There’s Money in Those Guns: As Battlefield Premium sells 800K, EA prepares for its all-digital future

theres money in those guns as battlefield premium sells 800k ea prepares for its all digital future 3

Battlefield 3 didn’t match Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3’s sales when both games debuted in the fall of 2011. Electronic Arts and DICE’s game sold 8 million copies over its first month on shelves. Modern Warfare 3 meanwhile moved 6.5 million copies in its first day. Electronic Arts may not be able to match Activision’s ability to get $60 discs and downloads into people’s homes, but the publisher is on their way to matching Activision’s success in convincing players to pay a subscription fee for extra services. Premium service Battlefield Premium racked up 800,000 paying subscribers in its first two weeks of availability according to Electronic Arts. That success guarantees not just Battlefield 3’s continued profitability and development support but also that Electronic Arts will make premium subscriptions a regular service for its franchises.

EA debuted Battlefield Premium at its E3 2012 press conference at the beginning of June and 800,000 Battlefield 3 players paid $49.99 for a one-year subscription to the service before the month was out. By comparison, since Call of Duty Elite officially opened in November, it has registered a total of 10 million members but only 2 million are paying subscribers.

DICE and EA are happy about Premium’s success but they aren’t surprised. Frank Gibeau, head of EA Labels, told GamesIndustry International that his company has a history of success in the subscriptions business. “We’ve launched subscription businesses in our other categories. We had EA Sports subscriptions before [Call of Duty Elite] came out, so adding that component to the design is not a reaction,” said Gibeau, “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 and that’ll be great for the business.”

Therein lies that grand message that EA is carrying away from Battlefield Premium’s success: Subscriptions are an ideal method for monetizing games going forward. While the company has discovered that month-to-month subscriptions for MMOs are no longer attractive to customers, as evidenced by Star Wars: The Old Republic’s struggles, annual subscriptions giving additional content to existing products is a cheap, effective way to bring in cash.

This of course presages Electronic Arts’ inevitable move into a purely digital business. Ultimately the subscription and not the disc will be the main product. “[The all-digital Electronic Arts is] in the near future. It’s coming,” said Gibeau, “We have a clear line of sight on it and we’re excited about it. Retail is a great channel for us. We have great relationships with out partners there. At the same time, the ultimate relationship is the connection that we have with the gamer. If the gamer wants to get the game through a digital download and that’s the best way for them to get, that what we’re going to do.”


NYC mandates minimum wage for Uber, Lyft, other app-based rideshare drivers

New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission approved a rule that drivers for companies such as Uber and Lyft must be paid at least minimum wage, even though they are independent contractors. The new pay rate includes operating costs.
Movies & TV

Do you have questions about Hulu? We’ve got answers

Not sure which Hulu subscription is right for you? We're here to help. This is your complete guide to Hulu and Hulu with Live TV, including content offerings for each service, pricing, internet requirements, and more.
Home Theater

Netflix vs. Hulu vs. Amazon Prime: Battle of the streaming giants

Trying to figure out which subscription streaming service to use while sticking to a frugal entertainment budget? Check out our updated comparison of the big three: Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and Hulu.

Grabbing a Switch for the holidays? Here's what you need to know to play online

If you want to play online multiplayer on Switch, you'll need a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. Here's what you need to know about Nintendo Switch Online, from price to features to the awesome library of NES games.

Turn your Raspberry Pi into a Steam streaming hub with Valve’s Steam Link app

Valve's Steam Link app is now fully supported by Raspberry PI hardware, meaning that just about anyone with a few dollars to spare can build their own Steam streaming box in a matter of minutes.

Nintendo pulls the plug on making more SNES Classic, NES Classic systems

Nintendo extended production of the NES Classic and SNES Classic into 2018, but once the current supply of consoles is gone, the company won't be making more. Instead, you'll have to use Nintendo Switch Online.

Fancy ‘Kingdom Hearts III’ PlayStation 4 Pro launches alongside game in January

A limited edition PlayStation 4 Pro bundle for Kingdom Hearts III will launch alongside the game in January. The system included has a special design on the side, as does the controller.

Want to share your Xbox One games? Here's how to do it

Sharing games on modern consoles is possible, but it takes a few steps. Here's how to start sharing games on your Xbox One console, so friends and family can easily access your library.

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in 'Destiny 2: Forsaken'

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.

‘Fortnite’ removes the Infinity Blade weapon after player backlash

Following player backlash over the Infinity Blade weapon's inclusion in Fortnite's battle royale mode, Epic Games decided to remove the weapon from the game completely. It was not limited to a special mode.

Want every suit in 'Marvel's Spider-Man' for PS4? Here's how to get them all

Marvel's Spider-Man features a whopping 33 different suits for Peter Parker to wear as he swings across New York City knocking out baddies. Here are all the suits and how to unlock them.

Everything about 'Red Dead Online', including its new microtransaction store

Red Dead Online will gradually rolled out to Red Dead Redemption 2 players via a beta. We've got all the details about the beta's suite of competitive and cooperative modes, as well as what to expect going forward.

HDR monitors are beginning to have an impact. Here are the best you can buy

HDR isn't the most common of PC monitor features and is often charged at a premium, but the list of available options is growing. These are the best HDR monitors you can buy right now.
Virtual Reality

Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive: Prices drop, but our favorite stays the same

The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are the two big names in the virtual reality arena, but most people can only afford one. Our comparison tells you which is best when you pit the Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive.