Battlefield 3 recently received a premium subscription option similar to that of Activision’s Elite service but EA claim that Premium was something that studio had always considered.
Copy cat is one of the terms that would have popped into one’s head when they heard of the news that EA was planning on releasing a premium subscription service for Battlefield 3, seeing how Activision had already released something similar by the name of Call of Duty: Elite for their own franchise.
However, EA executive, Frank Gibeau, took the opportunity to point out that this was not the publisher’s first step into the world of premium subscription services as they had already introduced similar packages for many of their franchises.
He said, “We’ve launched subscription businesses in our other categories. We had EA Sports subscription before Elite came out, so adding that component to the design is not a reaction.”
Gibeau continued by adding that premium subscription is “something we’d always been considering and we had been looking at.”
The EA boss did concede that Elite may have provided some inspiration for the final push on Battlefield Premium. He said, “Having said that they (Activision) did something really innovative and if your competitor does something innovative and you think it applies to what you can do, then there’s no harm in doing that.”
Gibeau though believes that EA is actually pushing the limits in terms of what a subscription service can offer and offer value and content in a way that no other service provider in the business is.
He said, “We actually think our Premium service exceeds what Elite does – from a value standpoint, from a content standpoint, and longer term we think that we can bring more properties into that offering.”
This is not the first time in both EA and Activision’s history that the two have claimed that their respective product is better than their competitors. During the build up to the release of both Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3 the two studios were at each other’s throats on a regular basis.
EA went on about how their engine was able to do things that their rivals could not imagine while Activision responded by stating that they were more focused on building a game and not an engine, which was a direct attack on the FrostBite engine powering EA’s game.
The war of words seemed to have continued on to the online subscription service offered by both parties as well. Battlefield Premium managed to reach 800,000 subscribers in just 2 weeks, although it still has a long way to go to reach the levels of Call of Duty: Elite.
With EA working on Medal of Honor: Warfighter and Activision working on Black Ops 2, it will be interesting to see which studio ends up on top in terms of both sales and review scores.