bill-swift - July 4, 2012
Whether you sign up for EA SPORTS' Season Ticket or buy it as a downloadable feature, the ability to advance your NCAA Football Dynasty season from one week to the next using a web browser is no longer free in NCAA Football 13. If this sounds like an obscure reference to a feature that hardly anybody understands, expects or appreciates, you could be right. A tip of the hat to the guys at The Gaming Tailgate because this could be signaling a troubling trend.
To catch you up, Dynasty is the main career mode in the NCAA Football series and in recent years EA SPORTS has allowed you to do all of the roster management, recruiting and fun stuff from a web browser instead of just allowing for that fun to happen when you're in front of your TV with an Xbox or Playstation plugged in. It's a brilliant feature that takes advantage of the fantasy football culture that has folks wasting time on their boss' dime tinkering with rosters. One of the major innovations of Dynasty mode a few years ago was the ability to advance from one week of your Dynasty's season to the next. This means you only had to be in front of your console when you wanted to play a football game, actually throwing passes and running plays.
Egotastic Games can confirm that this Advance Week from the Web feature is now going to cost you as part of the $25 EA SPORTS Season Ticket or as an individual $2.99 download (240 Microsoft points).
A good analogy might be if Netflix decided to suddenly charge you every time you wanted to add a movie to your queue from your mobile phone but not from your PC, tablet or game console. If you're EA SPORTS it's something popular that people like to do, they're already hooked on the convenience and a little tax for all of that happiness should be an easy revenue stream. Or they really think THIS will be the value folks have been waiting for in Season Ticket --ostensibly the all-you-can-eat prepaid downloadable content service that comes with three days of early access to EA SPORTS games.
This debate about what gamers and publishers should expect out of each other in terms of value, price point and convenience is just getting started. Should we expect all of the fun to be built in when we throw down $60 on launch day? Where's the line on charging for ala carte added value? When does a feature become premium versus an integral part of the gaming experience?
Sound off because EA SPORTS isn't the only company experimenting with consumer tolerance as the entire industry prepares for a change over to new consoles next year.
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