Did you think EA's Online Pass was the only way the company was going to take more features away from the game you paid $60 for, only to make you pay extra for those same features? Well Xbox and PlayStation gamers, it seems that EA has been chatting with GameStop on how to create a false sense of value in new (and sometimes, new to this year) products and ideas as this week, they have introduced the EA Sports Season Ticket, which EA says is "Early. More. Better."
What exactly is EA Season Ticket? Well, to some, it may seem like a way to get discounts on DLC and play their games earlier than public release date. However, we will discuss all that it entails after the break.
First, let's talk about how much Season Ticket is going to cost you and what it provides. For $25 a year (or 2,000 Microsoft Points), you get a the following:
•Early Release of all participating titles 3-days before they go on sale at retailers. The Early Release version times out when the game goes on sale at retailers. You will need to purchase the game at retail to continue playing. All of the achievements and progress earned during Early Release follow you to your retail version of the game, including Ultimate Team coin earned.
•20% discount on all paid downloadable content for all participating titles -- includes Ultimate Team paid downloadable content. The discount is available on all titles released after August 29, 2011.
•Premium web content for free, starting with premium packs of FIFA Creation Center.
•Membership recognition badge appears in-game to identify you as Season Ticket member, and next to your EASPORTS.com web profile.
Essentially, you are getting a three day exclusive play of FIFA, Madden, NHL, NCAA Football and Tiger Woods for $25 a year. Don't play all of the games? You'll still have to pay the $25 and you'll still have to buy the games you want to play after the three day period is over.
Peter Moore, EA Sports President, said this about their latest campaign:
EA Sports Season Ticket is an exciting program for our core fans—it lets our biggest fans play earlier, play more and play better than anyone else. EA Sports Season Ticket is an important step in our vision for transforming how deeply fans connect with the sports games they love through digital products and services. We're excited to continue evolving EA Sports Season Ticket as we listen to what consumers want most in their gaming experiences.
The best part about this is that GameStop has teamed up with EA to deliver this new product, on top of the console sales of the Season Ticket. So three days before your copy of Madden comes out, you can pop into a GameStop to buy this digital subscription along with any other DLC you might be afraid to sit at home and pay for.
The question here though is will people buy it? If you are thinking that you'll be "the first to have it," you may be right; however if you're wanting to play the game online with friends, chances are not everyone is going to fork up the cash for the one or two titles on the list that they play. The other part of this is the discount on the DLC is on mostly things that were once included in the EA Sports titles, but have been removed, forcing you to pay for them. For some people, that may seem to be alright, but for the hardcore gamers that remember the franchises as they once were, this is a frustrating thing that I don't think many gamers are going to forgive. The last thing I'd like to point out is that some of the Premium Web Content that EA is promoting is stuff that you could buy seperately without the Season Ticket for less than the cost of the product.
So are early games for 3 days worth the $25 a year? Do you play all the five titles to make it worthwhile? Does having to go physically buy the game afterwards deter you from the Season Ticket? We want to know in the comments section.