THQ has announced a new downloadable content delivery system, called "Fan Axxess," for their upcoming WWE Smackdown! vs. Raw 2011. The DLC program, named after the fan convention that usually precedes the Wrestlemania pay-per-view event, promises to deliver premium content to fans.
For $9.99 on the PlayStation 3 or 800 Microsoft points on the Xbox 360, players will become members of the official Fan Axxess program. The program will allow members to access select downloadable content that will be released throughout the game's lifespan. Various wrestlers (past and current) as well as alternate ring attire, arenas, and a WWE Superstar Attribute Customizer will be available to members. Fan Axxess means owners of WWE Smackdown! vs. Raw 2011 will also be given instant access to all unlockable content and an in-game badge signifying membership in this program.
This Fan Axxess DLC delivery system seems similar to the Cerberus Network featured in Mass Effect 2. THQ is presenting this system as a discounted pre-payment for all future WWE Smackdown! vs. Raw 2011 content. However, purchasing the Fan Axxess program doesn't include the online pass, which those who buy the game used will have to pay for. The true value of Fan Axxess will depend on the quality and quantity of DLC made available. With that being said, THQ has already announced 2 downloadable content packs:
- WWE Legends British Bulldog and Lex Luger
- WWE Superstars Wade Barrett, David Otunga and Justin Gabriel
- WWE Diva Layla
- Alternate ring gear for WWE Superstars Shawn Michaels and Shad
- A playable WWE NXT arena
The second download pack, scheduled for early 2011 (240 MS Points/ $2.99 PSN without Fan Axxess) includes:
- Alternate ring gear for WWE Superstars John Cena, Undertaker and CM Punk
- A playable WCW arena
The Superstar Attribute Customizer and the instant access to all unlockable content will cost 80 MS ($.99) each, outside of Fan Axxess. THQ has said that Fan Axxess members will be able to download "select content" through the program. It remains to be seen how much content will be covered by the one time fee and how much will be outside of the program.
Paying the one time fee for Fan Axxess is an investment. An investment I hope THQ makes worthwhile in the long run. The announced DLC, combined with the WWE Universe mode and improved gameplay and customization, has really got me excited to get my hands on this game. The largest roster in the franchise's history does have some names on it I won't recognize, but the sheer amount of content and possibility is staggering.
WWE Smackdown! vs. Raw 2011 will make its grand entrance October 26, 2010 on the Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, DS, and PSP.