Paid Subscription Would Offer Early Downloads, Free DLC, For EA Sports Titles

Illustration for article titled Paid Subscription Would Offer Early Downloads, Free DLC, For EA Sports Titles

An online survey indicates that EA Sports has plans to offer a paid subscription that, among other features, would deliver some paid downloadable content for free and make full versions of upcoming games available for download before their release date.

"Discounts on all downloadable content for participating EA Sports console-based titles," was the first bullet point mentioned, of sure interest given how much of it the sports publisher pushes in titles like FIFA, NHL, Madden, NCAA Football and Tiger Woods PGA Tour (SSX was also mentioned, and specifically cited as "SSX: Deadly Descents," meaning this survey went out before that title's name change at the beginning of April.)

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Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters, offers several additional courses as paid DLC, all available in a $50 package. It and other current EA Sports titles also offer career and franchise mode boosts and other optional content, for a charge.

The bigger draw may be, for devotees of certain series, the ability to get the game over the PlayStation Network or Xbox Live before it streets. Indeed, this would be indicative of a push toward total digital distribution, a path EA Sports president Peter Moore has said is definitely the future for publishers.

Finally, "Ability to transfer paid content from your current participating titles to future title versions," would also be worth it for many subscribers. That $50 package of courses in Tiger Woods 12 is, you guessed it, playable only in Tiger Woods 12 (that we know for now.) Transferring paid DLC such as golf courses to future titles would also be a subscription perk. It may also hint at Moore's earlier comments of greater portability of one's experience, achievements and career progression across editions of the same series.

Asked to comment on the survey, EA Sports spokesman Rob Semsey said at this time the publisher has no announcements.

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The full text of the survey (pictured):

"This subscription gives members access to exclusive benefits for Madden NFL, FIFA, NHL, Tiger Woods PGA Tour, SSX: Deadly Descents, and NCAA Football. While you're a member, this new subscription service will enhance your gaming experience by providing you with:

• Discounts on all downloadable content for participating EA Sports console-based titles.

• Full downloadable versions of aprticipating titles before they come out in stores.

• Exclusive membership recognition badge that appear both in-game and on your web profile.

• Ability to transfer paid content from your current participating titles to future title versions.

• Free and exclusive opportunities to extend your EA Sports experience to PC and Web

• Free and exclusive EA Sports downloadable content for participating console-based titles.

• Your subscription will be available for purchase from participating retailers, through the EA website, or on your console.

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EA is planning a Subscription Service [PlayStation University]

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DISCUSSION

I had to run away earlier, so didn't get to flesh out what I wanted to say. Here's the "plus" version.

If you're paying a subscription fee, you're not getting anything for free. Let's go down the list...

• Discounts on all downloadable content for participating EA Sports console-based titles.

- It's not a discount because you've probably already given EA the price difference many times over through the subscription fee.

• Full downloadable versions of participating titles before they come out in stores.

- Who knows how to value this. It could be 6 hours before stores open. Is that worth anything?

• Exclusive membership recognition badge that appear both in-game and on your web profile.

- Great, tell everyone you're a coporate tool. EA should really get its head out of its ass. No one wants to be branded with a brand people don't admire. It's not like EA is Apple, they're not a brand with any cool-cred. And just to shoo away the flamers, I'm not saying Apple is awesome, but some people really thing so. People put Apple logo stickers on their car. I've never seen anyone do that with an EA logo...

• Ability to transfer paid content from your current participating titles to future title versions.

- ...to whatever degree EA allows old content to be carried forward. There's no promise here that any content will be carried forward. It's like how the 3DS could easily play DS games, but they made the catridge a slightly different size to prevent just such a thing. This is only worth as much as EA allows, and EA's in the business of taking your money, not saving you money.

• Free and exclusive opportunities to extend your EA Sports experience to PC and Web.

- A) with the subscription fee, nothing is free. B) "extend your EA Sports experience" means...what? This could just be the ability to have the games you play post your score to Facebook or some other worthless thing.

• Free and exclusive EA Sports downloadable content for participating console-based titles.

- Again, nothing free if you're paying a subscription. That DLC's not free, you've paid for it through the subscription fee. And again, this could be like what they did with Mass Effect 2. They say 'free DLC!' but they control the amount you get, so how can you value that? This could be horse armor.