Yes...it's the 'S' word. Cue the hysteria.
EA Sports has launched an annual subscription service, the Season Ticket, as a supplement to their core franchises: FIFA, Madden NFL, NHL and Tiger Woods PGA Golf. Set at 2000 Microsoft Points (around £15-18 depending on how you play the exchange market), the programme looks set to provide four services to subscribers that will be applicable across all four franchises.
We've been talking to consumers in the U.S. 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. 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. - Peter Moore, President of EA Sports.
First of all comes early access. Season Ticket holders will be able to download and play the latest version of each EA Sports game three days before that game is released. Although the download will disappear on launch day, subscribers will be able to take any experience and achievements on to the full retail release should they invest.
The Season Ticket will also save subscribers 20% on all DLC, including Ultimate Team packs, other add-on trinkets, stat packs, live season updates and so on. There'll be premium web content thrown into the mix too for subscribers.
Finally, paying the subscription will give you a little virtual membership badge so folks will know that you're a Season Ticket holder.
'It's about figuring out...a price that isn't going to eliminate a huge amount of people for the value that's delivered,' continued Moore, talking to GamesIndustry.biz. '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.'
We know you want to get in on this one. Is this an attractive package? Will you be signing up?