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.

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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 TJ_Shoot

EA is pleasing their shareholders and not the gamers, typical.

Avatar image for aBiNeR1

EA wants more money for the same broken products? You won't get ME Peter Moore! LOL

Avatar image for anthonycg

EA Sports and not EA games right? I don't want this bs screwing with Mass Effect 3.

Avatar image for Amir29

In 2004 titles, all sports game from EA shared data with one another to clock how long you've played EA Sports games. They also helped to unlock things from other titles. This was a FREE feature. EA Sports wants to dip their hands in the used game market by charging for online access? Well, that's a bit weird and doesn't do well for their image, but understanding how much it costs them to maintain each profile makes it SOMEWHAT acceptable. But this? This is too much. Consoles are charging annual fees for additional features. Now games are going to do the same? Plus separate subscription fees for movies, music, etc? Something has to give guys. A gamer only has so much money left annually after all of their expenses. I said this a long time ago. Right here on Gamespot to be exact. I got an incredible amount of thumbs down on a comment I made that said Exclusive contracts on software and DLC has to be stopped... LEGALLY. Someone has to make a legal move now before it gets out of hand! Wait... Nevermind.. It already is out of hand. :(

Avatar image for XboxGuy1537

I haven't bough an EA Sports game for years and I won't ever again.

Avatar image for csward

This is why game companies should not be publicly traded. They have the interest of their shareholders ahead of the interests of their customers. It's funny how EA Sports wants to charge for things that used to be free like online multiplayer, cheat codes, and importing your draft classes, but Madden has had the same broken engine for 13 years. Every year there are exploitable plays that EA could update for balancing like most companies, but instead the only updates you get cost $59.99. How much longer can EA Sports go on like this?

Avatar image for littlephill1985

Ha Ha Ha, Another step for EA sports on sucking as much money out of the games industry as they can. Just like the stupid online passes they have added, so if you buy a second hand game and you wanna go online you have to pay another £7.99 on top!! EA lost me as a customer a long time ago and i think alot of people will follow suit. Who wants to spend £44.99 on a game anyway that will be released next year with a few new updates and different players?FIFA,MADDEN,NHL etc are all just a nice cash cow for EA and there making billions off of us!!!! Dont support the EA tyrant!

Avatar image for nathace

Wow really?? Should of seen this coming, so if brought this game for $59 it would be costing me $75! no thanks!!!

Avatar image for drangel_jam

I would sign up if I would get main franchises for free. I don't buy EA sports games every year, but I wouldn't mind paying them yearly or periodically for such kind of service, and be able to download one or two new games of my choice.

Avatar image for kingotnw

I just want to point out that all these games were supposed to go DOWN in price. When the 360 came out, they said the reason for the price hike from $49.99 to $59.99 was to pay for hardware and development costs, and that in the future they would be returning to $49.99... Obviously that never happened. Price gouging is lame.

Avatar image for kingotnw

So they want me to pay EVEN MORE for their over priced games? Hardly... I'll just stop buying Madden, its really that simple.

Avatar image for rarson

Just in case you guys didn't know, EA has done several online subscription games in the past only to leave their paying subscribers with nothing to show for their money a year or so later when they decided to shut down their servers. There's no way I'll ever pay for another EA subscription.

Avatar image for amaan4ever

make the games $45 if u gonna put a $15 subscription

Avatar image for sagameister3

Seems like buying a game used is the same as new nowadays lol. With recent games at least.

Avatar image for fightingfish18

hmmm wanna know what 2nd hand retailers should do to encourage people to buy used games? Instead of giving a $5 lower price tage (54.99 vs 59.99) Maybe you should give a $15 discount or so. Cause think about it, when a consumer could buy a new game for 59.99 + sales tax, and be able to play online and everything, why would they purchase a used game for 54.99 + sales tax + $10 online pass... if they gave a lower price on used games, more people might buy them cause it'd be a better deal.

Avatar image for BLAS1AN

you cant fault EA. if us gamers dont support this then its a fail for EA

Avatar image for holtrocks

@A_m-A what did you not like about BFBC2?

Avatar image for holtrocks

@mulder_000 completely agree with you

Avatar image for mulder_000

I've been saying from the beginning, since DLC became all the rage, that it was a slippery slope. Sometimes you want extra content for a game you really enjoyed, but more and more, games are being shipped minus loads of content, so that the company can release DLC as soon as possible! $60 isn't enough for us to pay for almost the exact same game as last year? I rented Madden last year, and it was total crap, maybe if it's $10 I'd pick it up. I've bought every NHL game since the beginning..maybe this year will be the year to take a break from the franchise. How much would companies like us to spend for a "complete" game $100???

Avatar image for bensonwad

The only way I could possibly agree with this is if they lowered the price of their games. All this is doing is making you pay more for what should be included with the game anyway.

Avatar image for scotwolf

money money money...thats the bottom line. like the high priced dlc that should have been in the game. like paying extra to go online if you buy 2nd hand game. this is just another charge on already hardpressed gamers. who's to say activision won't do same with cod. i can understand they want to increase revenues but we are in a recession our money is being squeezed and gamers have to pick n choose when and what to buy. i know i'm buying less and looking for bargains by waiting few weeks after release. only way to stop the rip offs is to not buy, sales mean everything if we boycott games dlc etc then prices will drop. but EA know they will have people buying fifa/madden/tiger/nhl etc every year no matter what and these people share the blame. the thin end of the wedge is getting bigger!!!!

Avatar image for jenguando

You guys realize that if we all take a stand against these ridiculous antics then EA will think twice in the future.

Avatar image for LordXerud

I don't like this....I only play FIFA and a little bit of Madden. I won't be paying a subscription fee on top of forking out for the game in the first place. And on top of that, I pay a fee to play on xbox live. The promise of being able to download a game before its released in the shops also doesn't wash with me because I want to have the option of trading in a game i don't like or don't play any more. I'm not going to start bashing EA or any other publishers but I can't help but feel they want to kill off the used games market. Sony tested the water with the GO, and that failed. Hopefully this will too. But if you have to pay the fee to play on-line against other players and access features like ultimate team, I have this sinking feeling it won't.

Avatar image for airsoftmanic

paying a subscription for an MMO like world of warcraft? fine. paying for a sub to a gaming service like XBL or PSN? fine paying a monthly sub to a single game just to get stuff a little earlier? crossed the line and deserves a firing squad. even worse is that the DLC isnt free even after you pay the sub. thats going for a firing squad to a chinese bamboo shoot torture (and death). EA, please burn EASports, for the sake of your future and integrity, just burn it down.

Avatar image for oflow

Maybe they can drop the prices and actually make the sports games truly dynamic instead of bleeding the fan base yearly with $59.99 releases of last year's game? Sports games should be like mmos almost. You should just be able to buy a monthly sub to the sport and it automatically updates with live time stats etc. Then they can upgrade the engine if need be in the offseason. Easier to keep the hackers out too.

Avatar image for hXcShock

I have never, ever found sports games fun. When I wanna play sports, I go outside. This has no affect on me, but EAsports is the evil personality of the EA name.

Avatar image for hornetine

EA as a parent company has done more good than evil. The problem has always been easports. They are by far the worst division in all of gaming.

Avatar image for MarcJL31

EA Sports just keeps going downhill for me. And this is just another reason to tack on the list. Things i hate most about this is that it actually might (and probably will given the trends of gamers given in to praying more) catch on with other games and oter companies. Look at the Online Pass as a perfeect example. EA is yet again opening the door to make more money. And sadly, too many people gladly open their wallets to them. This isnt the end of this trend. Im sure of that.

Avatar image for JERMINITIS

oink oink says EA

Avatar image for Xbox360Gamer15

I dislike EA

Avatar image for Frosty192

I don't own any EA sports titles nor will I ever. I don't like sport games. I just like blowing people's heads off.

Avatar image for A_m-A

I already didnt like BBC 2, now i have other reason not to play BBC 3.... and I am also seeing Activision following it.

Avatar image for Crimsader


Avatar image for oldboy36

EA perma ban on my consoles...I was close to doing this anyway after DA2 thanks for making my mind up EA! And ruining gaming as well.

Avatar image for Rudorlf

This. Is. Ridiculous. I. Will. Not. Buy. Any. Future. EA. Sports. Titles. Again. Screw your big plans, EA.

Avatar image for jenguando

EA disgust me.Their laggy servers are complete !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Avatar image for JimmeyBurrows

Lol... overestimating themselves a bit... They don't really have anything to offer worth paying monthly for... PSN and Xboxlive almost but I 'aint payin for them either... Bit of a waste.

Avatar image for hector1313

@uk_friday Since when, exactly, have EA ever been losing to their competitors? People buy whatever crap EA release, regardless of its 'quality', and that's very unlikely to change given that they have Stobbart pockets. They can market things to death.

Avatar image for dark_rising76

EA just needs to keep it simple. I don't hardly play multiplayer online but I do like to get a dlc content for single-player every now and then. But to add this to already expensive games and dlc's, this is a stupid idea. Won't be surprise if EA's profits ends up being down by the end of the year because of this. I like their games like Crysis 2, NCAA Football and FIFA but this is just being greedy.

Avatar image for uk_friday

The only way this can be stopped is if YOU sheep stop buying over priced DLC..... When all their work goes nowhere and they start losing to the competition again then they will wake up and smell the coffee....Stop ripping off your customers or your have none.

Avatar image for supernaught360

Microsoft's yearly subscription fee isn't sounding so bad now, is it fanboys? They tried creating a premium community where everyone benefitted from selling on their marketplace, but noooo... EA had to put up their OWN servers: I and others warned of this back when it happened. Even Sony is realizing you can't operate a cohesive online service without paying a division of your company to run it. You could see this coming a mile away.

Avatar image for ukogmickey

Keep it, EA getting greedier and greedier. Im a big FIFA, Fight Night, Hockey amongst others fan but making it all subscription is a Joke, Ive got plenty other games to play anyways. I really hope one day I hear across the TV " Breaking News.... EA has gone bankupt " Man that would put a smile on my face for a long time.

Avatar image for -Phaz-

quite simply **** EA!

Avatar image for TehUndeadHorror

Sounds like the PSN plus thing, the only thing that sounds noteworthy though is "The ability to transfer paid content from current titles to future versions of said titles" Other than that =/

Avatar image for 91210user

If it ever happens! Good, I don't want no noob challenging me in a nice long game of Tiger Woods!

Avatar image for Pyerun

This is the same company publishing SWTOR, that game is going to suck so bad.... Have fun wasting your money fanboys.

Avatar image for la_sek

if EA does push through it will have the same effect as the NBA elite game...down the drain...

Avatar image for BigJohnWV

*facepalm*. Well I don't play any EA sports game especially online but this worries me. If they are considering it other companies are watching with interest. What next, a yearly fee for Battlefield? *sigh* the impending video game industry collapse is slowly coming.

Avatar image for HappyBB

Good thing that I am not a fan of the US sports. This move worries me if EA pulls this off. All other companies may likely follow suit. It will then be very expensive to play videogames. The old times are much simpler and straight-forward; there was no complex and expensive add-on services!

Avatar image for pinero23

i would totally subscribe if it was worth it considering how many ea sports games and DLC i buy every year