This week, EA launched a higher priced version of its Origin Access subscription service. Priced at $14.99 a month (or $99.99 a year), Origin Access Premier offers a few more benefits than the more affordable, lower tier of Origin Access ($4.99 per month or $30 per year) including access to a larger vault of games.
But even with the increased list of benefits, is EA’s Origin Access Premier worth it at this higher price? And does it still make sense to become an Origin Access subscriber instead of purchasing games outright? Let’s take a look.
What is Origin Access Premier?
Origin Access Premier is EA’s PC-only subscription service that provides subscribers access to a vault of 129 games (and growing) so long as they stay subscribed. These games include FIFA 18, Star Wars Battlefront 2, and Madden NFL 19 which brings the series back to PC and is available a week early on Origin Access Premier.
Subscribers also have early access to new releases in full before their official release date (this includes upcoming titles such as FIFA 19, Battlefield V, and Anthem). EA also includes a 10% discount for all Origin purchases and subscribers will also get “extra content” for new EA titles including microtransaction bonuses and access to expansion packs.
Origin Access (Basic) vs. Origin Access Premier
There are a few key differences between the basic version Origin Access and Origin Access Premier besides the price. The biggest difference is that Origin Access (basic) subscribers only get 10-hour trials in early access, meaning that their early hands-on time with a game will be cut short. For Origin Access Premier, though, subscribers get unfettered access to the full game, meaning that they can enjoy the game before the floodgates open and the non-subscribing masses get to play too.
Moreover, Origin Access basic doesn’t include microtransactions or immediate access to expansion packs for new releases either. Even games such as Anthem and Battlefield V, which are choosing to ditch the traditional season pass, will still have cosmetic microtransactions, so that’s something else to consider.
Is Origin Access Premier Worth It?
Origin Access Premier does seem like good value for money for those who regularly engage with EA-published titles. The higher-priced subscription isn’t worth it for those who only play FIFA, for example, or only care about The Sims 4 and its latest expansion pack, but those who are avid fans of the publisher could save a lot of money here. If a brand new EA game costs $60 then if subscribers pay for an Origin Access Premier subscription instead of buying a third, new EA title, they will have already saved some cash for the year.
It’s also ideal for those who spend money on microtransactions in EA’s games. While the company’s use of microtransactions has been a contentious issue lately (mostly as a result of the Battlefront 2 loot box controversy), the decision to include microtransactions bonuses in an Origin Access Premier subscription could prove beneficial.
The microtransaction bonuses may remove the risk of buyer’s remorse since they come pre-packaged with a subscription. They could even encourage players to spend more money on microtransactions outside of the bonuses offered with Origin Acess Premier, but most likely, those who subscribe to the service will have been strongly considering spending on microtransactions anyway.
What Are the Downsides of Origin Access Premier?
Though, that’s not to say that there aren’t some downsides to EA’s new subscription plan. At this price, it’s not ideal for those who maybe only enjoy a handful of EA releases or even for those who prefer the publisher’s back catalog over anything it has in the pipeline. For example, it doesn’t make sense to subscribe to Origin Access Premier to play games like Mass Effect: Andromeda or even FIFA 18, as those games are now cheaper than when they launched at $60 a pop.
Plus the biggest draws to Origin Access Premier (FIFA 19 and Battlefield V) are still more than a month away, and arguably the biggest draw, Anthem, doesn’t launch until February 2019. As such, it doesn’t make sense to sign up right now if those games are the real reason someone’s considering subscribing to the service.
Those on the fence may want to consider first signing up for just a month to test it out and see how much use they would get out of it before paying full whack. It’s true that there’s an $80 difference between paying the monthly subscription for 12 months or the annual subscription, but subscribers will still be saving money if they pay for one month and decide it’s not for them instead of shelling out $99 when they’re uncertain.
Origin Access Premier is available on PC now.