Yesterday brought the dramatic announcement that Electronic Arts was entering the subscription business in a platform not unlike PlayStation Plus. Their new service, titled EA Access, will exclusively allow Xbox One gamers to have access to a catalog of Electronic Arts games as long as their subscription is valid. With bonuses like getting demos early and discounts on downloadable content, it’s potentially a formidable service – unless, of course, you’re asking Sony.
The EA Access subscription will cost gamers either $5 per month or $30 for the year, which is great value if the service can provide new EA titles alongside their actual release dates. If they can get EA Sports titles to launch on the service alongside their actual retail release dates, anyone who purchases at least one yearly sports game would save $40 each year by switching to EA Access – and they could download the title from their couch. Even putting the sports games aside, there are plenty of quality Electronic Arts titles up for grabs – it’s just up to EA to actually use them to support the new service.
When Sony was questioned why the EA Access service was available on Xbox One and not PS4, they revealed that this was a choice they made of their own volition – and likely, a choice made to protect the value behind their own PlayStation Plus subscription service:
We evaluated the EA Access subscription offering and decided that it does not bring the kind of value PlayStation customers have come to expect. PlayStation Plus memberships are up more than 200% since the launch of PlayStation 4, which shows that gamers are looking for memberships that offer a multitude of services, across various devices, for one low price. We don’t think asking our fans to pay an additional $5 a month for this EA-specific program represents good value to the PlayStation gamer.
Sony looks to have taken a firm stance regarding EA Access, so PlayStation fans shouldn’t get their hopes up that the service might come over anytime soon. That said, if demand is high enough, Sony might relent and bring the subscription service over to their platform.
EA Access is currently in beta, with participants being allowed to play FIFA 14, Madden NFL 25, Peggle 2 and Battlefield 4 through the service. When it finishes the beta, we hope to see plenty of new titles added to the list.
What do you think about EA Access, Ranters? Would you like to see it on the Playstation 4, or are you fine without it?
You can follow John Jacques on Twitter @Makelevi.