It looks like Electronic Arts, more specifically their EA Sports brand, is once again pioneering a new type of digital content service with the release of EA Sports’ Season Ticket. Season Ticket is a new service that will allow sports fans to experience premium content for all of EA Sports’ marquee titles (Madden, FIFA, NHL, NCAA, and Tiger Woods PGA Tour) for a yearly fee.
That yearly fee ($24.99 or 2000 MS Points) entitles the Season Ticket holder to several things, including the chance to play all of these sports titles three days before their release. But this isn’t just a yearly fee that allows you to play the demos for FIFA 12 or Madden NFL 12; this entitles Season Ticket holders to a digital version of the full retail release, achievements and all. But then comes the most controversial part of the service.
After the three day “trial period” expires, and the retail title is available on store shelves, that digital early access version is no longer playable, and gamers are now forced to go out and purchase the retail version of the game — at the full retail price. So basically, Season Ticket can best be explained as a premium demo service, allowing gamers to experience all of the new iteration’s features, but for a price.
Of course that isn’t all gamers will be getting from EA Sports, that’s just the feature that is sure to secure the most subscriptions. Also packaged in with a Season Ticket subscription is a discounted rate for DLC like Ultimate Team packs, accelerator packs, and gear upgrades; free premium web content like the expanded Creation Center for FIFA 12, and enhanced member recognition for Season Ticket holders both online and on EASports.com. All little flourishes added to the service to make sure gamers feel like they’re getting their money’s worth.
But is Season Ticket a service worth subscribing to? Sure, it offers early/discounted access to several of EA Sports’ premium content, but does it offer enough to warrant another yearly fee? Sound off in the comments below; let us know if Season Ticket is a service for you.
EA Sports‘ Season Ticket is available now for the PS3 and Xbox 360.