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'Battlefield 3' Premium service enlists 800,000 paying members in first 2 weeks

"We are very pleased with the performance so far." EA

Battlefield 3 Premium
Battlefield 3 Premium

Battlefield 3 Premium service already has 800,000

More than 800,000 Battlefield 3 players – or about 5% of its total audience – have already signed on for the first-person shooter's recently launched Premium service, according to EA Games EVP Patrick Söderlund. Not bad, considering it took Battlefield 3 Premium just two weeks to reach that milestone.

Söderlund tells USA Today that the publisher is "very pleased with the performance [of Battlefield 3 Premium] so far," but that it's still too early to tell if the Premium service model is applicable to EA games beyond the latest Battlefield.

EA announced and launched Battlefield 3 Premium at this year's E3, a $49.99 buy-in that nets Battlefield 3 owners early access to five expansion packs, exclusive in-game items and other paid-for perks. Two of five of those expansion packs have already been released, with the remaining three – Armored Kill, Aftermath and End Game – releasing between September 2012 and March 2013.

The service was widely seen as a response to Activision's success with Call of Duty: Elite, a premium subscription service for Battlefield's chief franchise rival. EA CEO John Riccitiello has pushed the publisher's transition from a packaged goods company to what he calls a "truly global digital pure play" software company with a focus on downloadable add-ons and services.

Battlefield 3 has sold more than 15 million copies since its launch on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 last October. The game had 6.3 million monthly active users as of March, according to EA.

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