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 Tetris  Enters The Subscription Age With New iOS Version
Tetris Enters The Subscription Age With New iOS Version
December 1, 2011 | By Eric Caoili

EA Mobile and The Tetris Company have launched a new Tetris game for iOS devices, which features a paid subscription option for accessing exclusive content and accelerating players' rank progress.

The $0.99 game (introductory rate), which replaces EA Mobile's previous Tetris game on Apple's App Store, debuts a "Marathon One Touch Mode" control scheme designed for touchscreen gameplay on iPhones, iPod Touches, and iPads.

It also adds Tetris Log, a feature that offers players fresh challenges, tracks their progress clearing lines across multiple devices, and assigns them a Tetris Rank -- all powered by Electronic Arts' digital distribution and DRM platform Origin.

Another notable addition is T-Club, an "elite Tetris fan club" requiring a $2.99 monthly or $29.99 annual fee. Subscribers receive exclusive discounts and content, premium Tetris Log challenges, and a booster for progressing their Tetris Rank faster.

This effort to introduce a subscription element to a major non-MMO franchise is reminiscent of Activision's new Call of Duty: Elite service, which features free/premium memberships for stat tracking and other features for CoD: Modern Warfare 3 and Black Ops.

Take-Two Interactive's chairman and CEO Strauss Zelnick also recently commented on CoD Elite and game subscriptions to Reuters, saying "I've said for years the holy grail of our business is to take a packaged goods release and turn it into a subscription model."

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Mike Griffin
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So "Tetris Re-imagined" is me paying extra money to artificially boost my performance rank, versus another player of similar skill who hasn't paid the extra $$?

I see.

Well, I hope it shows within the Tetris Rankings when a user is a subscriber so you can see how they've managed to accelerate the progress of their rank.

Kale Menges
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Ummm.... No.

Eric Geer
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Sounds like the greed is really getting into the pants of the video game industry. If Tetris can have a subscription model....any thing can...

I hope this fails WILDLY!

Russ Menapace
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Next up: Space Invaders subscriptions!

zed zeek
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Pure comedy gold, damn there goes my idea of setting up a farm in china for tetris ranking points and selling them to the highest bidder :(

Shay Pierce
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I kept looking to the date on this article to see if it was April 1st.

Some days I wish that the people who were in control of the money in the game industry actually had any concept whatsoever of what their games actually ARE. And by "some days" I mean "every single day."

Aaron San Filippo
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This reads like an April fool's joke!

Lyon Medina
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So I’m guessing that if I want a long bar, I have to swipe my credit card for a 15$ convenience charge.

Bob Stevens
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Margins are probably high enough on this sort of thing that it's worth implementing even if they don't expect wide adoption.

Christer Kaitila
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This must be a hoax along the lines of this parody:

Russell Carroll
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It's cheaper to get Tetris on the 3DS ;).

Adam Bishop
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This kind of nonsense is the reason people rail against microtransactions.

I've been primarily a console gamer for most of my life, but when I see more and more of this kind of thinking from the major publishers, it makes me think it won't be too long until I don't play much other than indie PC games.

Jason Chen
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next thing you know, all console games will require a maintenance fee (subscription fee)

Jamie Mann
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Out of interest... just how playable is Tetris on a touchscreen device? The "traditional" implementation of Tetris tend to involve increasing levels of speed and precision; does the iOS version implement this, or have they opted to level things off at a relatively low speed?

Stuart Brown
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Jamie, if you look at the image on this article you can see the implementation of their touch controls. It gives you options for where the block could go, and touching one places the block there. Rotating the block draws some new options. Not sure if I would prefer it myself, but at least they've thought about an interface that would work better with touch controls.

Jamie Mann
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@Stuart: I can see the control system, I'm just not sure how ergonomic/efficient it is, especially on the relatively small screen of an iOS device (and I suspect things will actually be worse on the iPad!). Hence the question ;)

I suppose I could buy the game and find out, but the pricing model has put me off buying it!

Brian Connor
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I don't really see the problem. If I read this right you buy the game for a once off payment and play as normal. If you pay the sub you also get some extra in game items and challenges and you're paying for continued development after release. Most people don't care about that though and most people won't get the sub. So what?

Arnaud Clermonté
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Yep, people up in arms because they're given the option to pay for completely optional new features.


Not the kind of comment you'd expect on Gamasutra, though.

Ken Love
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How many times can you flog a dead horse?