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EA Sports Debuts Premium Pass - Moving Toward Subscriptions? 29

Posted by simoniker
from the premium-content dept.
Thanks to GameInformer for its story discussing EA Sports' announcement of a new Premium Pass service for Madden NFL 2005 players. Although it's explained that "This package of paid subscription-level features will be available [on the PS2 and Xbox Live] at no cost to Madden NFL 2005 owners, as long as the user enters their credit card number, by way of sponsorship by Dodge", there's some speculation that subsequent Madden seasons will include a higher-tier, optional fee, especially as "If you do not have a credit card, you can still sign up for the EA Sports Premium Pass with a PayPal account, or Telecheck for $19.95." In the meantime, this extra service means: "Players who sign up for the EA Sports Premium Pass receive a boost to their online Reputation Rating, which is a publicly visible indicator that rewards and penalizes players for following EA Sports Fair Play rules", as well as receiving: "Name in lights... personalized career pages... members only medals [and forthcoming] Web leagues [and] enhanced Web tournaments." Update: 08/06 17:47 GMT by S : Game Informer now has an interview with EA's Chip Lange which helps clarify the subscription-related shenanigans.
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EA Sports Debuts Premium Pass - Moving Toward Subscriptions?

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  • by spezz (150943) on Thursday August 05, 2004 @07:48PM (#9895061)
    Where do I put in my quarter?

  • by DeepHurtn! (773713) on Thursday August 05, 2004 @07:59PM (#9895144)
    ...but doesn't:

    Players who sign up for the EA Sports Premium Pass receive a boost to their online Reputation Rating, which is a publicly visible indicator that rewards and penalizes players for following EA Sports Fair Play rules

    ...sound fishy to you? What value does that Reputation Rating really have as an indicator of someone's reputation if you can just buy an increase?

    Just another way to try and lock you into the EA lifestyle, like the cruddy EA Bio.

  • So correct me if I'm wrong...but this seems like they are offering you a smattering of new and utterly useless features, for 20 bucks a month. It was hard to tell though as the story blurb was kind of hard to decipher. Perhaps someone can give some clarification as to why ANYBODY would do this.

  • wait and see (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    wait till you go buy c&c generals 2 and find out you have to pay to play online

    "EA games, own everything"
  • Wait a minute... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by xgamer04 (248962) <xgamer04@yaGIRAF ... minus herbivore> on Thursday August 05, 2004 @08:42PM (#9895482)
    EA is becoming the Microsoft of game publishers. A console almost dies if they don't get EA games. This is definitely a Bad Thing (tm).
    • Re:Wait a minute... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Goldberg's Pants (139800) on Friday August 06, 2004 @01:42AM (#9897013) Journal
      What do you mean becoming?

      Dreamcast: EA never touched it, died a death.

      Of course, it didn't help that Microsoft allegedly paid them off to not release Shenmue 2 in the US market. Valve were also allegedly paid to can Half Life for the DC too. (Heard both allegations from people involved in development.)

      EA are evil. They represent everything wrong with the gaming industry. If this plan succeeds, which it will because people are sheep, you just wait... EA have opened the floodgate.

      Mark my words folks. This could very well the end of free online gaming as we know it. A class system is being created with this plan of EA's. Not content with fucking people with updated rosters and a couple of new features every year, and charging top dollar for it, they now want you to pay all year round.

      EA aren't becoming the Microsoft of games publishers. They already ARE.
      • Of course, it didn't help that Microsoft allegedly paid them off to not release Shenmue 2 in the US market.

        "Allegedly paid them off"?! You make it sound like this is some shady bribe. Microsoft bought the exclusive rights to the game in the US for their console. This is done all the time. Similarly, Sony and Nintendo make exclusive deals for developers and/ or games for their console. It's the way the business goes.
        • Yes. A game which was still released on the Dreamcast in Europe and Japan. (The European version works just fine on a US DC. I have one.)

          With multi platform titles, I agree. That has often been the case. However, Shenmue 2 was NOT a multi platform title until Microsoft bought off Sega to NOT release what they saw as a killer app in the US market, instead saving it for their shitty XBox.
          • FWIW, I bought the European vesion to play on my American DC as well. In fact, it's the only thing I've ever bought on ebay (every web site that sells imported games had a huge waiting list for this one).
  • Lunch money (Score:5, Funny)

    by eingram (633624) on Thursday August 05, 2004 @08:54PM (#9895549)
    Football? Er? Is this like the EverQuest or Galaxies for those people who used to beat me up? Is that why they took my lunch money?
  • Not Fair (Score:5, Interesting)

    by thebdj (768618) on Thursday August 05, 2004 @10:25PM (#9896064) Journal
    This just isn't fair. The reason they are trying to do this is because people on XBox are already having to pay for XB Live and EA figures they should get into the act as well.

    The reason I bought a PS2 is because I could play the games I liked, including EA games online for free. I guess I will just go back to the PC versions of the games which typically play faster, load faster and look better then they do on my PS2.
    • Re:Not Fair (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I believe EA actually had a similar deal with Madden 2004 on PC, although you got a "free" year of online play with it...
      • Should read the small print of EA's titles. Anything in the license about free servers is only guaranteed for, at best, a year. The last Need for Speed game, the small print said they'd only guarantee the service for a year.

        Valve, now EA... Free gaming is an endangered species.
    • In fairness to X-Box Live, the fees are pretty miniscule (30 quid a year here in the UK) and the quality of service is generally excellent, far eclipsing the quality of the PS2's online offerings (aside from FFXI, which is a slightly odd case).

      What *will* annoy me is if I have to pay to play EA games online on the X-Box on top of X-Box Live.
  • Well... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Lisandro (799651) on Friday August 06, 2004 @03:42PM (#9902302)
    ...good thing that EA games suck. Otherwise i might've been worried!

    As usual, Penny Arcade once captured my griefs with EA quite well (http://www.penny-arcade.com/view.php3?date=2004-0 2-09&res=l [penny-arcade.com]).

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