Electronic Arts today unveiled Origin Access, the PC version of the previously Xbox exclusive EA Access subscription service. $4.99 a month unlocks the EA Vault.
EA Access, love it or hate it, is a unique and compelling idea. The Xbox exclusive service provides instant access to a large library of classic and recent EA-published titles, as well as early access and discounts for future titles. That EA Access hasn't come to PlayStation 4 is no surprise, as Sony reportedly refused the service, but an Origin-focused version of EA Access? That's something that should be available right now. Oh hey, looks like EA just launched Origin Access this morning!
Origin Access, as the name implies, is a similar subscription service to EA Access, but for the PC instead of the Xbox One. It is also, naturally, exclusive to EA's Origin storefront platform. Currently, Origin Access only offers a digital subscription of $4.99 a month, unlike EA Access which also offers a $29.99 annual subscription. A subscription grants access to The Vault, which includes titles such as Dragon Age: Inquisition and Battlefield Hardline, early trials of upcoming games, for instance Unravel will be available to try in February, and discounts on all Origin purchases, DLC and so-on (including sales).
Where Origin Access differs from EA Access is in scope. The Xbox's subscription service is entirely limited to EA titles published on the platform. Whereas Origin Access's boons may also apply to third-party titles. Currently the only such third-party title unlocked in The Vault is This War of Mine, originally published by Deep Silver. Eventually, and perhaps tied to the success of the service, more third titles will join the vault or even offer exclusive early trials.
An allotment of 2015 EA games are likely approaching a date where they enter The Vault. Battlefield is the most recent addition and the only current 2015 release available for subscribers. Other 2015 titles are certain to follow in the months to come, whether those be any of the many EA Sports titles -- Madden NFL 16, FIFA 16, NBA Live 16 or NHL 16 -- or, well, 2015 was a bit thin for EA. Their two big holiday releases, Need for Speed and Star Wars: Battlefront likely won't hit the vault soon. Maybe 2014's Titanfall will go to the Vault, should Titanfall 2 marketing ramp up.
The value of Origin Access will, much like EA Access, be wholly dependent on whether a person really wants to play a game within The Vault. For instance, if someone hasn't played any of the Dead Space trilogy, a 1-month, $4.99 subscription will grant access to all three games. Those three would otherwise cost a total of around $60. Or if someone absolutely must get a 10-hour head start on their friends and opponents in an upcoming EA shooter, $4.99 doesn't seem so expensive. But otherwise?
It's important to recognize why a subscription service like Origin Access works, and the simple answer is because of those wonderful three letters: D, L, C. What EA may lose in game sales, games which have largely lost much of their value by this point in their lifespan, they can more than make up in DLC sales. EA rarely, if ever, drops the price of their DLC. Mass Effect 2 DLC still burns a hole in many wallets. And with Origin being EA's own platform, they take in 100% of every DLC sale. That's how games like Battlefield 4 on Origin Access might make much more money than it ever would have outside The Vault.
Origin Access is currently available to subscribe to through the Origin website for $4.99 a month. Check out the perks and see if it's something worth checking out.