Battlefield 3 Premium now tops sales to around 800,000 within the first 2 weeks. EA have truly raked in the cash on this one making an estimated figure of around $48,000 and that’s not counting what they also made from selling Close Quarters.
The service tied to EA‘s popular first-person shooter gives players early access to the game’s downloads, including the recently released Close Quarters.Soderlund says the initial response has topped EA’s expectations.
“We are very pleased with the performance so far,”
Premium was introduced at the Electronic Entertainment Expo earlier this month. It’s available for PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. As part of a deal reached with PS3 makers Sony, downloads were available to Premium PS3 owners first, followed by PC and Xbox 360 one week later. From there, all owners across all platforms will receive the DLC.
As for whether EA might adopt similar plans for their other games, it’s still too soon to tell.
“We’re actually only two weeks into it, so it’s a little early to tell how this is going to pay off,”
“It certainly it looks very promising right now.”
As head of the EA Games label, Soderlund commands a powerful lineup including Battlefield 3, which has shipped 15 million copies since its October 2011 release. Also on the Games label: Dead Space 3, Need For Speed, Crysis 3, Medal of Honor: Warfighter.
It’s heavy on sequels, a departure from a few years ago when EA seemed to embrace fresh franchises more frequently such as Mirror’s Edge. Soderlund says expect the publisher to introduce more original properties down the road.
“As game makers, we have to continuously work and launch new intellectual properties into the market,” says Soderlund. “If we think we can live off of our existing brands and that only, I think it will not only be costly, but a short-lived mistake. I still think there’s a lot of creative juice in brands like Battlefield and Need For Speed and a bunch of our franchises, but I also do think there’s a lot of room for new intellectual properties. We are investing in that today, and you will see new IPs from EA and the Games label in the future.”
GH: How would you assess the health of the video game console business?
Soderlund: “I think there’s still a large number of console gamers out on the market. It’s not necessarily growing at the pace as it has before, but maybe because we haven’t seen new hardware for a long time, and the behavior of the consumer is changing.
What EA has undergone in the last 4-5 years — the digital transformation that we’ve been going through has been based on that type of consumer and how that consumer plays. If EA was a very console-centric company five years ago, it’s wrong to say we don’t still focus on packaged goods.
But if you look at the volume of revenue coming from what we call direct to consumer digital, that’s by far the fastest growing part of EA. So I think EA as a company… as such, is rapidly changing and adapting to this new type of consumer behavior and new platforms that arise.
I do think the console experience now and in the future will always be — I compare it to the Hollywood blockbuster, the summer movies. If you want the highest, blockbuster experience in the highest fidelity, you’re going to want to hook it up to your 65-inch TV with your 5.1 sound, darken the room and then go play it and get really immersed in that experience. We can’t get that as of yet on an iPad, iPhone or an Android phone or whatever it may be. You can’t necessarily get that on a free-to-play game on PC as well. If you want that experience, that blockbuster feel, you still need to play that on a console and experience that on a console. I don’t think that’s going to change. It will be the same going forward.”