EA Sports Season Ticket – Early. More? Better??
This isn’t change, this is new. Electronic Arts have announced a new program for five EA Sports titles, one of which being FIFA. But is it worth it? Well, first thing’s first. If you live in the UK and only own a PS3, you’re SOL. EA Sports’ Season Ticket will only be available to Xbox users in the United Kingdom… apparently EA aren’t particularly bothered with cutting off half of their UK market. Secondly, it’s only available for five games in total; if you’re only going to use it for FIFA, it’s probably not going to work out as viable. The other games that it will support are Madden NFL 12, Madden NFL Football, NHL hockey and Tiger Woods PGA Tour.
(As a sidenote, this product is not available for the Wii in any territories. But that’s fine. Clearly EA have no interest in 87 million potential customers. That’s fine. I’m going to take a stab in the dark that this is related to Nintendo’s odd DLC delivery service more than anything else)
It’s all well and good to say that it costs 2000 MS Points (approx $25 or £17) to get involved in the scheme, but what exactly will you get for this annual sum? Well, in short, not much.
4 Things to Write Home About
1. Early “full-game access”
Have you ever wanted to get your hands on a video game three days before its release? No? Me neither. I can wait three days. But EA think otherwise! Now, to be fair, this doesn’t assume that you’ve bought the games and as such is more of a ‘try-before-you-buy’ type affair. You’ll use this for FIFA, no doubt, but you’re probably equally likely to give NHL or Tiger Woods a go if you’ve got three days of it for free. You can play as much of the game as you like for free whole days, but there’s no way to ‘activate’ it; ie turn that three-day digital download into a full product. So you’re gonna have to go out and buy the product if you want to play it after it’s expired.
2. Free Premium Web Stuff
You’re getting some bonus stuff on the internet, which may or may not be directly linked to the game. It’s not entirely clear just what this will entail, but as a clue we’ve been told that the first things available will be “premium Creation Centre packs for FIFA 12”, which provide “a set of customization tools…within Creation Centre to build your own teams and tournaments”. No? Me neither.
3. Membership Recognition
You get a badge on your in-game (and on-website) EA Sports profile. Uhm… sure. Thanks.
4. (eg, the reason you’ll actually get this) A 20% discount on the things you pretend you don’t spend any money on but really you spend far too much…
20% on -ALL- available DLC for participating EA Sports titles. This includes, but is in no way limited to, accelerator packs, gear upgrades, and (importantly) Ultimate Team packs. Now, I wish I hadn’t spent approx £50 this year on Ultimate Team packs. I wish I hadn’t. But I know deep in my heart that I can’t help but seriously enjoy opening things. It’s like gambling, but on a slightly smaller scale.
If you’re like me and you don’t value points 1 through 3, then you’re going to be wondering how much you’d have to spend on Ultimate Team packs in order to make back the £17 outlay in discounts. Well, lucky for you, i’ve already done the maths. Though admittedly it’s quite straight-forward. What we’re talking about here is racking up £17 in discounts… so if you’ve bought enough that you’ve saved £17 in 20% cheaper packs, then i’ve an unfortunate truth for you – you’ve spent £68 on Ultimate Team packs (though admittedly, you would have spent £85 otherwise).
So is it worth it? In my opinion… no. Probably not. If, by using this service, we’d be getting a discount on the actual games themselves, then i’d be tempted to say yes. Or indeed, if the DLC discount was closer to 40% than 20%, i’d probably say yes. Really, it comes down to whether you regard the three days of full-game access (which totals fifteen if you use it for all five games, and why wouldn’t you?) as a good deal. If you take those days off from work (or school if you’re still young and can convince mum that you’re sick enough to stay home but not sick enough to stay in bed) then you’re probably going to rack up twenty hours of gaming, which is actually very good. And if you then wait for the retail game to drop in price (you can usually find FIFA for £25 around Winter), you’ve actually done very well for yourself. But for those of us buying FIFA on launchday… sorry EA, it’s just not enough.