Battlefield 3 owners may be very pleased at the moment with the three new DLC expansion packs on the way, but we can imagine those smiles will turn to disgust if EA follow through with their plans to turn the franchise into a subscription based game.
It is not the first time that EA has pondered the idea of a subscription-based model for their premium FPS franchise, but this week we have heard the strongest hint yet that this may become a reality for the next Battlefield game.
Back in February, we told you about EA CEO John Riccitiello’s comments about Call of Duty Elite, in which he actually praised Activision for setting up a successful premium platform for Call of Duty so quickly, obviously hinting of something similar for Battlefield in the future.
Now, EA publishing chief Patrick Soderlund has told Venturebeat this week that the company are definitely exploring the idea, or to put it in his exact words – ‘looking for ways to maximize their investment’, referring to Battlefield as a ‘product’.
That is a direct quote as well from EA which may be particarly worrying for those who are planning to fork out an expected $15 for the Close Quarters expansion pack in June. Maximize their investment basically means that they are looking to make as much money as possible, but what will they do to the core game and its features to make this happen?
The big risk: If they go down the Call of Duty route, i.e bring out more maps frequently and release them early for subscribers – that will probably be acceptable with quite a few of you who don’t mind paying for this. However, if they strip away elements of the next Battlefield game that we currently see in BF3 and demand a fee for it, that’s when the community will start to turn against EA.
Tricky decision really, and EA will really have to play it careful. If it means a bigger variety of vehicles and weapons to use in the game, we’re interested to see how it goes. If you are a hardcore Battlefield 3 player at the moment, give us your thoughts on EA’s now seemingly inevitable venture into the subscription model. Will you stop playing the game if it happens?