I’ve got no qualms paying for a service that I can wrap my head around. When I first looked at what Call of Duty Elite was offering, I didn’t really see the value. But when I was recently challenged on why I was so willing to crack out my credit card to purchase additional content for Battlefield 3, I found the logic a lot simpler.
I can’t speak on behalf of all PC gamers, but I’ve hit a point where I’ve accepted the reality that we’ll be paying for DLC that, in the past, was supplementary. In light of this confession, I have no problems paying for DLC that has no problems justifying its price tag—and, yes, I include Battlefield 3 Premium as an example of this. I’ve sunk dozens of hours into Battlefield 3 – Close Quarters, and the best news is that my $49.99 purchase still has a couple more substantial hits of content value to melee off any chance of buyer’s remorse.
And it seems that at least 800,000 other gamers are of a similar mindset as, according to USA Today, EA Games chief Patrick Soderlund announced that more than 800,000 Battlefield 3 owners have coughed up the cash for Premium. That’s at least $40-million in digital revenue; a number that’s no small amount, as EA Labels boss Frank Gibeau realised.
Speaking with GamesIndustry, Gibeau confirmed what many of us already suspected: that EA is looking at extending the ‘Premium’ philosophy to other games. He also managed to confirm this in the same sentence that he took a shot at Call of Duty. Check it out. “We actually think our Premium service exceeds what [Call of Duty] 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.”
Returning to my initial ranty paragraph, I have no problem with long-term worthwhile Premium models being applied to other EA franchises, as long as the value is immediately evident in the offering. There’s a big difference between releasing content post-launch that feels like it was deliberately withheld from the retail release to justify down-the-track purchases, and supporting your title months after launch with meaningful (and, let’s be honest, multiplayer-focused) stuff.
Where do you stand on EA’s Premium philosophy?