The newly launched Premium service for Battlefield 3 is just the beginning for publisher Electronic Arts and the company wants to now make top-level subscription elements a central part of a number of other franchises.
Frank Gibeau, the leader of the EA Games label, has told Game Industry International that, “We had EA Sports subscription before Elite came out, so adding that component to the design is not a reaction.”
The executive is replying to the widely held idea that Premium
was only introduced because Electronic Arts has seen the success of the Elite initiative that Activision has introduced for Call of Duty.
Gibeau admits that EA should have launched Premium sooner, but he also believes that there’s no actual shame on copying a rival when he is doing something right.
He confesses, “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.”
Gibeau has not named the franchises that would benefit from subscription-driven services, but the core EA line-up includes sports titles like FIFA and Madden NFL, the racing series Need for Speed and the shooter Medal of Honor.
Those players who get Premium for Battlefield 3 will be able to get more content for their game earlier and DICE is working to deliver 4 DLC packages for the shooter during 2012.
At the moment, more than 800,000 gamers
are signed up for Premium.
Activision also has big plans for its own Call of Duty based Elite, which will get a new version during the fall, when Black Ops II is released.
The service comes with a focus on media content that is not present in the Premium incarnation from Electronic Arts.