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EA Sports Season Pass Gives Early Madden Access

No High Scores

Bill is away at the Ohio State Fair and Todd is in Florida, leaving me to post this story about EA Sports’ new subscription service. Let me be the first to apologize as I’m sure this story will be rife with factual errors, what with the full sum of my EA Sports knowledge barely enough to fill a thimble. What I can tell you is that EA Sports is debuting a subscription service that gives a three day free to play, downloadable pre-release copy of this year’s Madden, NHL, FIFA as well as next year’s Tiger Woods and NCAA as well as 20% discount on DLC for those titles, web content and a pretty Xbox Live or PSN badge marking you as a subscription owner. All of this will run you a cool $25 bucks…

The basic gist is this: upon purchasing a subscription on August 27th, at some point before midnight on the 27th, you’ll be able to download a digital copy of the full version of Madden. You can then play it as much as you want for the three days up until the August 30th launch. Once the 30th hits, the copy becomes worthless, with no ability to play it further and no ability to purchase the digital version. At this point, you can drive to the physical retailer of your choice, pick up the game disc, return home and keep playing with all of your save files and progress in the game completely intact.

It’s an interesting idea, and if you’re a diehard EA Sports fan, I can see justifying the purchase by saying that it’s worth it to pay five bucks for a full weekend of early release sports madness. However, I wonder how many people are that jazzed up about all five of the listed games as opposed to just one or two. Five bucks for early access to five games is one thing, but $25 to play a weekend of Madden early is a bit of a stretch. Besides, it’s not like DLC is so expensive, or even remotely worth it, for the 20% discount to pay for the service.

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If the subscription seems like something you’d like to sign up for, you can either buy it through your console or head to a GameStop, EA’s preferred retail partner, and buy it there. You can be damned sure that last bit is part of the reason that the digital versions aren’t unlockable for play, as I don’t think that GameStop would feel all that preferred if folks stayed away from their various midnight launches, preferring instead to just pay 60 bucks for the copy they already have.


Brandon loves games, which shouldn't be a surprise given where you're reading this. He has written for GameShark, The Escapist and G4, and made them all less relevant as a result.

9 thoughts to “EA Sports Season Pass Gives Early Madden Access”

  1. This doesn’t sound like a real service for the customer. This is just a service for certain outdated, wholly evil distributers… Maybe it is just business, but it’s kind of hard not to take it personally when a company so transparently designs a product with me, the customer, on the absolute lowest rung of priority from the outset.

  2. I believe Bill is there to enter his prized giant squash in competition, or possibly to witness the amazing two-headed rooster. Either way, I predict that the headlines of NoHS tomorrow will read “NoHS co-Founder Bill Abner Found Collapsed Behind Funnel Cake Kiosk; Powdered Sugar and Grease OD Suspected”

  3. No doubt. The Ohio State Fair is an interesting event. Fun place to people watch, if you want to reconfirm your disdain for humanity. Or if you’re some kind of reptile that just loves sun, heat, and humidity.

    Strangely enough, best gyros I’ve ever had came from there. 70% chance it was 10% lamb and 90% human. Apparently they have deep-fried Snickers now… so further proof that the OSF is doubling as a population control event through arterial clogging and inducing diabetes.

  4. FFS sell that on the console already! You’d get my money faster, EA, if you let me in early and then buy right from the same screen.

    But that’s a moot point as there’s no way I’m giving you $25 so I can then save on things I’m not going to buy or have access to what amounts to a demo. I just hope too many suckers don’t fall for this crap.

  5. You can actually see the transcript of the meeting where this idea was hammered out if you look hard enough between the lines of the press release. It starts with “What is the absolute minimum we can give our customers to get their money?” and ends in “MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA” and the sound of EA execs choking on money.

  6. As the meeting is going on there are giant screens in the background showing third world world factories where children and pregnant women toil away stamping Madden 12 game disks. Meanwhile in the next room chefs prepare the roasted baby kitten sandwiches for to be served in the EA executive dining room.

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