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EA Planning a CoD: Elite Service for BF-series

May 14, 2012

If this rumor is indeed true, then GTFO EA. The BF-series will be dead to me even though I rarely play the current Battlefield as it is. BF3 just didn’t click for me, but it is resonating with many of the folks here (and that is a good thing).

I knew that Activision’s Elite offering was going to start yet another negative trend in MP-gaming. We applauded EA’s declaration that they wouldn’t be stooping to Activision’s levels when the CoD: Elite service was announced. Well, this may have all been for naught. I guess when the bottom line is million of dollars in revenue, it’s easy to renege on your previous promise.

  1. 3Suns permalink*
    May 15, 2012 12:21 am

    I find it interesting that just the other day, I was complimenting EA/DICE for their utter shrewdness in their accidental revenue discovery with the console rental servers. At the time, comparing it to CoD:Elite, I was thinking that it was a much more palatable way of extracting dollars from gamers. Someone has been paying for the “free” PC servers for years. Now, someone is paying for the servers for console gamers. That is fine. I am sure that the console gamer demand for rentals was a total surprise to those companies.

    Frenik complained that we really need official EA/DICE servers in addition to the rentals, and on Friday night, I didn’t think it was all that necessary. However, more gaming this weekend demonstrated to me that his criticisms were not unfounded. It is difficult to find a server with a variety of maps and, more importantly, with reasonable ticket numbers.

    If this rumor of a subscription “Elite” fee is true, I am sure that it was something they had thought about before the success of the rental servers. At $30 a month, the rental fees are no small fountain of revenue. Yet, instead of scrapping a subscription model because they “have enough money”, it looks like they think they might hope to have their cake and eat it too. With their dollars, gamers have told publishers that they can charge for anything including maps, weapon unlocks, and even virtual clothing and pets.

    I really enjoy Battlefield and it is the only game thus far that has been so extensively enjoyed by all of 4GN with each of us taking on such unique and complimentary roles in the virtual warzone. I have been saving points for the DLC. Hopefully this alternate revenue model will not interfere with those plans, either in upping the cost or in providing subscribers with an unfair advantage on the battlefield. Surely we have had enough of that with just the leveling nastiness introduced in BF3.

  2. May 15, 2012 6:01 am

    I like that Dice has “private” servers, but the problem is that demand has overtaken supply. As time goes on, I think we will see more and more servers going back to being strictly “Dice” as people eventually allow their rentals to expire. It does seem that most of the rented servers do have unusual map rotations, settings, ticket qty, rules. I mean does anyone really want to play Rush with 500% tickets?!

    Regardless, BF3 has been the biggest “bang for my buck” since Gears 1 and BC2.

    So looking forward to new maps. I can honestly say that I know them all now like the back of my hand.

  3. May 15, 2012 9:34 am

    I still don’t get the criticism agains COD: Elite. It’s a season pass like any other. You can cancel the auto-renewal at any time (or purchase it without a credit card at a store) and if you compare the $$$ amounts of separate DLC versus Elite, it’s $10 savings, assuming they split the content 4 ways, if it’s 5 it’s even more money saved. It’s entirely optional, you can get the content in chunks the old way if you so please.

    The only reason EA is contemplating this membership or pass, is to have the fans pay upfront, like all the other games.

    Which if you are already sold on the series, it ends up saving you money in all the DLC. If you are not sold on the series, then you are not going to care either way of all the collectibles, etc.

    The only time a move like that stinks is when they sell you a season pass item, like the Horde Pack, that’s essentially already in the game. Or like BC2 making it seem like they supported the game periodically with stuff that was already in the disc.

    but again the COD: Elite criticism is null in my opinion because the maps so far have been great, some even better than the best already included in the 16 other maps, and just like Gears, they can be used in the survival modes.

    As for BF3, I am ok with it, as long as they don’t shut down the BC2 servers. I have been meaning to go back to it at some point, because I just like the maps better on that game, and the game in general the way it was played.

  4. May 15, 2012 10:07 am

    They’ll do this. My only issue is I don’t want to see annual releases of BF games. People hate on Elite, but it’s no different than the Season Pass. And it gives true fans a discount. I really think a lot of shooters will go the subscription model. If the game itself were free, I wouldn’t have a problem with that. But we’ll just have to see how it shakes out. Me, I think EA should STFU and stop dogging CoD, especially when they will probably imitate some of their business models.

  5. 3Suns permalink*
    May 15, 2012 4:03 pm

    1. it doesn’t provide unfair advantages to those who don’t subscribe,
    2. the content doesn’t get revoked if you cancel the “auto-renew”
    3. doesn’t interfere with the old model other than to give purchasers a slight lead time with the maps

    then the only difference between it and Epic’s Season Pass, is the scale (as both Frenik and Ty argue).

    And yes, Ty, EA is only harming themselves and their franchise by incessantly mentioning CoD in almost every press release. Morons. Activision couldn’t be happier. And Kenny is right about the reneging on their promise, and that does harm to community relations.

    As to Kenai’s point above, the bang for my buck has been huge. I’ve put in over 150 hours (Johann over 200) and I can’t wait for my next session. I have many games, and some of them in multiple copies, that I haven’t played even a 10th that much.

    • May 15, 2012 6:12 pm

      That’s a lot of time bud!

      A lot of the community has been saddened by their choices, especially on the PR front.

  6. May 16, 2012 9:58 am

    It’s just a wording. The only real difference is the yearly games that COD puts out vs. everyone else. If you buy Black Ops 2, then is just renewing the membership and it will count towards that cycle, instead of buying a separate season.

    In fact I am pretty sure the Gears model was even worst, because it was $30 tied to the first 4 DLC installments. If their ship had still been sailing like in the first few months, they would have released another season of 4 installments for another $30.

    but regardless the passes in any way don’t really change anything.

    In my case, the games that clicked and I put time before buying them like COD, it proved priceless, because I can look forward to more content every month without having to scramble for points.

    Games that didn’t click as much, like Gears I got the membership at a time that it was still fun, but by the time the new MP maps were rolling out that heat was long gone.

    Did that Season Pass save me money? Nope. It’s now on sale along with all the other MS Studios content.

    All passess go on sale eventually, so it’s really just for HC fans of a series, and if your are logging time which is more valuable than money, they already have you, and it doesn’t matter anyways.

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