Electronic Arts (EA) has confirmed that the paid-for downloadable content (DLC) Battlefield Premium for Battlefield 3 has attracted 800,000 subscriptions in the first two weeks since its launch on June 4.
In an interview with USA Today, EA Games Label boss Patrick Soderlund revealed that the DLC has already driven $40 million in revenue. The add-on pack is priced at $50 for PlayStation 3 and PC, while Xbox 360 users have to pay 4000 Microsoft Points for the new content.
Even though the commercial success and consequent revenue exceeded the internal expectations, Soderlund noted that it was still too early to say with certainty how the programme will fare in the long run.
He did, however, state that the staggering figure was very promising, dropping a subtle hint about the company’s plan to work on such DLC in the future.
The premium add-on pack was revealed at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) that went down in Los Angeles last month.
Battlefield 3 Premium offer players access to a range of new maps for multiplayer mode in addition to plenty of privileges. The map packs for the latest title in the Battlefield franchise include Back to Karkand, Close Quarters, Armored Kill, Aftermath and End Game, adding a total of 20 new arenas to the first-person shooter.
Aside from the maps, the Battlefield Premium subscribers will also be rewarded with an early access to the map packs that are slated to release for the game in the future.
The success of Battlefield 3’s DLC is being compared to that of Activision’s Call of Duty service, COD Elite, which was released in November last year. The $50 pay-once service has attracted 2 million subscribers since its launch.
Asserting during an interview with Games Industry that the launch of Battlefield 3 Premium had nothing to do with Activision’s premium service for Call of Duty, EA Labels boss Frank Gibeau stated, “We had EA Sports subscription before Elite came out, so adding that component to the design is not a reaction. It’s something we’d always been considering and we had been looking at.”
He claimed that the developer still needed to prep up Battlefield 3 Premium and thus did not release it before. He did, however, contend that there was no harm in taking inspirations from a competitor if that aided the company in attaining its goals.
“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. This is an industry where people have a lot of oneupsmanship and if somebody innovates, you match it or you exceed it.”
The trend of DLC is growing rapidly over the last few months, with more and more companies looking to extend the life and enhance the experience offered by the game through release of post-launch paid content. According to some analysts, DLC will become a norm for games in the not-so-distant future.