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VIDEO GAME, MOVIE AND TV NEWS

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