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EA Sports launches Season Ticket sub services for Xbox 360 and PS3

Tuesday, 2nd August 2011 13:34 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

EA Sports has launched Season Ticket, which is an annual subscription service for its main sports franchises FIFA, Madden, NHL and Tiger Woods’ PGA Tour.

The service will cost subscribers 2000 Microsoft Points annually and it allows members to download the full version of each new release three days before it hits stores. Once the game is released to the general public, the download will expire. However, those who earned levels and achievements during the three-day period will be able to transfer the game data back over into the game once it is purchased.

Other incentives include a 20 percent discount on all EA Sports DLC, access to free “premium web content”, and a membership badge for in-game and profile bragging rights.

“We’ve been talking to consumers in the US and over there in Europe about the type of thing they would like to see that they aren’t currently getting from their EA Sports experiences,” EA Sports’ Peter Moore told GI.biz in an interview.

“It’s very important to communicate that this doesn’t change anything about EA Sports other than to add a layer on for people who are interested in those areas. It doesn’t subtract or detract in any way from the core experience.”

Moore said the program isn’t about “making a profit in the early going,” but about providing value to the firm’s core sports consumer.

“It’s about figuring out…a price that isn’t going to eliminate a huge amount of people for the value that’s delivered,” he said. “We took it to the consumers and asked what they thought. The price we landed on is around 2000 points, and we think it’s a great price.”

The service is available for Australia, Europe, North America and New Zealand on Xbox 360, and on PS3 in North America.

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16 Comments

  1. someguy2

    I honestly think EA has returned to being the most evil publisher.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Phoenixblight

    Yes because having a sub that you can ignore definitely makes EA evil. This is one franchise that could utilize a subscription.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Johnny Cullen

    All the Madden and FIFA nuts are going to want this, just for the early access. Bet on it.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. LOLshock94

    thank god it was ea sport games only

    #4 3 years ago
  5. DSB

    More making money off of nothing.

    @3 Most likely the reason you’re seeing this is because there are fewer and fewer Madden nuts. They’re basically going to have to overhaul the franchise at this point. The way they’ve run that into the ground makes Call of Duty look like an indie game.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. someguy2

    @2 Yet when Activision launches a subscription based service that you don’t have to pay for people call them evil. I forgot that for some reason people love EA.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. viralshag

    @6, People are only trying to hate on EA at the moment because of the the whole Steam thing. What have they done recently that actually makes them evil?

    As far as I can see, what they have been doing over other publishers is actually releasing some decent games.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. AHA-Lambda

    so ur paying a subscription to get a 3 day early demo? (lets face it thats what it is when it times out upon release).
    all the other crap is worthless anyway =/

    #8 3 years ago
  9. DSB

    Evil is for comic book villains. I just think they’re irresponsible and sloppy.

    Instead of increasing their profits by investing in good games, or building a more efficient company, EA invests in trying to gobble up the margins online, which are far more reasonable than they ever would be in a brick and mortar store, even if you sold an online pass with every copy. It’s just a kind of unneccesary grab that seems to be business as usual for games publishers, possibly playing on the naivety of their customers.

    Perhaps the funniest thing is that people actually thought EA cared for a while. I think the sad fact is that most gamers just don’t care to look behind the spin or the misleading headlines, to figure out just who they’re dealing with.

    It’s not that they’re better or worse than anyone else, it’s just that they’re the first to introduce some measures that aren’t going to serve our interests very well. It might as well be Activision or Ubisoft, but in this case it’s EA leading the charge.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. viralshag

    @9,

    “Perhaps the funniest thing is that people actually thought EA cared for a while. I think the sad fact is that most gamers just don’t care to look behind the spin or the misleading headlines, to figure out just who they’re dealing with.”

    I think I understand what you’re trying to say but I personally don’t agree. I think you’re somewhat in the right with regards to gamers not caring who they’re dealing with but you could apply this to all sorts of consumers in all sorts of industries. Some businesses are better with their customers, some are better with their shareholders and some, like I think EA is, is pretty good to both.

    A lot of the time the “spin” is put on the stories by the media and gamers themselves when a lot of the time, the decisions being made are really just business based decisions. Gamers just tend to take every slight move made by companies as some sort of personal insult. And what is really sad, is that the “spin” is usually what gets the page clicks over looking at things sensibly and practically.

    And again, what measures have they introduced that isn’t good for gamers? I mean, I have been buying a lot of EA games over the years on all the different platforms and I haven’t come across anything that stands out as a problem for me, as a gamer or a consumer.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. SplatteredHouse

    @8: it definitely reads that way. No matter, it’s still a risible deal.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. DSB

    @10 The worst thing is really the total lack of restraint – The game has changed from earning what you get, to simply grabbing something extra off the sales you already make. Instead of settling for 15 dollars at a brick and mortar, they introduce a measure to gain 10 dollars off of every resale, independent of any loss of value, thus effectively sneaking in a 66% additional profit, for no extra value, on a sale that they probably never stood a chance at getting in the first place. Why settle for 100% of a sale, when you can have 166%?

    Then you have something like the digital market, rendering more than twice as much as every brick and mortar sale, but that isn’t enough for EA either. They want 100%, not 70%, in spite of already gaining twice as much on every sale, than they ever have in the history of the company.

    More than likely, it’s going to start a race to be the one with the most 100% sales on their earnings reports, leading to more clients, greater inconvenience, and who knows what else as a casualty of a potential client-war.

    Technically, Sony and Microsoft are in competition. On paper, that’s great for us, but I still can’t play Uncharted on my 360, or Halo on my PS3. Is that worth the lower price on consoles? I don’t think so, because it lessens the actual value of each.

    To me that’s a fundamental shift, when companies move from selling something that has actual value, to either simply selling less for more, or selling nothing for something. That’s where the dragon goes from eating what’s in front of it, to eating its own tail, in my opinion.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. viralshag

    @12, With regards to the $10 code, what exactly is wrong with that? I don’t see anything wrong with it being a deterrent to push people towards buying games new. If you’re going to play the game you should support the company behind it. If there is such a problem with companies making money for doing very little, we as gamers should really be completely boycotting the brick and mortar stores who more than make their fair share of profit.

    “But does it feel good when I have to switch between clients to play my games, while not saving myself a penny in doing so?”

    All the prices I can see on Origin as of right now, match that of Steam. Where would you have saved the money off a new full price game? All the new games I see available on the digital download services are pretty much the same.

    “To me that’s a fundamental shift, when companies move from selling something that has actual value, to either simply selling less for more, or nothing for something.”

    In a sense you have described what Steam, and other digital distributors are. Technically, we don’t own what we buy from Steam and that’s laid out clear in the user agreement. Why don’t we pull them up and point fingers at them? And as unlikely as it is, if Steam went down indefinitely, it seems like they wouldn’t guarantee we would have access to the games purchased.

    Answer me this, if I didn’t want to use Steam or I didn’t like it but I wanted to get a digital copy of Team Fortress 2 or Portal 2, where can I buy it?

    Now tell me how this differs from SWTOR or BF3 being exclusive to Origin? And tell me how Steam and Valve have not benefitted from having some of the most popular PC games exclusively to their client? I think it’s rich for people to point the finger at EA for decided to make certain things exclusive to Origin. That’s pretty much exactly what Valve has done with their own very popular games to get Steam onto PCs.

    I can understand why people are annoyed and yes, I do think they have a right to be. But it is just business and a calculated risk by EA, if Origin doesn’t pay off you will probably see them shift focus back to Steam.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. DSB

    To go paragraph for paragraph:

    1. You’re free to accept anything you want from a company. I can’t change the way you feel about that sort of thing, nor would I.

    For me personally, I think a significant line is crossed once you start charging something for nothing. It’s simply inflating the market, rather than expanding it, which has lead to more than a few disasters in the all too recent past.

    2. I wasn’t bitching about the price itself. I was simply pointing out the fact that as a Steam user (50-70% of digital customers) I’m being inconvenienced, while not reaping any kind of benefit, from any sort of competition, in spite of EA gaining 30% on every sale they make.

    That’s completely leaving out the fact that EA has resorted to monopolizing their DLC, ensuring that independent retailers have no chance of competing amongst themselves on price. That’s good for EA, not for me. They’re not the first, nor the last to do it, though.

    3. You’re describing terms that apply for any game, and have nothing to do with what I’m talking about. Steam provides games under the same terms as everybody else. As EA have shown, online components can be shut down at their discretion, usually coinciding with the launch of another yearly iterated sportsgame.

    A licence isn’t ownership in the literal sense, but it is a core product, offering basic value for money. I don’t recall Steam ever inventing an extra charge on anything they sell. The community is free, with all of its integrated features from gaming news and hardware surveys, to video sharing. No passes, no subs, just core products.

    If we’re talking about DLC, then Valve is no better, which is why I’m saying that EA is no better or worse than anyone else, they’re simply the first to come up with the most recent excuse to charge something for nothing.

    The answer to your question: Valve and Stardock are just as ethically wrong to keep their titles off of competing services – With the huge distinction that neither are essentially publishers. You can always argue whether they’re just small time ones at that – But the result is the same. Their keeping their own titles inhouse means absolutely nothing for the market as a whole. EA leveraging a giant catalogue while aggressively trying to manipulate the marketshare is a far more serious move with a far greater impact.

    There’s a difference between a sedan and a big rig, that’s why most countries regulate the two differently.

    Ultimately though, it just means even more inconvenience for me. I could go to Impulse or D2D to buy my EA titles, but there’s a reason why those services haven’t fared better – They simply aren’t as good.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. GrimRita

    And then 12 months after release, EA will probably shut the servers down. A bargain for $10 – NOT! lol

    #15 3 years ago
  16. OlderGamer

    No good way to spin this.

    Right now we are seeing step one. I looked at it on xb360 and it was free to download. They even have it listed as a new game on games on demand. Of course thats not what it is, and not what they want it to become.

    If this service allowed gamers to download update versions of the game(provided they already owned a version and subscribed to the service) then we would be headed in the right direction. But that isn’t what EA wants.

    This is justa piece that will fit into Origins later on. This is a platform and Origins will be the launching pad. Wait for it. You won’t need an Online Pass if your a paying subscriber. Your games won’t work on PC/PS3/WiiU unless you subscribe, xbox games might work thro a deal with MS and their Gold service.

    I have a feeling that EA is just leading the pack on this one. Acti/Ubi and others will soon follow.

    Its going to eventualy end up in a streaming game subscription that allows you to play your purchased games from various pieces of hardware. Cutting out traditional consoles and replacing them with stuff like a publisher based Onlive service. If you want EA games you will need to sub to EAs service. Same for other pubs.

    Stuff like this is scary for gamers. I say don’t sub, don’t even sign up for the “free stuff” as they are most likly trojon horses anyways. When was the last time a game pub did anything that was for gamers and not directly related to increasing profits? Trust me this EA Season thingie is aimed at testing the waters for more sinister stuff later on.

    #16 3 years ago

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