A few years back, Sony unveiled their Instant Game Collection for PlayStation Plus members, further changing the game as far as online subscription services are concerned. Not that long (but still too long) after Microsoft announced its own competitor, Games With Gold. Both services offer "free" games to their subscribers, with new ones swapping in each month, and have fast become an integral part of their respective ecosystems.
Hoping to piggyback off the success of those two offerings, Electronic Arts has today announced their own service called EA Access. The service will be exclusive to the Xbox One (for now), and will give subscribers unfettered access to a special selection of Electronic Arts' library.
The EA Access service is currently in beta, but it will expand to all users relatively soon. Once the service does exit beta, gamers will have the option of paying $4.99/month or $29.99/year in order to unlock several potentially exciting options.
Like with the Instant Game Collection and Games with Gold, EA Access subscribers will see the most value in The Vault, EA's curated selection of "free" titles. While it's unclear whether The Vault will feature a monthly rotation or if it will simply continue to grow, right now the feature includes unlimited access to some of EA's current-gen titles. Beta participants, for example, can download and play digital copies of FIFA 14, Madden NFL 25, Peggle 2, and Battlefield 4 right now.
On top of that, EA Access will also include early access (5 days) to game demos for the publisher's upcoming titles, like Dragon Age: Inquisition or NHL 15. As well, subscribers will receive a 10% discount on all EA-related purchases.
As a whole, the EA Access service sounds like a valiant attempt on Electronic Arts' part to build their own PlayStation Plus-esque service. However, like with PlayStation Plus, EA Access' success will ultimately be determined by the quality of the titles included in the service and how regularly EA adds new games. But since the publisher only releases so many games in a year, we could see things starting to run thin really quick.
However, if EA can position the service well, and keep the Access selection well stocked throughout the year, this could be an easy sell, especially for EA Sports fans. We'll find out how well EA Access performs when it exits beta later this year.
What do you think of EA Access? Does it sound like a service you would subscribe to?
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