EA Access is the Publisher's New Subscription Service for Xbox One

EA Access is the Publisher's New Subscription Service for Xbox One

EA Access 2 310x

For $30 a year, EA Access will open select EA titles to Xbox One owners, along with discounts on digital content.

Electronic Arts has just revealed a new subscription service for Xbox One owners. Dubbed EA Access, the $30/year (or $5/month) service will give subscribers access to The Vault, which is "a collection of EA's biggest games on Xbox One ready for you to download and play."

EA Access is currently in beta, so only four titles will be available to subscribers: Battlefield 4, FIFA 14, Madden NFL 25, and Peggle 2. Other titles including Dragon Age: Inquisition, and NHL 15 are specifically referenced as "coming soon" to The Vault.

The new service also includes a 10 percent discount on all digital content and DLC, and free trials/demos for games up to a week before they officially launch. Save files for such games will carry over to official release versions, so early access won't mess with your progress or stats.

Along with buying EA Access through Xbox One (presumably), EA will sell the service through GameStop, Amazon, and EB Games.

Availability to EA Access is currently limited due to the beta program, and the official launch date for the full program has not been disclosed.

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I'm confused.

You pay $30/year and you get all those games plus whatever else they end up putting in, plus some discounts?

That actually seems like a good deal. I mean, DA:I just on its own would cost twice that.

...

ALRIGHT EA, WHAT'S THE CATCH!?

Zhukov:
ALRIGHT EA, WHAT'S THE CATCH!?

XBox One? :P

So for your money you get access to a four (well, three games and Peggle) of EA's games, but precisely none of the DLC?

Ten Percent off expansions is worse than I can get from Gamestop by walking in and asking for DLC keys. Then if you let the subscription lapse what happens to those DLC's you paid extra to get, gone until your re-subscribe? Gone until you buy the game? Gone forever?

We'll see how it turns out in use, but the way EA are selling it it just sounds like 'Give EA money for demos and give EA even more money for actual content,'.

This actually sounds kind of great. Which is why I am wary as fuck about it.

But as an Xbox One owner who plays a fair few EA games, consider me cautiously optimistic.

I am now prepared to be called an idiot in a variety of fashions for even daring to look at EA's games/owning an Xbox One

Zhukov:
ALRIGHT EA, WHAT'S THE CATCH!?

Having read through the website, it looks like you get five days free access to DA:I (and a bunch of other titles as/when they come out) and then up to 10% off the download price should you buy it from the EA online store whilst subscribed.

It also has a feature that maintains your save from the demo period, so if you buy the games you can keep going from wherever you were, that's nice, but in money terms it's not that great a deal.

Sounds like EA wants to experiment with the Netflix idea of all you can eat subscription service for video games. Who knows, this might be something other publishers try in the future.

An interesting idea, but it's kinda limited by the relatively small game selection. Still, that's mostly me speaking as a PC gamer who has gotten used to spending either $5 on a AAA game after a year or two or $10/month for Netflix or Spotify selection levels.

Based on only the information in the article, the service definitely sounds like a worthwhile investment, although I'm really surprised the rate is less than $60/year. It seems like it would need to be more expensive than a single title in order to avoid cannibalizing game sales - I mean, I might buy a game rather than rent it for a week, but there aren't many games I'm still playing twelve months after I first get them.

On second though... I can definitely see how this will probably shake out as a monetization model: By focusing on multiplayer games and games with microtransactions, this not only helps keep multiplayer alive (by lowering the barrier to entry) but also helps encourage people to spend money on the game's microtransactions (Since the 'I spent $60 on this and now I have to pay MORE?!?' thought process will be muted somewhat)

Andy Shandy:
This actually sounds kind of great. Which is why I am wary as fuck about it.

My thoughts exactly, looking forward to see if it's true. Even if I don't own a xbox1. 1up to xbox owners if it is but my spider sense is tingling.

edit: article is misrepresentating the info, u temporarily get access to some full games (trial period) and 10% off EA title, pretty much not worth imo but may be worth to others.

Zhukov:
I'm confused.

You pay $30/year and you get all those games plus whatever else they end up putting in, plus some discounts?

That actually seems like a good deal. I mean, DA:I just on its own would cost twice that.

...

ALRIGHT EA, WHAT'S THE CATCH!?

I feel the article misrepresents some things. You should read the original EA announcement instead.


Looks more like you get a select number of full games, discounts on EA digital content and early access trials of upcoming games. DA:I is counted among the latter.

Seems a lot like PlayStation Plus, really, except limited to only one publisher and thus, less interesting unless you're really into their stuff.

Eh...one, not that interested in EA's games and two, not interested in an Xbone so...not exactly blown away.

fix-the-spade:

Having read through the website, it looks like you get five days free access to DA:O (and a bunch of other titles as/when they come out) and then up to 10% off the download price should you buy it from the EA online store whilst subscribed.

It also has a feature that maintains your save from the demo period, so if you buy the games you can keep going from wherever you were, that's nice, but in money terms it's not that great a deal.

Paying a subscription for demos now are we?

Eh, I could probably get what I want from Dragon Age: Inquisition in 5 days to be honest.

Chimpzy:

Seems a lot like PlayStation Plus, really, except limited to only one publisher and thus, less interesting unless you're really into their stuff.

Nah. Sounds more like there's a set 5 day period in which a game is free, and then after those 5 days when the game is released you have to pay to continue playing it at all, but with a discount. So at the end of the day, you're paying to get a discount and a 5 day free rental... but on the other hand, some people can do a lot with a game in 5 days.

The new service also includes a 10 percent discount on all digital content and DLC, and free trials/demos for games up to a week before they officially launch. Save files for such games will carry over to official release versions, so early access won't mess with your progress or stats.

Just a quick thought here as I take issue with the "free trials/demos" statement. If someone has to pay $30/year or $5/month then they aren't free.

I think it further demonstrates a monumental lack of faith in their products that demos are released only a week before the full title and then, only to people who are/have already paying/paid for the product. It's laughable and could only work on a walled garden like the XBone. A demo would get disseminated via P2P and filesharing sites if there were a PC version, so EA would have no ability to contain who is and is not allowed to play the demo. Heaven forbid a player actually tries their "mass-market", "broadened appeal" products before forking out full price for them.

Criticisms and EA bashing aside, $30/year to play their entire catalogue of current and new releases is extremely good value (quality of games aside). A "season pass" for all titles (even without DLC) is very good value indeed, cheaper than a single boxed copy of a new title. Which begs the question...how can it be worthwhile financially for EA? Letting people play DA:I for $5 (if the sub is started and cancelled within a month) seems at odds with EAs greed.

The article has misrepresented this thing as better than it really is.

Play First - Membership in EA Access lets you experience trials of new EA games up to five days before the release date.* It starts with Madden NFL 15, NHL 15, FIFA 15, NBA LIVE 15, and Dragon Age: Inquisition, but more are on the way. If you decide to buy the game, your progress will carry over so you can pick up right where you left off.

This is $30 a year for five days of advance access to games, after which point you may buy them digitally (with DLC) for 10% off of the regular price.

It is NOT a subscription for free games.

CriticKitten:
The article has misrepresented this thing as better than it really is.

Play First - Membership in EA Access lets you experience trials of new EA games up to five days before the release date.* It starts with Madden NFL 15, NHL 15, FIFA 15, NBA LIVE 15, and Dragon Age: Inquisition, but more are on the way. If you decide to buy the game, your progress will carry over so you can pick up right where you left off.

This is $30 a year for five days of advance access to games, after which point you may buy them digitally (with DLC) for 10% off of the regular price.

It is NOT a subscription for free games.

Yeah, I think they worded it to trick people into thinking EA is offering those new games listed for free when only select older titles that are no longer US$60 will be free.(But EA would love you owning them, so you buy the DLC.) EA just used typical advertising wordplay to get the attention of potential customers, who ever after realizing the true offer might be willing to pay for it anyway.

Eh, I just can't get excited for any EA games anymore. Sim City and it's massive waste of potential have ruined them for me. I'm not the type of person to say "forever" regarding just about anything, but at least for the foreseeable future.

I'm no fool. I never "trust" a company. It's just not my way. They want money, I have money, they sell product, I buy product. That's as deep as my relationship with any company goes. But EA seems to be on the cusp of outright fraud with most of their announcements, their insincere "apologies" for failures that still haven't been addressed and only seem to appear once the next broken game is nearing release. Supporting them, even in a cursory manner, even when it's a game I want to play, just feels dirty at this point.

And I'm certainly not going to subscribe to a service for the privilege of slightly earlier access to games that are probably broken and in need of patching before retail. If they want me to quality test their products for them, they can run a beta. Not attach a price tag.

Zhukov:
I'm confused.

You pay $30/year and you get all those games plus whatever else they end up putting in, plus some discounts?

That actually seems like a good deal. I mean, DA:I just on its own would cost twice that.

...

ALRIGHT EA, WHAT'S THE CATCH!?

Doesn't sound like they give you those games for free.
You can pay your subscription fee and then be allowed to get discounts on the games in "the vault".
Nothing is free, and considering EA, even having a subscription to it doesn't give anything for free either, just a discount.

Seems like you will be paying EA a $30 subscription for EA discount coupons usable only on EA Xbone games.

This surprisingly sounds like a good service, very reasonably priced, assuming future games are good and they don't massively raise prices. I could see them very well increase it to much higher prices once this goes from beta to public.

However, I think this will be a prime avenue for them to slim down core games and produce more DLC.

nevarran:

Zhukov:
ALRIGHT EA, WHAT'S THE CATCH!?

XBox One? :P

Tip of the iceberg.

The whole shebang will be bugged like hell from start to finish, the available extras will be small (like starving a diet expert), And they'll force some kind of 'manditory' something designed to make sure every 12 seconds that you're you and not having any fun.

Mmh, at best, this is a neat way to avoid the insufferable pre-order trap with Maybe been able to make enough back over discounts of the few games you want to buy to make it worth-while. At worst? It's another fee to play for the same tat, which especially with the sports titles will be barely worth playing 2 years down the line once they unplug on-line support to force people onto their newer models. Still, it's been 10 years since Steam came out, and a lot of people HATED that at launch... Now look at it. Either way, it'll be interesting to see how it gets on, but I'm not terrifically optimistic. I would've said it's nice to see a publisher realise how unfair the current model of shoving pre-orders down our throats is, but then I remember how much Origin shoves pre-orders down me throat, so never flipping mind!

Depends on how many games will be available at any given year, which games will be available, and what limiations may be enforced, this could be a good deal.

I hope that it'll go better than Square Enix's "Core Online".

rofltehcat:

However, I think this will be a prime avenue for them to slim down core games and produce more DLC.

A cynical me would say that this is EA attempting to lessen the value of their 'base' games (as they refer to them) thus creating less of an outrage when they announce less features, cut content out for DLC, and implement in game microtransactions because 'It's a service' and 'You aren't paying full price anyway'

I fear that the future of AAA gaming will be a putrid landscape of paywalls and subscriptions, with our wallets getting handled more than our controllers as we try to play our games (after we prepay full price months before the game is actually out to unlock the exclusive preorder bonus content and levels, then buy the other preorder content from all the different preorder packages through in game microtransactions, then buy and download all the monthly DLC packs adding tiny content expansions, then buy seperate individual content items in the in game microtransaction store, then purchase content packs on the multiplayer gambling microtransaction scheme to gain access to content we've already bought but has been artificially locked behind a fake-currency-grind-wall, all while trying to avoid the gamebreaking bugs and gamestopping server lag, only to be shown an obnoxious "Buy our sequel" message at the end of the insultingly terrible campaign.)

And while that may seem hyperbolic, all those hyperlinked blue lines are recent EA games that have done exactly what I've wrote. They just have yet to all appear in the same game (although there is already some overlapping)

EA drops their "Project $10" DLC shenanigans... only to come up with a yearly subscription to sell you even more DLC and microtransactions!

Saucycarpdog:
Sounds like EA wants to experiment with the Netflix idea of all you can eat subscription service for video games. Who knows, this might be something other publishers try in the future.

Not to mention this is what Playstation Plus and Games with Gold are doing for Playstation 4 and Xbox One respectively. I think it will either fail or create issues with these services as it is competing against the platform their on. I am against this. It will mean that every company will hop on board and we're going to have to drop hundreds a year to subscribe.

sure is great buying all this dlc on games that you don't own and are just renting, and will then subsequently be discontinued which will render all of the purchases worthless

but don't worry, they'll just make the same game again so you'll have to buy it all over

to summarize, this turns EA's games into the dream model they wanted: a possibly popular subscription mmo system, which a cash store that sells both gameplay bonuses and actual pieces of content for way more than what they should be even with 10% off, which will only be useful as long as they support the given game you bought it in, which they'll regularly discontinue when they need more money, and it also lets them charge for beta testing, but with more of an "early access" twist than a "buying an incomplete game" twist

there is no game anymore, there is only a vehicle for selling you perishable overpriced dlc

ea mobile: the console game

It seems like a good deal sure. But that's because EA probably makes more money selling DLC to those games then they do off of the actual games themselves. At least that's the only reason I can think of for them to do it, businesses don't just give things away for nothing.

Hmm. Call me crazy, but Xbox One is now in higher regard for me than the PlayStation 4. Here's why:
- Games With Gold has come and is decent.
- The Kinect has been dropped, along with at least most of the small relative weakness in hardware capabilities.
- Sunset Overdrive and Forza Horizon 2 look promising.
- Except for the beta's uninteresting games, this EA subscription sounds very good.

But it's all up to speculation. The new consoles' launches have taught me to hold-off on the hype.

Sony or Microsoft doing it makes sense...and has the good feature of featuring more than just EA games which are just blah. I'm not sure there is a company with a more dull lineup than EA.

I'm also wondering why this is currently Xbone exclusive, what does that achieve? I mean there doesn't seem to be an actual logical reason for it.

I remain baffled as to why anyone considers this a "good deal" unless they just haven't read the contents of the original post from EA's own website. This article grossly misstates how the service works.

This is a subscription service that gives you five days of a game for free, after which you are required to pay for the game to continue enjoying it. Yes, it offers a 10% discount on said game and its DLC, but on a $60 game, that amounts to $6 saved, and that's it. You'd need to buy $300 worth of EA games and DLC per year just for this thing to break even in terms of subscription value.

Those two things alone are really and truly not worth $30 a year, people. Not unless you find yourself very regularly buying everything EA spits out. And if that's the case, you have a much bigger problem.

 

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