Electronic Arts is looking
into the possibility of augmenting key franchises such as Battlefield
or Medal of Honor with subscription services similar to Activision's
Call of Duty Elite. EA Games label head Patrick Soderlund
confirmed the possibility in an interview with Venturebeat, saying his work launching Battlefield 3 paved the way for the launch
of Star Wars: The Old Republic. He adds that the latter's live-supported,
team-integrated launch “forever changed things for us.”
While BF3 launched with the free stat-tracking service Battlelog, Soderlund says the company's undergone “a mental switch”
after launching BF3 and ToR back-to-back. He says the company now sees its work on
properties like Battlefield as “a 24/7 service. We have people...
that are on this every single hour of every single day. 365 days a
year.” Now the company's viewing A-list properties like Battlefield
and Medal of Honor – not to mention Need for Speed, Dead Space and
the like – as constant services.
Is subscription-play the
next logical step? “I think it’s fair to say that we’re looking
at that,” says Sunderland: “Like all other companies, we’re
looking at how we can maximize our investment in this and... get more
people playing this product.” Sunderland's fellow label, EA Sports,
last year introduced a Season Ticket program as the company's first
foray into subscription gaming; Battlefield 3 is soon to get its second big DLC update, the Close Quarters pack, our preview of which you can read here.