When normal people think of 2012, the end of the world, they think of a deteriorating global economy, comets crashing into earth, tectonic plates shifting and devastating tsunamis. When gamers think of 2012, they think of subscription based services.
Well, not really. But many gamers do view these “services” as ways to simply milk a franchise dry. Whether you like it or not, it does make publishers money and EA is no different. That’s why a subscription based service for DICE’s Battlefield 3 might be more probable than you think.
Recently, VentureBeat asked Head of EA Games Label Patrick Soderlund this simple question: “Do you think you’ll eventually get to a subscription type of model? And do you also think you’re going to take down Call of Duty?” Soderlund admitted, “I think it’s fair to say that we’re looking at that. Like all other companies, we’re looking at how we can maximize our investment in this and get the most out of our investment and get more people playing this product. That may take us to different places, but we’re not really talking about where that is yet.”
At a later point in the interview, Soderlund explained that “EA sees Battlefield as ‘a 24/7 service.’ We have people… that are on this every single hour of every single day. 365 days a year.”
Soderlund had a more humble approach to the latter part of the question: “When it comes to taking Call of Duty down, you know what? I don’t look at it like that. We are in this business because we want to make the best possible products. Call of Duty is a shooter, but it’s a different shooter. And I think they have a market; we have a market. I’m fine with what I’m doing. I’m going to continue innovating and doing as best as I can with my teams. Hopefully that’s going to lead us to more units [sold] and more happy consumers.”
Do you think Battlefield 3 fans will be seeing a subscription based service for their favorite game in the near future? What services do you think EA could provide? Chances are it might have something to do with the Battlelog as DICE Executive Producer Patrick Bach recently spoke to PCGamer about its success and its future.
“We honestly believe this is the right way forward,” stated Bach. The Battlelog, a different approach to server browsing, wasn’t welcomed all that warmly in the beginning. However, he explains that “when people got used to [server browsing], they stopped talking about it and it just went quiet. The people who started really really aggressive started to fade. Either they don’t bother complaining anymore, or they just accepted it.”
Most likely, DICE will be sticking to this system for future titles, or at least a variation of it. Perhaps this could somehow tie in with subscription based services, much like Call of Duty’s Elite service?
Leave your thoughts in the comments below? Yay or nay to subscription based services? Do you believe they add value to a game, or are they just a way to run gamers’ wallets dry?