EA Games has announced a new service through Xbox One today called “EA Access.” The service allows Xbox One owners a chance to access unlimited EA games for $4.99 per month.
EA has already released some titles, and the subscription service is now accessible for a few select Xbox One owners as of this writing. The service will be spread out to all Xbox One users in the next few weeks.
A New Gaming Model
This is the first time a gaming publishing company has created a Netflix-like subscription services for gamers. In addition to providing users unlimited access to regular EA games, EA is also offering any subscribers the chance to gain 10% off of any new game downloads from the EA store.
EA’s new subscription service will also be of benefit to Microsoft, since the company hasn’t been seeing stellar Xbox One console sales over the past few months and lags behind other consoles.
In a statement issued this morning, Sony told press that the company looked at EA’s new subscription model, but passed on offering Sony console users the chance to use EA Access. For now, Microsoft’s Xbox One console will be the only option for those seeking to subscribe to EA Access. The titles that have been release so far include Battlefield 4, Madden NFL, Fifa 14, and Peggle 2. EA Access is still in beta mode as of this writing, but the company plans to expand the service if all goes well with beta testers.
A Possible Problem
It’s hard to say whether or not gamers will take to the rental model. Most gamers want to purchase a game instead of rent a game, since such a commitment to games comes with any purchase or rental. While renting movies works for most people, games are unique – and some gamers don’t like the idea of a rental-based service. Most gamers want to be able to play a game whenever the mood strikes, and that won’t be possible with rentals. It will be an interesting test to see whether or not Xbox One users gravitate towards the rental model, or whether this model flops.
Clearly, gamers are split on this new service from EA. Some believe that having access to multiple games is a good thing (and the price of the subscription is lower than purchasing an actual game or two), but some still want to own the game – and fear for server crashes. EA hasn’t provided a definite release date for Acess yet, but the company has stated that all Xbox One gamers will have access to the new subscription service this summer – since summer ends soon, I’m guessing that release date will happen in August.
Does it make sense to rent games, or do you prefer to own all the games that you like to play? I’d also love to hear from anyone that’s on the early beta list – how’s the service looking so far? If this works, it will be a big bonus for EA and Microsoft.