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EA Sports Debuts Premium Pass - Moving Toward Subscriptions?

simoniker posted about 10 years ago | from the premium-content dept.

PlayStation (Games) 29

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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That seems awful complicated (2, Funny)

spezz (150943) | about 10 years ago | (#9895061)

Where do I put in my quarter?

Re:That seems awful complicated (1)

daeley (126313) | about 10 years ago | (#9899426)

Where do I put in my quarter?

You don't want to know.

I don't play EA Sports games online... (4, Insightful)

DeepHurtn! (773713) | about 10 years ago | (#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.

ESPN NFL 2K5 here I come... (4, Insightful)

Senjutsu (614542) | about 10 years ago | (#9895221)

Cheaper, smoother gameplay, no EA bullshit.

Re:I don't play EA Sports games online... (3, Funny)

Incoherent07 (695470) | about 10 years ago | (#9895340)

Yeah. Could you imagine the outcry if all you had to do to get ahead in your MMORPG of choice is go on EBay and buy a better character?

No... wait...

Re:I don't play EA Sports games online... (2, Insightful)

smcn (87571) | about 10 years ago | (#9897532)

Well the difference is that it's the company itself that is offering it...

D'oh! [uo.com]

And guess what? UO is owned by EA too!

Re:I don't play EA Sports games online... (4, Insightful)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | about 10 years ago | (#9896992)

Have to agree, EA are saying "You can act like an asshole, quit games etc... But give us $20 and we'll make you look like a wonderful person despite the fact you're a shit."

EA said they were going to do this two years ago.

What amuses the piss out of me is they charge, AND THEN RAM DODGE ADVERTS DOWN YOUR THROAT!

Anyone who pays for this... I have a nice bridge I can sell you in London... And how about some of this lovely swamp land I have?

Re:I don't play EA Sports games online... (1)

Nukenbar2 (591848) | about 10 years ago | (#9900420)

Have you never hear the old tale about if you charge someone $5 for a puppy instead of giving it to them they will treat it better.

There is just something about spending money on something that makes people act better. While $20 is more than a nominal charge, it will definitely make people be more careful with their disconnects and whatever else.

Re:I don't play EA Sports games online... (1)

AuMatar (183847) | about 10 years ago | (#9902471)

Having played plenty of MMOs- it doesn't work. The assholes just don't give a shit.

Re:I don't play EA Sports games online... (1)

Frizzle Fry (149026) | about 10 years ago | (#9905795)

I think that making people pay for a subscription to a sports game that gets updated makes a lot more sense than making them pay full price again every year for updated players and stats and bugfixes. Of course, they are trying to do both, which just sucks.

Bah (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | about 10 years ago | (#9895218)

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.

Re:Bah (3, Insightful)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | about 10 years ago | (#9897000)

You're mistaken. Useless features AND Dodge commercials. A company with a logo like a vagina. [columbia.edu]

Re:Bah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9898934)

A company with a logo like a vagina.

A what?

Yeah ok (1)

Mr804 (12397) | about 10 years ago | (#9895293)

this sounds like a great deal to me! uh, what is it I'm buying?!

wait and see (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9895334)

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... (3, Insightful)

xgamer04 (248962) | about 10 years ago | (#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... (5, Interesting)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | about 10 years ago | (#9897013)

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.

Re:Wait a minute... (1)

Frizzle Fry (149026) | about 10 years ago | (#9905778)

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.

Re:Wait a minute... (1)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | about 10 years ago | (#9907378)

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.

Re:Wait a minute... (1)

Frizzle Fry (149026) | about 10 years ago | (#9914029)

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).

Re:Wait a minute... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9900018)

Funny to compare how Electronic Arts became what they are today throught buyouts:

- Criterion Software (2004/07) Burnout, RenderWare
- NuFX (2004/02) NBA Street
- Studio 33 (2003/10) Formula One
- Black Box Games (2002/06) Need For Speed
- Pogo Corporation/TEN (2001/02) Pogo.gom
- DreamWorks Interactive (2000/02) Medal of Honor
- Kesmai Corp (1999/11) Legends of Kesmai
- Westwood Studios (1998/08) Command and Conquer
- ABC Software AG (1998/07)
- Tiburon Entertainment Inc. (1998/04) Madden NFL(TM) Football, NCAA® Football, NASCAR Thunder(TM)
- Maxis 1997/06 Sim City, The Sims
- VisionSoft (1996/04)
- New World Computing (1996) Might and Magic
- Bullfrog (1995) Populous, Syndicate, Dungeon Keeper, Theme Park
- Origin Systems (1992) Ultima
- Distinctive Software (199*) which became EA Canada
- Kingsoft (199*)
- Batteries Included (1987)

... and how Microsoft Gaming Studios has been emulating them with the same strategy. Or is it the opposite? :

- Rareware (2002/09)
- Ensemble Studios (2001/05) "Age Of..." series
- Digital Anvil (2000/12) Freelancer, Starlancer, ...
- Bungie Software (2000/06) Halo
- Fasa Interactive (1999/01) Mechwarrior series
- NetGames (?) MSN Games Zone
- Electric Gravity (?) MSN Games Zone
- Access Software (?)
- Big Huge Games (?) Rise of Nations
- BAO (?) Flight Simulator series

Disclaimer:It's been a while since I played Madden (-1, Offtopic)

Syncdata (596941) | about 10 years ago | (#9895502)

Madden University: More Madden online tips and hints than players knew existed can be found here... Madden University will be updated weekly with the latest online strategies and host various columns from well known community luminaries.

The Importance of Going long
By John Johnson, Madden U. luminary

First and ten. 3rd and long. 2nd and short. What do these seemingly different situations share in common? The quarterback always gets the ball before anyone else. Why hand off to the running back for another tedious 4 downs, when you can bomb to the endzone on first and ten from the 20, right after the kickoff?
Go long. Remember, if you've got a 25% chance to complete the pass, and you've got four downs, why bother with minutae?

This has been yet another "Hard-core" strategy, that you just can't find on the Gamefaqs message board.

Lunch money (4, Funny)

eingram (633624) | about 10 years ago | (#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?

Re:Lunch money (2, Informative)

Atog006 (740287) | about 10 years ago | (#9895870)

Does this fit?

http://www.penny-arcade.com/images/2001/20010606 l. gif

Yes, yes it does.

Not Fair (5, Interesting)

thebdj (768618) | about 10 years ago | (#9896064)

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 (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9896175)

I believe EA actually had a similar deal with Madden 2004 on PC, although you got a "free" year of online play with it...

Re:Not Fair (1)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | about 10 years ago | (#9897018)

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.

Re:Not Fair (1)

RogueyWon (735973) | about 10 years ago | (#9901158)

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.
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