Over the last few years, the way that people play and access video games has drastically changed. For example, more people than ever are downloading their video games, which is why the Xbox One and the PS4 have been released in 500GB and 1TB hard-drive varieties. And then there are services like EA Access and PlayStation Now.
EA Access, which is only available on Xbox One, grants subscribers access to the EA Vault of games for the duration of their subscription and it also offers early access into some of EA’s biggest titles such as Star Wars Battlefront. PlayStation Now on the other hand combines game streaming with the Blockbuster-style of game renting. Here, PlayStation users can pay a fee (which varies depending on the length of the rental) to play a game for as much or as little as they like during that time, or they can subscribe for a specific time period that grants them access to all of the games offered on the service.
Not everyone is fond of these business models though – EA Access only includes EA games and PS Now’s games lineup leaves much to be desired – and many have suggested that publishers adopt a Netflix model, including all of gaming’s biggest publishers under one roof. As they’re all rivals, such a service didn’t seem possible, but according to a new survey, that’s exactly what EA is working on.
In the survey, which was sent out by market research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey and posted in full by imgur user awfuljack, it details “an all-you-can-play video game subscription on PC”. This subscription would offer “a library of games you can play as much as you want”, as well as newer games which will be added “after they’ve been on store shelves for a period of time”. In some questions EA also wants to know how fresh these new games should be, i.e should they be added the day of release, one month after release and so on.
In terms of pricing, the survey polled players on prices ranging from $4.99 a month all the way up to $14.99. And although EA is still deciding how many games would be added to the service each month (one game, one game and a trial, one game and an expansion pack are all possibilities) they would sweeten the deal by offering discounts on new games as well as digital purchases including games, expansions and in-game currency. Plus, the service may include games from not just EA, but Bethesda, Ubisoft, Take-Two, and Activision, so a large library could make this service worth it, even for $14.99 a month.
Assuming that the survey is the real deal and that EA is looking to set up the Netflix of gaming, there are many questions that need to be answered. For example, will this service eventually come to consoles and if it does, how will multiplayer work? Xbox Live and PlayStation Plus subscriptions may end up being a mandatory requirement, or multiplayer may just be unavailable on games, so this is something to think about.
Moreover, will EA and co. release exclusive games on the platform the way Netflix does with shows like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black? Exclusive titles could certainly encourage people to subscribe but it risks alienating fans who can’t afford to sign up.
Would you sign up to a Netflix-for-games style service? Which games would you like to see made available? Leave a comment and let us know.