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EA Sports courting hardcore fans with premium Season Ticket service

EA Sports has kicked off an annual subscription service offering die-hard PS3 and Xbox 360 sports fans early access, extra perks and future DLC discounts for its yearly franchises.

Entitled Season Ticket, the program is available now through PSN, Xbox Live Marketplace, and at GameStop for US$24.99 (2000 MPs). Perks of becoming a subscriber include the ability to play full versions of EA Sports's biggest releases three days before non-members via an exclusive download, after which any progress can be transferred to a physical copy purchased on or after the official launch day. Members will also receive a 20 percent discount on all digital add-ons for EA Sports titles, free premium web content, and a spiffy profile badge identifying them as a card carrying Season Ticket holder.

"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," said Peter Moore, President, EA Sports in today's launch statement, adding, "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."

Aware that a premium service such as Season Ticket may ruffle some feathers in the virtual athletic community, Moore assured Kotaku that it won't take anything away from the core game experience, explaining, "This is aimed at a very particular consumer, and it's not for everybody, and it does not affect the normal business we have...It's a layer on top of the experience, for a particular consumer."

"We are not stripping anything out of our games and selling it back to you," he added.

The first game to utilize EA Sports's new Season Ticket service will be Madden NFL 12, which will be available to members as a private download starting August 26th at 6pm - roughly three-and-a-half days before it is released for everyone else. Other EA franchises announced for the service include FIFA Socer, NHL Hockey, NCAA Football and Tiger Woods PGA Tour .

Two bucks a month for pre-launch play, web goodies and DLC deals? Sounds like a solid deal for the hardcore crowd, but with this and similar services like Call of Duty Elite starting to emerge, it's getting pricey to be a superfan.

Aug 2, 2011

Source: EA Season Ticket 

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6 comments

  • Spybreak8 - August 7, 2011 8:43 p.m.

    Early access, 3 days, wow lol.
  • RedOutlive10 - August 5, 2011 5:24 a.m.

    Honestly, trying to pass your games as a "service" is ridiculous. I'm sorry but they're products just like a DVD movie or whatever else. You're just trying to milk your consumers with your bullshit.
  • persianxxblood - August 3, 2011 6:52 a.m.

    its not a bad idea and makes it easy as to what to get my brother for his birthday i mean he was super happy when he got NCAA Football this year in the mail from amazon. He will be so happy to play madden 3 and half days earlier plus its a cheap and easy birthday present!
  • godisanarc - August 2, 2011 9:45 p.m.

    The second I heard about this this morning, I bought it. It's going to make EA a ton of money, 3 full days of a game, and since I buy half of these every year, I may decide to buy the rest of them because of the 3 day trial, smart move EA.
  • JohnnySpazwhacker - August 2, 2011 7:15 p.m.

    The only one of those games I buy every year is FIFA. I picked up the 09 versions of NHL and Tiger second hand and I still play them from time to time, but not enough to justify buying the latest one anytime soon. Surely it's a very small subset of fans who buy FIFA, Tiger, NHL and two American Football games each year, especially in Europe. Unless you're interested in all 5 games it doesn't really add up to value I don't think.
  • ParagonT - August 2, 2011 7:07 p.m.

    The time a corporation has to "assure" consumers, is the time that they know they're about to step on the communities toes. They have already cornered the market for the NFL rosters, but they're getting more and more greedy. Then again, if idiots will buy this garbage, let the idiots pay for a low class service. ALthough they're just apart of the problem that's making these corporations jump on these ban-wagons. These franchises are already come of the most re-hashed series in the world. No competition, no drive to bring more potential. As "fun" as these games/services may be, sometimes you must put your principles as a gamer forth and stop being a impulsive child for the good of the industry.

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