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EA’s going to further monetise its games

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EA recently went and released Battlefield Premium – a pay-for service that gives the most ardent Battlefield players a ton of content – as well as a few other perks – for a monthly fee. For £39.99, R399, $49.99 on PS3/PC or 4000 Microsoft Points on Xbox 360, Battlefield Premium offers various in-game perks and access to all of Battlefield 3’s DLC content. Expect more of that for other EA games.

“We are very pleased with the performance so far,” said EA’s Patrick Soderlund to USA Today – patting himself on the back for the 800 000 premium subscribers Battlefield 3 has attained.  “We’re actually only two weeks into it, so it’s a little early to tell how this is going to pay off. It certainly it looks very promising right now.” Promising indeed; that’s an extra $40 million in EA’s pocket.

It means, in all likelihood, that EA will be keen to apply that model to more of its games – echoing statements made by EA’s Frank Gibeau.

“We had EA Sports subscription before Elite came out, so adding that component to the design is not a reaction,” he said to GI, discussing Premiums superiority over Call of Duty Elite.  “It’s something we’d always been considering and we had been looking at. We didn’t have it ready for launch and it took us some time to get it prepped. Having said that, they [Activision] did something really innovative and if your competitor does something innovative and you think it applies to what you can do, then there’s no harm in doing that. This is an industry where people have a lot of oneupsmanship and if somebody innovates, you match it or you exceed it.”

So yes – it’s probably prudent to expect the “premium” treatment applied to more EA games – meaning you’ll end up paying $110 for full games instead of just $60.

“We actually think our Premium service exceeds what Elite does – from a value standpoint, from a content standpoint, and longer term we think that we can bring more properties into that offering and that’ll be great for the business,” he said.

On the one hand, I do think that it offers pretty good value to real fans – and could help sustain the industry beyond next gen. On the other, it could just be a nasty way of releasing half a game and making extra money for it later.

Last Updated: July 2, 2012

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