I'm sure everyone knows at least one person who is a die-hard video game sports fan, be it football, baseball, basketball, hockey, or soccer. There is at least one video game that covers each of those sports, and for many gamers, the new sports title is a must-buy. EA Sports is behind some of the more popular sports titles, like Madden, and is now going to be offering a new premium subscription to people who purchase the EA Sports games. Starting with Madden NFL 12, you can purchase the "Season Ticket" for $25 to receive early access to the game and a 20% discount on DLC. The early access is a three day preview of the title, and covers Madden NFL 12, NHL 12, and FIFA 12 for this year, and then NCAA Football 13 and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 for next year. When the game comes out on a Tuesday, you are allowed to play a downloaded version starting on the Saturday before the game's release, and then keep playing it up until the day of launch. On that day, the Tuesday, you will then have to head out to a store and pick up a retail copy of the game, since EA is not going to be offering a full copy digitally.
The Season Ticket will cover PS3 and 360 gamers in North America, and just 360 gamers in Europe. The downloaded copy you can play early is the full version, and any save files you have created during that time will transfer over to the retail copy of the game. The 20% DLC discount will help subscribers save a little cash when they want to purchase some in-game currency or content packs for the game, but won't be able to be used on the $10 Online Pass if you happen to pick up a used copy of the game. However, the Season Ticket is a one year subscription, so if you get it with Madden NFL 12, you'll need to get it again when Madden NFL 13 launches the following year. Once you get the Season Ticket, the free weekend covers all five titles, so if you only play Madden or FIFA, you will get the chance to try out NHL 12 or Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13.
It will be interesting to see just how popular EA Sports' Season Ticket is, since it seems to cater to the hardcore sports video game crowd who look forward to a game's release each year. The casual sports video game may not have a huge interest in it, but if you get a copy of Madden every year, this may be for you.