal that Electronic Arts is planning to create cross-platform, cross-game profiles for its sports titles. Now, according to a report on Pasta Padre, the publisher is going one step further. The sports blog is claiming to have received a document outlining EA Sports' plan to offer an annual subscription that will offer various perks to participants.

Is EA Sports getting ready to offer a premium subscription package for $15-$35?
Is EA Sports getting ready to offer a premium subscription package for $15-$35?

According to the document, the subscription will offer benefits for the Madden NFL, FIFA, NHL, Tiger Woods PGA Tour, NCAA Football, and SSX series. The memo is also accompanied by the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 logos, indicating that the program may be limited to those two platforms. Among the listed benefits of the subscription are:

--Discounts on all downloadable content for participating EA Sports console-based titles.
--Free and exclusive EA Sports downloadable content for console-based titles.
--Full downloadable versions of participating titles before they come out in stores.
--An exclusive "recognition badge" that will appear both in-game and on players' Web profiles.
--The ability to transfer paid content from current titles to future versions of said titles.
--Free and exclusive opportunities to extend players' EA Sports experience to the PC and Web.

The leaked memo also said that the subscription has not yet been priced. However, Pasta Padre reports that surveys are circulating that put potential prices in a range of $15 to $35, depending on how many of the options a person wants. The surveys also say that downloadable versions of games will be available to subscribers up to a full week before they arrive in stores.

The official story: As of press time, EA Sports reps had not responded to requests for comment.

Bogus or not bogus?: Looking not bogus that EA Sports is considering an annual subscription. Pasta Padre's record is fairly reliable, and Moore's talk of a unified cross-platform and cross-game experience jibes with an EA Sports-wide subscription service.

However, if an EA Sports subscription service sounds familiar, that's because rumors of a "season pass" for the label surfaced in late 2008. That scheme, which was also outed by a leaked survey, was going to offer subscribers 22-33 percent off of selected titles. And as is now known, that plan never came to fruition.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Join the conversation
There are 367 comments about this story
367 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
GameSpot has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to toxic conduct in comments. Any abusive, racist, sexist, threatening, bullying, vulgar, and otherwise objectionable behavior will result in moderation and/or account termination. Please keep your discussion civil.

Avatar image for PowerstrokeGT


Avatar image for nonfanboygamer1

Bad, Bad, Bad idea. Good luck Ea

Avatar image for TrapMuzik92

-Free and exclusive EA Sports downloadable content for console-based titles. Has anyone seen the RIDICULOUS DLC items for EA sports Games? Absolutely ridiculous. 2 bucks for a player to have increased resistance to injury? Wtf EA...I really hope this bites you guys in the @ss.

Avatar image for ThroughTheGlass

as ridiculous as this subscription service sounds, there are definitely going to be many people who subscribe. i really hope they don't though; if this service becomes a success, prepare to see EA implement a similar service for it's other franchises.

Avatar image for namdar

The nay sayers in here are only small fraction out of the millions that will buy in to this crap. Its a shame people don't open their eyes!

Avatar image for thebeav3

I'd pay for cross-platform sports games. That'd be sick

Avatar image for robertgkarcher1

EA has completely alienated its core fan base whose loyalty is the very reason EA Sports is what it is today. Adding meaningless game modes designed to do nothing but squeeze money out of us (HUT and such) while failing to address simple game bugs and poorly designed gameplay mechanics that still linger with every single iteration. First, the online code, now this crap? I had already decided not to buy nhl 12 (the only franchise I felt was still worth buying). You've just made my decision that much easier.

Avatar image for tony382

I could care less, I don't play my sports games online anyway.

Avatar image for TrapMuzik92

So your online pass code is not enough? Ea....just die.

Avatar image for Stonecutters908

oh come on. I am sorry but for F#%ks sake. More excuses to put out trimmed down games and nickel and dime us into constructing a somewhat complete game through subscribed DLC. Well F#$% Y#$ EA! I will never support this crap. I don't mind DLC if you put out a great game to start and just extend the experience but this is just going to be an excuse to put out shallow games and gouge the customer. I hate it. Terrible Terrible Terrible idea. This is something a CEO thought of, not a true game developer.

Avatar image for BH14

Will 2K football be on it? If not, I am not interested.

Avatar image for kwanzudood

I'm glad I'm not into EA sports games, but I'm definitely into other EA games like Battlefield and Mass Effect, so I know they'll be screwing those franchises over next. Next, I'll have to pay to get the tall, skinny blocks in Tetris that never seem to come up when you need them.

Avatar image for Shadow_th

Subscribe to get more of the same, now with a discount! What a pathetic joke.

Avatar image for JJMIZZY

Funny, I didn't see them specifically mention roster updates as one of the perks of said subscription service. I mean it's only the single biggest thing that the fans, for YEARS now, have been clamoring for.

Avatar image for Flint247

@salvucci91 I drew it and uploaded it to DA: << LINK REMOVED >>

Avatar image for cantor2537

Can't same I'm surprised. But all this nickel and diming has gotten too much. First I gotta pay for XBL, then now, I gotta pay EA. It's gotten to the point where I've pretty much given up on online gaming for my consoles. My XBL subscription expires in November and that's it for me. My money, my choice. I play SC2 online and that is enough to give me my socialization/online fix. I only play SP games on consoles now. Sometimes I long for the simple days of the NES/SNES/PSOne, when games were a social affair, when you had people over and you played sports games or Goldeneye on your multitap.

Avatar image for weedman1985

35$!?!?! holy crap. I don't think I payed so much for my dentist last visit. But lets suppose they charge 15$, it's still not worth the money. just as Ardiendo_1 said, you are going to pay money for discounts, which is kinda stupid when you think about it. It means you are donating part of your money each month "unwillingly" so you could the later buy games at technically the same price they are offered to people with no subscriptions. In fact, possibly more than the people who don't pay for subscriptions, if you don't buy EA's games regularly.

Avatar image for Suikogaiden

I will just keep buying them used and playing split screen or single. They gave some gull squeezing money out of that rehashed generic crap.

Avatar image for salvucci91

@Flint247 Wow that is weird, before I even scrolled down I was going to comment "good thing I'm not into the Sports genre of video games"! You were the first one I saw lol. Also (very random) where is your Yoshi avatar from?!

Avatar image for Flint247

Well, I am glad I am not into EA Sports games. :) This will be a very bad move if it happens.

Avatar image for godzillavskong

Its a vicious monster that keeps rising. We have more and more DLC to pay for, that is available at release time of the game, which means some of us end up paying $80 for some titles, once it's all said and done. I understand DLC hitting them market after the game has been out, but the ones that sell it to us right after release, or use it to unlock content that is already in the game is overkill. Now with EA testing the waters with this subscription setup only time will tell how far they go with it, or how many other companies come aboard, especially if they are successful. Hopefully it i will be just for extra content and nothing really major to the gaming experience. I know that's what they are saying it is, but if it sells well they may try to see how far they can take it.I won't be a early adopter that is for sure!

Avatar image for mightEone

Sports games generally are a waste of money. I don't understand people who will buy the same game every year and think it is new because they changed the number from 2010 to 2011.

Avatar image for mightEone

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Avatar image for wars45

like how it said descounts for dlc . if u paying for asubscription i would of thought u got dlc free not money of .u bet u life it wont be chape . dont mind online pass but this is just more money on top of the game

Avatar image for Frost259

@Kashmiro I understand the reason for the online code. But I really don't believe devs lose that much money on used game sales. Example in order for someone like Gamestop to get the used copy to begin with someone had to buy it new somewhere. So if Gamestop gets a million used copy of a game a million new copies were prolly sold. Also you can't look at Gstops used profit as them really selling that many. It's just the profit they make on a used game is so much more then the devs see on a profit for a new game. Example Gstop usually buys newer games for between 15 to 30, and then resells at 54.99. Devs don't actually make 60 bucks a game on a new sale.

Avatar image for Kashmiro

I agree whole-heartedly with the Online Pass, because EA does not see any money from the re-selling of used games, only Gamestop does. It is completely fair for them to charge something to people whole buy used games, to try and stop the purchasing of used games, and to make some kind of profit from it. This, on the other hand, I'm not so sure about. If it is a really unique system that offers true benefits to people who buy multiple sports games every year but does not really hinder those who don't want to pay for it, then I think it is a great idea. However if all this is going to do is pretty much force anyone who likes EA Sports games to add costs every year, then I completely disagree and I will not be participating. We will have to wait and see what it really is going to encompass, and I think people need to stop making so many quick assumptions and wait for the full details to be unveiled by EA themselves, not some secondary source. But in all honesty, I'd pay $15 to EA for a system that includes multiple games any day, over paying the same price to Activision for 3 horrible maps...

Avatar image for gandalf_storm

They are milking enough with the online pass

Avatar image for Ardiendo_1

--'Discounts on all downloadable content for participating EA Sports console-based titles.' Paying to receive a discount? Lol. --'Free and exclusive EA Sports downloadable content for console-based titles.' Do you really think EA would limit any worthwhile DLC to subscribers? They'd lose money. --'Full downloadable versions of participating titles before they come out in stores.' Wow this is just lame and it costs EA nothing. --'An exclusive "recognition badge" that will appear both in-game and on players' Web profiles.' You want people to pay money for this? --'The ability to transfer paid content from current titles to future versions of said titles.' As I previously said this would be ridiculous if it prevented non-subscribers from being able to transfer stuff they already paid for into new titles (stuff like Fifa Virtual Pros). --'Free and exclusive opportunities to extend players' EA Sports experience to the PC and Web.' Which means what exactly?

Avatar image for SDMF_TrueBlue

Wait, you want gamers to PAY to transfer content from one title to another? And PAY for a "discount" for DLC? And PAY for exclusive DLC? All I hear is "Hey EA Sports fans, bend over." Sickening.

Avatar image for Ayato_Kamina_1

Obviously i'm against this, but they're such a powerful company they can pretty much do what they want and people will pay. And who said monopolies were anti-competitive. Hope they get sued.

Avatar image for Frost259

EA recently has released some of my fav games, Mass Effect 2, Dragon Age 2, Dead Space 2, among others. And releasing more greats around the corner. However they seem driven to become more hated then Activison again. They allready have there damn codes you need to purchase if you don't buy there games new. Now they wanna charge more, I allready paid for the system, The TV, my internet, my Xbox live or PSN Plus account, the Game itself, also the future DLC will cost something no matter if you had the online code or not. So hell why not make it cost 200 bucks to play the game online. Way to make my hobby harder and harder to afford.

Avatar image for NColdhardt

EA is the posterchild of what-not-to-do as a videogame company...

Avatar image for Ardiendo_1

'The ability to transfer paid content from current titles to future versions of said titles.' This better not mean I can't transfer the virtual pro I have spent so long building up on Fifa 11 to Fifa 12 without paying for it. No thanks EA.

Avatar image for MuddVader

@Shadow_Fire41 Oh come on =V Out of ALL of the games SE has made, name 5 off the top of your head that were half assed. That should be easy, right? Not including FF13 and FF14, which are the lolobvious answers.

Avatar image for thenephariouson

@Barighm, Personally for me, the financial aspect is not the issue, its simply the principle that grates me, as if i purchase a new game for 39.99 (uk pounds) i expect to obtain the full game without additional charges being incurred.

Avatar image for Barighm

Shouldn't be too big a problem. Gamers with actual jobs have no problem with the odd bit of DLC, but even people with great jobs think twice when they hear "subscription fee".

Avatar image for Icehearted

Xbox Live = Users declare premium service! Sure other platforms let you do the same thing and more for free, but hey, no dedicated servers, lag, and harassment are so worth the money! EA Subscription of any kind = "BOOOO", you evil evil capitalists. Enjoy your trip to eventual obscurity. Hypocrites. You're okay with being nickel and dimed by one company, you think others won't notice? Why shouldn't they try to capitalize on this? I'm not saying it's a good idea, frankly I think both are excessive way to assault our wallets, but if one can do it, others will follow. This won't be the last time someone put this idea out on the table. Pretty soon just about everything will be no-frills unless you pay to play. The future is now kids, and it looks like a big fat ripoff.

Avatar image for slayersith1720

This is crazy. I already pay for Xbox Live plus the cable bill to be able to get online and now they want to charge me more to play their games? If they force you to pay this in order to be able to play their games online then i will be done with them.

Avatar image for DADA_007

EA is gonna destroy itself day by day

Avatar image for DADA_007

EA is gonna destroy its self day by day

Avatar image for Medic_B

thank god for 2k

Avatar image for hector530

well if youre dumb enough to buy the same game the year over. you might be dumb enough to pay for this.

Avatar image for Zucarin

@Kabals Yeah, point here is that I could spend these 20 bucks that I shouldn't be paying on other stuff, like... more fast food. EA is digging its own grave.

Avatar image for MJ12-Conspiracy

Interesting concept but really it offers little even if it's applied to other genre's I really don't play any sports games, I like generally the way Fight Night works and plays but I don't like the so called total control mechanic these game all have.

Avatar image for Mik9445

EA Sports, Its NOT in the game... you have to pay extra for it!

Avatar image for Shadow_Fire41

@MuddVader would rather Atlus buy it then Square Enix, Atlus tends not to half ass things.

Avatar image for Tripwolf

Anything to make a buck.

Avatar image for Kagutsuchi22

"Free and exclusive EA Sports downloadable content for console-based titles." How's that considered free when you have to pay for the subscription to get it?

Avatar image for berserker2389

I've been gaming for 15 years guess it's time to call it quits soon if this **** starts happening to most games. Screw EA.

Avatar image for Hillsy_

Doesn't surprise me really. If there is sufficient demand EA will want to take a slice of the pie.