With EA doing everything in their power to propel their flagship shooter Battlefield 3 ahead of Activision’s hotly selling Call of Duty series, many believed that the first hints of ‘Battlefield Premium’ signaled an impending paid-for subscription service in the vein of Call of Duty Elite.
For a company that chided Activision about the model when it came to touting their own online Battlelog component, a similar service now would be a prime retrospective example of the pot calling the kettle black. A few weeks and a few more opinions later, however, the picture that’s forming of Battlefield Premium paints it more as a one-time, “season pass” purchase than the Elite-style annual membership.
Though EA has yet to comment on Premium, the publisher is expected to announce the package at their June 4th E3 press conference. In the meantime, MP1st cites sources (whom they claim were Premium’s original ousters) that have compiled a list of what to expect, revealing the mysterious 5th DLC pack as Battlefield: Aftermath in the process.
According to the report, a $60 purchase of Battlefield Premium includes the following content spread out evenly over DLC packs Back to Karkand (already released), Close Quarters (releases June 2012), Armored Kill (Fall 2012), Aftermath (late 2012), and End Game (Spring 2013):
- 20 Maps
- 20 New Weapons
- 10+ New Vehicles
- 4+ New Game Modes
- 30+ Assignments
- 20+ Dog Tags
- “Premium Benefits,” which are made up of skins, camos, and early access to all DLC.
If the report is true, it would mean that Aftermath will replace End Game’s Winter ’12 spot and bump the conclusively-named DLC back to 2013. Coincidentally, Danish retailer coolshop has also listed Battlefield Premium on their website and – while differing on the existence of Aftermath – reveals a one-time purchase model:
BF3 Premium Service is 1 code in a box to give the consumers early access to the BF3 DLC expansion packs – Back to Karkand (already released), Close Quarters (releasing June), Armoured Kill (releasing Sept) and End Game (releasing December).
Unlike Call of Duty Elite, Premium doesn’t appear to transcend multiple games and require any renewal. Its offerings are hardly new, however – DLC early access would stand in for the EA Sports Season Ticket early access to NCAA Football, Madden, FIFA, NHL, and Tiger Woods: PGA Tour – and it does dangle the carrot of a cheaper composite price on DLC when you lock it in upfront (assuming each DLC is $15 like Karkand).
That said, truth in the rumored details would show how EA, pioneers of the contentious online pass, are continuing to pursue alternate methods of monetizing content. Considering the lucrative sales generated by Elite, positive fan reception of Premium could at least give the recently-struggling company something to
brag cheer about at the end of Battlefield 3′s life cycle.
Ranters, will you purchase Battlefield Premium in its proposed format? How keen are you on the idea of buying DLC before its even developed?
Follow me on Twitter @Brian_Sipple.