Electronic Arts is launching the "EA Sports Season Ticket" today, an annual $25 (2000 MSP) program that provides a premium service alongside five of the publisher's titles. The "deal" will grant full access to digital versions of games three days before their retail launch, offer a 20-percent discount on DLC, and enable "free premium web content" and brand you as a paying customer (i.e. "membership recognition").

Now, obtaining full, early versions of games sounds fantastic, until you read the fine print. Let's allow EA to do the talking: "The digitally downloaded game will time out when the game is available at retail and consumers have the option to purchase the same full game on disc at retail." If we're reading that correctly, it means you get to download the game three days early, but you still have to go to the store to actually buy it. This probably explains why GameStop is "excited to be selected as the exclusive retail marketing partner for the roll-out of EA Sports Season Ticket." (Note: According to Videogamer, EA is still working out specifics with Sony Europe, making it an Xbox 360 exclusive in that region for the time being.)

The "Free Premium Web Content" will kick off with the "Creation Center" in FIFA 12. It claims to allow greater customization tools, including team and tournament building. It'll all be available "until the membership to the program has expired."

The participating Season Ticket games will be this month's Madden NFL 12, along with NHL, FIFA, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR golf and NCAA Football going forward. You'll be able to easily recognize those who bought into the program with their "exclusive membership" recognition badge that is displayed in-game and online.

Welcome to Project 25 Dollar.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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