EA Access: What to Know and What it’s Worth
Earlier this week, Electronic Arts released its new subscription service EA Access to the public. This Xbox One exclusive gives gamers unlimited access to specified EA titles and discounts on EA products, among other perks.
THE LOW DOWN
The EA Access subscription service is available exclusively on the Xbox One console. There are multiple benefits that EA will be offering to their subscribers. To start, EA grants you access to “The Vault”, which consists of a selection of EA titles that you can play as much or as little as you want. At launch this week, those titles included: Battlefield 4, Peggle 2, FIFA 14, and Madden NFL 25, with more titles to be announced.
In a recent interview with CVG, EA COO Peter Moore goes on to reassure that once titles are in the Vault, they won’t disappear.
“I think one of the key things is that once a game goes into the Vault it stays there, it’s not going to be taken out, that’s a commitment we’ve made.”
In addition to having unlimited access to full games through the Vault, EA will also be offering what they call “Play First”; granting limited access to certain titles five days before their release. Saying that access is limited prior to release is a general term, however. What type of access is granted depends on the game. You could be limited to a certain mode for the duration of the trial period, or it could be the full game. Once those five days are up access to the title is cut, but your progress is saved as it normally would be. So if you loved the game and decide to purchase it, you can continue right where you left off.
Lastly, being a subscription member grants you a 10% discount on EA digital purchases on the Xbox One. That includes full games, DLC, and in-game currency. The discount is subject to certain conditions and exclusions, however.
Pricing for EA Access is affordable at $4.99 per month or $29.99 for a full year.
IS IT WORTH IT?
It really depends on your gaming habits. Those of us who are fans of EA titles but need to be frugal about purchases, could make good use out of this service. Sure, the full titles you’ll have access to will probably be a little older by the time you get to experience them, but unless Game Stop is selling it for $4.99, it’s a good deal. Plus, having access to games prior to their release makes you a more educated consumer. This way you can try it out before deciding to drop $60 on a game that might not be as fantastic as it’s made out to be. Oh, and not to mention bragging rights. So while you’re buddies are thinking “Man, I can’t wait for Dragon Age: Inquisition to come out on Tuesday!” you could be sitting at home, playing the hell out of it.
For those who are fans of EA Sports titles, EA Access may be the best bang for your buck. You could potentially have access to newer EA Sports titles every year. So instead of spending $60 on a new game every year (or few years like many do), you could pay the $30 to play for a year or $5 a month for just a few months and get your moneys worth.
With all the good, there are flaws with the system. For one, this is meant only for the Xbox One crowd. So if you’ve yet to upgrade to their next-gen console or you’re simply a PlayStation fan, I’m afraid you’re out of luck. Mind you, EA had pitched the concept to Sony, but they declined stating that they didn’t think it was a “good value”.
Another downfall is that not all titles will be available through EA Access, nor is there a definitive template for when titles will enter the Vault. There’s also the possibility of EA realizing that they can’t keep their titles in the Vault indefinitely as originally promised. Business strategies are an ever changing beast, so we’ll have to wait and see if they can keep their word.
Whether or not EA Access is worth it, is ultimately up to you. I’ll be looking forward to getting my own subscription, but only after more titles are available in the Vault. How about you? Will you dive right in or pass on it?