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.

367 Comments
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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

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Avatar image for shkar
shkar

Thanks But No Thanks ............

Avatar image for 001011000101101
001011000101101

Terrible idea. "Pay 20$, get free stuff". oh lol.

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89318101

Love how you get all this "free stuff" once you pay, great marketing!

Avatar image for JOKEROFHEAVEN
JOKEROFHEAVEN

and activision will follow up with a COD monthly fee

Avatar image for airshocker
airshocker

@BetardxFoosier Your entire post is speculation, my friend. Nothing in what they're offering is required to play the game, thus it's not game-breaking.

Avatar image for redness19
redness19

Sounds like how DLC got to where it is now. It used to be add-on months after the game was released to add more content. Now there's day one release that add items, characters, everything. It's no longer about streching the life of a game, it's price gouging.

Avatar image for BetardxFoosier
BetardxFoosier

@thenephariouson Kinda seems like console gaming is inevitably heading this way with the PS3 and Xbox 360. Computer gaming is the only platform that is still barely holding on, especially with the $49.99 price tag for most new games (besides Bulletstorm, Call of Duty, etc.). Kinda just depends on the developer though, since there are some that you can trust more than others.

Avatar image for BetardxFoosier
BetardxFoosier

@airshocker The problem is that they're splitting up the consumers between the premium users and the normal users. It will gradually shift towards a fee that will be required to play the game every month, since the content being offered in the premium accounts will start to be crucial in playing these games. It's a slow, but sure, scheme that is forcing its way into the sports games. That's why it's not a good thing that they're planning on making something like this.

Avatar image for tmacman
tmacman

Guys, this doesn't soooooooo bad, I mean it's not like they're giving members free aimbots. But yes, I am well aware of where this is heading, and before we know it, boosted stat packs for members teams in madden and other game breaking things will slowly seap into it.

Avatar image for defter23
defter23

Who the hell are you EA !

Avatar image for whataguy69
whataguy69

I hate Peter Moore.

Avatar image for nissanmaxima
nissanmaxima

LOL EA is a darn joke. If this comes true & people actually pays this, it will be a sad day in gaming.

Avatar image for airshocker
airshocker

I don't see a problem with this. There's nothing game-breaking about what they're offering, so people don't actually need it if they don't want it.

Avatar image for MooncalfReviews
MooncalfReviews

A monthly fee to play EA games? I have a solution: don't but EA games. You can't get greedy with gamers and not have it come back to smack you in the ass, EA. Look at Sony with its download-only PSP Go games.

Avatar image for NICKKELANIUS
NICKKELANIUS

and I thought EA was better than Activision...

Avatar image for Roidz87
Roidz87

One step in the direction of an even bigger ca$h cow. Are you kidding me? This is a gimmick. You must pay to get a discount.... doesn't that seem like an oxymoron to you? I would much rather have a finished, complete game than be forced to buy an expensive title and then purchase $50 plus dollars worth of content. I know that FIFA has spurned people to spend upwards of $500..... ridiculous. Stupid people feed stupid ideas.

Avatar image for paranormalnut
paranormalnut

LAME!

Avatar image for deactivated-5ac298f6696ef

This strategy started with a good idea, but my opinion is that is going in the wrong way for EA Sports fans. This will mean that games will be released unfinished forcing you to suscribe or use torrents to patch the game, fostering piracy. In fact every year we get, at least with the Fifa series, what is actually a beta series of next years' game. Now is going to get worse and we will have to pay more in the long run for games and for getting the updates. If you like, read my blog about "FIFA should be one game and online".

Avatar image for thenephariouson
thenephariouson

@shabulia, Thats actually a really good idea, although i doubt it will ever happen

Avatar image for shabulia
shabulia

What might be cool is if they reduced the price of the core games so people could purchase the content they want online. If they reduced prices to $39.99 for the core game and allowed you to add on what you like, then this would be a great deal.

Avatar image for thenephariouson
thenephariouson

So what theyre effectively saying, is that, when we purchase a new EA game, we are in fact only purchasing the 'Core' element of said game, effectively expecting us to purchase the remainder in order to end up with a complete product which includes an online component. Whatever is happening to the games industry? What a damn shame.

Avatar image for Joefatty2x4
Joefatty2x4

@JimmyJimJim, don't make assumptions. the future isn't here yet, and so far EA isn't forcing you to pay anything extra for their sports games. just useless benefits that don't even affect the retail game. so until they start adding roster updates, game modes, custom uniform tools, and stuff like that in the subscription plan, then there's nothing to complain about.

Avatar image for mission76
mission76

I don't play sport games, haven't since Techmo Super Bowl for Sega, but people already pay 65 dollars a year to EA for a glorified update for Madden that does litle more then update the rosters and put a new player on the cover? Isn't that enough

Avatar image for ZedX-14Pilot
ZedX-14Pilot

@blackace Amen to that! I already do that. Picked up a new copy of AC Brotherhood for $27 at Target the other day. EA is out of control. They do spend more time conjuring up cash grab schemes than making quality games. Just look at Shift 2. Buggy as hell. I am glad I didn't pay full price for it. They don't deserve anyones money when they release garbage like that. They are lucky they got money out of me for Tiger Woods this year. I might pick up Fight Night at the right price, but Madden and I are over. They ruined that franchise. Live (Elite) is absolutely a 'do not purchase' for me as well. NCAA is a never was for me. So, what is left from EA worth playing? Not much. They are blowing it. MLB The Show and NBA 2K are the main sports fixes for me now. MLB is AMAZING, and 2K... Well, I can live with it.

Avatar image for kkee
kkee

I'm going to wait for more details before passing judgement. The only titles I'll buy from that list are SSX and FIFA, so I'll have to see how much value this subscription service is.

Avatar image for AvnKnight
AvnKnight

This isnt a bad idea I mean sports games are probaly one of the most popular genre in gaming so If you just play sports games you might as well just use this service and keep all the DLC and everything else you put into these games with you. Also says free DLC so that 15-30 dollars might just pay for itself who knows.

Avatar image for setuwa
setuwa

for those who are complaining about the prices that EA are offering need a reality check.

Avatar image for mistablair
mistablair

I'd be willing to pay MMORPG prices for sports games rather than paying $60 a year. I would end up spending more, but if that relates to constant server updates a la MMORPG style I'd be very happy. Less money on marketing and more on gameplay.

Avatar image for winnazdaluza
winnazdaluza

hmmm yeah goodluck with that!!! Console players in general hate subs, otherwise most would be pc users for much better but more expensive experiences.Otherwise like i said above if their planning to pull console users into the sub game...yeah gluck with that:)

Avatar image for Patrickstar1986
Patrickstar1986

LOL MWAHAHAHAHA... *cough* *cough* I don't understand doing something stupid like this when they are having a hard time topping sales year after year. And to be honest, I guess I go out of my way to make sure my sports titles don't say EA on them. I mean if you ever look up all the nickle and dime DLC out there for EA games, you'd see how this seems to be less about the games and more about squeezing a dollar out of a dime.

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Heshertonfist

Playing a game is gonna cost as much as the console that plays it.

Avatar image for MarcRecon
MarcRecon

And so the maddness begins

Avatar image for TheBlackEclipse
TheBlackEclipse

@spooky57571 No, they're having a "who can milk the most money out of their customers" contest. lol

Avatar image for Stoneys_Rock
Stoneys_Rock

It's actually good value considering it's optional, I especially like taking of current or then *old* DLC to new future titles. I can't believe the crock of idiocy people are venting on a service they don't know about yet, clearly didn't read because it said offer as in an optional service, its an annual subscription and its not like they are asking for $35 a month. What you should be moaning about is what could be possibly done to upcoming activision games which they want a monthly fee to continually access the online service you already paid for and in older titles was free. The comprehension skill lacks here clearly.

Avatar image for AluminumAndroid
AluminumAndroid

With the online pass and now this crap, EA is quicly becoming my most despised company. Its time to support more indie developers who aren't just concerned about nickle and diming gamers.

Avatar image for shabulia
shabulia

Like anything, if it works and people buy it, then EA will keep on with it. If people don't buy it then EA will stop offering it. It's like movie based games. Buy the crap and companies will continue to make more crap because it sells. Buy only the good stuff and companies will try to make better games. It's the same thing here.

Avatar image for thebrickster007
thebrickster007

OH NO! Wait... I don't play sports games! lololololololol

Avatar image for blackace
blackace

@ZedX-14Pilot @Avenger1324 NICE post! Don't forget to include that if anyone else other than you in your house plays the game, they have to buy an online pass as well. EA, time to change your motto! EA should stand for Electronic A-Holes. "We've shamed your game." ********************************************************** Yeah.. they need to change that. It should allow anyone who has a profile on your game console to play online. This still won't stop a lot of people from getting used games. They just won't play online or they'll get the game new or buy on sale or off of EBay.

Avatar image for motorxd
motorxd

If I hadn't already stopped buying EA's garbage this certainly would be another reason to do so.

Avatar image for lordofallpies
lordofallpies

EA you do know that NO ONE WILL EVER USE THIS CRAP!

Avatar image for WickedNick
WickedNick

To each their own, but for me, EA can eat a bag of d*cks. Not that much changes for each sports title....why not just subscribe to SportsTheMMO and have access to the current game engines w/current rosters.

Avatar image for ZoTrAcK
ZoTrAcK

The devil is speaking...

Avatar image for GunBladeHero
GunBladeHero

@haloreachftw But the map packs in CoD are optional, EA forces you to buy the online pass just to play online, we all know that buying a used game isn't the same as buying it new with the package sealed so that you can open it and see the freshly new game disc and manual, it is just that were I live used games can drop down to 50% the value of a new one, so in most cases they are well conserved, making it worth the purchase.

Avatar image for JimmyJimJim
JimmyJimJim

@joefatty2x4 Don't be obtuse, It's only palpable what this leads to which is them deciding instead of adding so and so feature to the regular game like it should be they'll simply add it to the subscription service to nickle and dime us even more.

Avatar image for Joefatty2x4
Joefatty2x4

you guys act like this is something you have to purchase in order to play the full $60 game. all this does is add perks/benefits for you personally. it doesn't affect the actual game. if you don't subscribe to this, then you're not losing anything, and if you do subscribe, you're really not gaining much either. whether you subscribe or not, nothing really changes.

Avatar image for jcbullen
jcbullen

Where does it say that this will change the purchasing of regular games? This is all additional stuff that you can pay for if you want, but if you don't want to, you can still just buy games like regular. Why do you people complain so much? E.A. isn't to blame anyways, YOU are. Like it or not, truth can be a b****.

Avatar image for juiceair
juiceair

That's big fat HELL NO! Instead of making better games, they want to rip off customers by charging more?

Avatar image for emanuel187
emanuel187

EA can eat a big fat d*ck!

Avatar image for petemig
petemig

I don't play any EA sports titles any more. After reading this crock of BS I may not play anything they make any more. EA is greed at it's best.