It depends on the pricing model. Paying a subscription fee that covers everything could actually be an alright idea, depending upon how much it was. FIFA sells well on a yearly basis, replacing £40 game purchases with a similarly priced subscriptions service would make little difference, and allow for easy updates.
But the difficulty comes with balance. Subscriptions means contractual trust. You know exactly what you're getting with a boxed game shipped with an RRP. Even the Online Pass is a relatively straightforward system. The only way subscriptions will work is if EA can convince a highly sceptical community that it's worthwhile and consistent. I will happily pay a subscription for what I believe to be a worthwhile service. Millions of gamers already do with Xbox LIVE. But, in that one case, Microsoft have a proven track record of delivering a very capable online service and, thankfully, they haven't messed around with its basics too much.
The negative war against pre-owned gaming - and by negative I mean punishing second-hand buyers rather than rewarding those who buy new - has not gone down well. DLC is still a very thorny issue. Outside of platform holders, at the moment that trust is pretty much non-existent, hence the synonymity of 'subscriptions' with 'robbery'.
"contractual trust"...this is EA we're talking about.
In all seriousness: if the combined cost of the game and annual subscription is less than £40, then "maybe."
Otherwise, I think the word you're looking for, Matt, is "No."
Isn't it sort of a £40 annual subscription already - since they release a "new" game each year which is basically a patch with minor updates rather than a whole new game? It amazes me that people pay £40 for the "new version" when its marginally different to the last game. EA probably realise there's only so many changes you can make to a football game, so a subscription would be easier than having to pretend each year that you have a brand "new" game!
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