EA Sports Premium Pass For Madden 05Aug. 5, 2004 Madden NFL 2005, the latest instalment of the top-selling football videogame franchise from Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS), announces the most robust online feature set ever available to gamers with the launch of EA SPORTS(TM) Premium Pass. Consumers now have yet another reason to get in line early August 9, 2004 when the game ships and is in-stores everywhere by August 12. EA SPORTS Premium Pass presented by Dodge for Madden NFL 2005 is a free service this year to all Madden NFL 2005 fans for PlayStation(R)2 online and Xbox Live(TM)* and provides access to a wide-array of exclusive online features. "Online Madden players deserve and demand the best and most competitive online features and with EA SPORTS Premium Pass, that's exactly what they'll get," said Chip Lange, Vice President of EA SPORTS Nation. "We are excited to be working with Dodge to bring the largest interactive football community (800,000 strong) an online experience that is second to none." "The Dodge sponsorship of the EA SPORTS Premium Pass will not only provide gamers enhanced gameplay features, customization, and content, but also reach our targeted audience and generate awareness of the Dodge brand in a unique, powerful, and persistent way," said Bonita Stewart, Director, Interactive Communications. "We are confident that the EA SPORTS Nation gamer will recognize the value and role that Dodge has delivered to the gameplay experience." This package of paid subscription-level features will be available at no cost to Madden NFL 2005 owners by way of sponsorship by Dodge. A valid credit card is required to register for the EA SPORTS Premium Pass and to authenticate individual users. EA SPORTS Premium Pass presented by Dodge includes the following features, which will be released online throughout the month of August: -- EA Reputation Boost: Players who sign up for the EA SPORTS Premium Pass receive a boost to their online Reputation Rating, which is a publicly visible indicator that rewards and penalizes players for following EA SPORTS Fair Play rules. Consumers will now be able to tell if their opponents play by the rules. -- Name in Lights: Adding to the EA SPORTS Premium Pass VIP status, all subscribers will have their name highlighted from non-members in the game and on the EA SPORTS Premium Pass web pages, making it easy for serious Madden gamers to find each other, whether it's for challenges or smack talking. -- Personalized Career Pages: One central Career page will host online stats and records, along with Fantasy Football and the latest EA SPORTS News. -- Expanded Leaderboards: Members-only leaderboards are enhanced with dozens of statistics and a powerful new search tool. -- Customizable Streaming Sports Ticker on Web: Pulling in multiple real world sports feeds as well as EA SPORTS online system messages, the Ticker will allow subscribers to customize the sports news they see, as well as find out when buddies log on and track their Madden NFL Football 2005 scores. -- EA Calendar: Subscribers can set their "time online" preferences and organize Madden NFL 2005 challenges and tournament games. Other members can challenge them and be assured that they will find a suitable time on their calendar. -- Members Only Medals: Major milestones and big online events won't go unrewarded; EA SPORTS Premium Pass members will receive special medals that they can display next to their game trophies in their Trophy Room on their Personal Career web pages. -- Exclusive EA SPORTS Premium Pass Message Boards: An exclusive place to hang out and chat on the message boards. -- Early Registration for the Madden Challenge: Subscribers get a full 48 hours to register before non-subscribers for Madden Challenge registration. Registration for the Madden Challenge, a 32-city competition which determines the best Madden NFL Football player in the country, is currently open for the Minneapolis and Green Bay stops. -- Madden University: More Madden online tips and hints than players knew existed can be found here. Packed with rookie, mid-level and hard core tactics, Madden University will be updated weekly with the latest online strategies and host various columns from well known community luminaries. -- Members Only Customer Support: Priority web, email, and in-game support from EA Customer Support. Additionally, even more EA SPORTS Premium Pass features will be rolled out throughout the NFL(TM) Season: -- Web Leagues: Members can create football leagues, schedule games, and play them online. The game outcomes affect your team's status and ability to make the playoffs. In addition, members can replicate the NFL season with conference, division, and scheduling customization. -- Enhanced Web Tournaments: Schedule and manage Madden tournaments on the web. Players can set up a tournament and check its progress from any web browser. -- Personalized Email Updates: EA SPORTS Premium Pass subscribers will have the chance to receive regular email updates that highlight their latest Madden NFL 2005 stats, tournament games, leaderboard movement, and other online info. -- Hall of Fame Web Leaderboards: Separate from the Madden Overall Leaderboards, the Hall of Fame Web Leaderboards offer a chance for EA SPORTS Premium Pass holders to achieve a top spot on a monthly leaderboard that will be archived in The Hall of Fame Web Leaderboards for all to see. Madden NFL 2005 is the most complete football videogame available with its unprecedented defensive and online feature set. In the tradition of EA SPORTS(TM) innovation, Madden NFL 2005 introduces the Hit Stick. By giving players the ability to turn a game around with a crucial tackle, the Hit Stick delivers the power to take control of the game from the defensive side of the ball like never before. Along with all-new defensive pre-play controls and defensive AI enhancements, the defense now has a diverse arsenal of weapons available. The incredible depth of Franchise Mode grows with the addition of Storyline Central, where the stories surrounding your team impact your franchise. With hundreds of news animations, significant graphical upgrades and the ability to create your own NFL super fan in the all-new Create-A-Fan feature, this is the deepest edition of Madden NFL Football to date. This is the second EA SPORTS title to debut on Xbox Live. Madden NFL 2005, developed by EA Tiburon, is rated "E" (Everyone) by the ESRB.