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EA Reveals New Subscription Service on Xbox One

EA Access includes a back catalog of EA games, discounts, and the ability to play games early.

Electronic Arts has a new idea for a gaming subscription service, and it's called EA Access. Currently exclusive to Xbox One, EA Access grants entry to a back catalog of EA games inside The Vault, a 10% discount on purchasing games and DLC digitally, and access to retail games five days before release.

Starting today, it's rolling out to Xbox One users, and signups occur through the EA Access Hub app.

Users can choose between a monthly ($4.99) or annual ($29.99) subscription fee, and the first wave of games loaded into the The Vault include Peggle 2, Battlefield 4, Madden NFL 25, and FIFA 14. Those games have been handpicked for the beta, however, and it's unclear if games in The Vault will stay for limited periods, rotate, or eventually have time limits associated with them. For now, it's unlimited, while EA sees how people respond to the program.

I have to imagine paying a few dollars to start playing Dragon Age: Inquisition nearly a week before release is going to be awfully tempting, especially since your progress will be saved. Any takers?

If successful, it's likely EA Access becomes available elsewhere, but no details on that just yet.

More specifics on EA Access are available through a FAQ on the company's website.

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Edited by Kordesh

I see no way in which this doesn't end up costing you way more in the long run. I really hope this doesn't become a "thing".

Posted by ArchTeckGuru8

eh, nope

Posted by Shivoa
@thehbk said:

This is very narrow minded. You are not paying $5 a month for a demo to Dragon Age. You are playing the full game. [...] Please do us a favor and think and read before posting. You're welcome.

If it was the full game then you'd be able to play all of it but the language (2 hours explicitly mentioned) clearly indicates this is not the case. Narrow minded or I actually read (and considered) the offer before commenting?

Maybe keep the tone civil.

Posted by MB

@shivoa said:
@thehbk said:

This is very narrow minded. You are not paying $5 a month for a demo to Dragon Age. You are playing the full game. [...] Please do us a favor and think and read before posting. You're welcome.

If it was the full game then you'd be able to play all of it but the language (2 hours explicitly mentioned) clearly indicates this is not the case. Narrow minded or I actually read (and considered) the offer before commenting?

Maybe keep the tone civil.

Thanks - thehbk please listen to this guy. We don't ask a lot from people on Giant Bomb, but we do ask that users treat one another with respect.

Anyway - the Xbox One subreddit seems to be really eating this one up. Not sure what that means for the bigger picture of Xbox One owners, but anyway here's the link if anyone wants to check out the comments:

http://www.reddit.com/r/xboxone/comments/2c2302/ea_announces_subscription_service_on_xbox_one/

Moderator Online
Posted by MikaelBoogart

This is gross. I hate it.

Posted by Efesell

This is gross. I hate it.

I don't understand what would be gross about it.

As of yet I don't particularly see the value in it given what's being offered but it has potential.

Posted by me3639

I never buy or play games until they hit the steam sale or baragin bin so dont care. From a buiness perspective, genius. Wait til Nintendo sees this!

Posted by DrDarkStryfe

It is a pretty smart, forward-thinking, concept. EA lives off of franchises with annual entries. It is a pretty good deal if you invest in a handful of those entries.

Posted by MackGyver

If I can wait one or more years for a game to come out from time of announcement, I can wait a few more days till release. So no thanks.

Posted by PrettyGoodCake

Yeah, I totally can't wait to shell out $30 per publisher to play the games they're no longer moving. Sounds so awesome. If this is the future, I want no part of it. I'd rather the console company be the gatekeeper of old products and actually get to choose what I put a few dollars towards instead of a publisher throwing old games at me without a choice.

Posted by Wrighteous86

I like that they are experimenting with deals and programs and methods of payment/discounts, but I don't think I'd take advantage of this enough to make it cost-effective for me. There just aren't that many EA games I want each year.

Posted by jasondesante

EA rly access. Years later we realize rly stands for rarely.

Posted by TadThuggish

This is a really great progressive move from a company that's been relatively shitty on the business and creative side for the past several years. A Netflix-style model where you give an annual fee to access all a publisher's forthcoming/previous titles would benefit consumers with an overall lower price point and might(?) give the publisher more money overall than each game would at 60 a pop. Now, it's EA, so surely they'll find a way to screw things up. But the idea is sound. I pay for Netflix, Amazon Prime, PlayStation Plus, and the WWE Network, and all have been very good deals that save me money in the long run. Just imagine if Valve or Nintendo or even a small developer like Devolver Digital adopted this idea (it's basically a Patreon). People would eat a valuable subscription service up.

Those who are negative on this are letting their rightful distrust of EA initiatives blind them to the actual words in the actual news story. And if there's a section out there that really hates the idea of saving money while positively supporting publishers (EA or otherwise), well, they're the same people who would've said streaming movies was for dumb idiots back in 2007.

Posted by Dr_Beaverah

If handled properly...I can dig this.

Posted by Mr_Creeper

PASS.

Edited by PhilipDuck

Interesting... Lets just see how this goes...

Posted by 2HeadedNinja

It's weird that they have their own distribution channel with Origin and yet they don't start this on PC too. This has some potential depending on how they handle what games you can play.

Posted by SamFo

Okay, so im selling my physical disc of Battlefield 4.

Signing up for this, and cancelling the auto renew.

Of course I'll only have access to BF4 for 12 more months but...

Can anyone spot any flaws in my plan, or is this a legitimate strategy?

Online
Edited by MB

@samfo: The only flaw is that you'll no longer own BF4, and instead be renting some other games for a year and then have nothing to show for it when your subscription lapses. That may not even be a flaw depending on how much value you put in that disk, or if you are someone that likes to own your games and keep them.

Moderator Online
Edited by DJJoeJoe

@mb: Ah, thanks I only glanced through the first few paragraphs of the press release, didn't notice any FAQ section :S

I'd have to imagine it won't require Xbox Live Gold considering their recent move to REmove lots of stuff from the paywall, this is on EAs end though it does require tapping into the official store on probably both the store.xbox.com site ANY the console Store app... so there's some deep integration/authentication that will need to happen to get people those discounts and trial access stuff. I'd say it's above 50/50 that it won't require gold... but who doesn't have gold at this point? As far as I look at it both gold and psplus are basically required when you invest in a console, specifically because most people only get 1 console (I can see maybe a person who bought both would maybe only subscribe to 1 service).

Posted by mewarmo990

I got my money's worth from OnLive's subscription service (latency issues aside) so this is a pretty good idea that should net them some revenue.

Edited by Fattony12000

I'm good, thanks.

Posted by Zaxex

It's at least an interesting concept. Down the line it'll be more obvious if it's a good deal or not - but I appreciate there being alternatives. I've been trying to get more games on console than on PC lately, and feel as though I don't have much of a choice when games start at about £50 on new consoles and are more like £55-60 to download - sapping the convenience factor.

Edited by Superfriend

Heh, EA has kind of a shitty lineup, judging from the press conference. Dragon Age excluded, what do they have to offer to keep this thing going? Battlefield 4, Hardline, and a whole lot of nothing.

Posted by PenguinDust

@kordesh said:

I see no way in which this doesn't end up costing you way more in the long run. I really hope this doesn't become a "thing".

Yes, my concern would be that all the big publishers start running their own subscription services like the record labels tried after Napster was shut down. $5 a month sounds OK for one service but what about Ubisoft, Activision, Take-Two, Square-Enix, etc...start charging the same? Is $30 or $40 a month going to be acceptable?

Also, is EA going to be porting their older catalogue over to the XBO? PSN has Gaikai/Playstation Now to get around that. It seems unlikely they'll be converting a lot of older games to the new consoles, so I am left wondering will the Vault just feature current-gen games. If that's the case, this might be more appealing five years from now.

Posted by MB

Heh, EA has kind of a shitty lineup, judging from the press conference. Dragon Age excluded, what do they have to offer to keep this thing going? Battlefield 4, Hardline, and a whole lot of nothing.

They've also got Dead Space, Mass Effect, Crysis, Titanfall, and Need for Speed. Medal of Honor, although I'm not sure they are even making any more of those.

Moderator Online
Posted by Splodge

Keep in mind, if you are playing it a week before most people, what do you think that experience will be like, considering it takes EA and most large studios days / weeks / months to release bug fixes and patches? Lately, I have been waiting at last two weeks after some games are released to start playing because they are bound to be unfinished buggy messes.

Posted by simian

$30 a year is enough for me to toss some money at it and see what happens, at least for a year to see what comes of it.

Posted by MB

@splodge said:

Keep in mind, if you are playing it a week before most people, what do you think that experience will be like, considering it takes EA and most large studios days / weeks / months to release bug fixes and patches? Lately, I have been waiting at last two weeks after some games are released to start playing because they are bound to be unfinished buggy messes.

Yeah I had not even considered that...how many games have big release day patches these days? They're either going to need to patch the games earlier or EArly Access people will have to deal with problems until the "real" release.

Moderator Online
Edited by SomeJerk

Sony just rejected this, it's not coming to the PlayStation platforms because duh.

Edited by isomeri

@simian said:

$30 a year is enough for me to toss some money at it and see what happens, at least for a year to see what comes of it.

I also ended up subscribing purely out of curiosity. It's unfortunate that there are almost no EA releases coming out in the next 12 months that would interest me, but I've been wanting to play Battlefield 4 for a long time now so at least there's that.

Posted by Pezen

I also enjoy this fine print detail; "Titanfall excluded from all [including the digital discount, I assume] EA Access features; Check this page often for EA Access updates and any future exclusions." -- So it sounds sort of cheap. It's not all EA games, it's selected games. And even the discount isn't applicable to all EA titles. So.. it sounds like a really odd gamble that'll eventually mean you probably have paid more for less at some point.

Edited by TrafalgarLaw

No thanks:

1. How many actual XB1 games did EA publish? Not much.
2. Select titles, aka. crappy ones no one bought.
3. When bad meets evil: an EA & Microsoft sceme.

Posted by bumheadducky

Wow. As someone who loves GB but rarely goes on the forums I can't believe at the insane level of hatred towards EA here. Sure they are not the greatest company but $30 for a years access to "the vault" seems like a deal to me. Everything else is just a bonus.

Edited by Residentrevil2

I'm an Xbox preview member and I subscribed to the service last night. I downloaded FIFA and Peggle 2 last night. I'm selling my boxed copy of Madden tomorrow. I hope Need for Speed Rivals goes into the Vault soon. I'd love to try that game out.

Edited by Budwyzer

Everyone logs on and tries to play Dragon Age: Inquisition early.

"We're sorry but the servers are overloaded."

Posted by Budwyzer

@kmg90 said:

Read the fine print people, this is Trojan horse to get people to pay for access to game early (you could easily call it a demo or trial as you have LIMITED TIME OF ACTUALLY PLAYING THE GAMES, ie 2 HOURS) and to get people to buy digital to make look like it's cheap to go digital when they are just getting you to pay money so you can pay somewhat less money for a games that are cheaper elsewhere.

The FAQ actually says that the early access stuff will be trial based.

Edited by pyrodactyl

I would probably pay $5 to buy dragon age early if I had an xbox one. That would be a dumb decision. Anyway, does that mean we'll get reviews and quick looks 5 days before release for all EA games from now on?

Posted by Goldone

It's kinda crazy if they let you have access to the full game 5 days early, with the internet being what it is it wouldn't be long before let's plays and walkthroughs are online and completed before the game comes out officially. I'm a little confused though, you get early access to Dragon Age for example, then you still have to buy the game right? Or else why mention the 10% discount on digital downloads for full games?

Also I'd like more details on the vault, is it like Disney where they bring new things to it for a limited time before taking them away or is it just after a certain point they go "fuck it" and it's there for all subscribers? Maybe this is a cool thing, but so early in a new generation when they have few games out it feels like a big ask to me at least. Other than Mass Effect I don't play any EA games, because they seem to be mostly sports ones, so I doubt I'd bite. Plus the last EA online games I really got into was Skate and they ended up taking down the servers so I could no longer play online so I'd need clarification on this no longer being the case going forward if I were to subscribe.

Posted by gamefreak9

I like the business model but not a fan of EA games.

Edited by Luck702

I hope to Christ this fails miserably. Anyone who pays EA 5 dollars a month is out of their mind.

If it succeeds, say hello to every publisher thinking they can charge a monthly subscription.

Posted by Nashvilleskyline

Seriously, is there somethine I'm missing... for 5$ it seems like a really fucking good deal no?
I guess that they will have more titles in the future also?... so what's the catch and why are people complaining about that... I'm not too sure I follow the reasonning...

please can you enlight me?

Edited by Luck702

@tadthuggish said:

This is a really great progressive move from a company that's been relatively shitty on the business and creative side for the past several years. A Netflix-style model where you give an annual fee to access all a publisher's forthcoming/previous titles would benefit consumers with an overall lower price point and might(?) give the publisher more money overall than each game would at 60 a pop. Now, it's EA, so surely they'll find a way to screw things up. But the idea is sound. I pay for Netflix, Amazon Prime, PlayStation Plus, and the WWE Network, and all have been very good deals that save me money in the long run. Just imagine if Valve or Nintendo or even a small developer like Devolver Digital adopted this idea (it's basically a Patreon). People would eat a valuable subscription service up.

Those who are negative on this are letting their rightful distrust of EA initiatives blind them to the actual words in the actual news story. And if there's a section out there that really hates the idea of saving money while positively supporting publishers (EA or otherwise), well, they're the same people who would've said streaming movies was for dumb idiots back in 2007.

Go read the fine print. It most definitely is not ALL EA titles.

Look.

@pezen said:

I also enjoy this fine print detail; "Titanfall excluded from all [including the digital discount, I assume] EA Access features; Check this page often for EA Access updates and any future exclusions." -- So it sounds sort of cheap. It's not all EA games, it's selected games. And even the discount isn't applicable to all EA titles. So.. it sounds like a really odd gamble that'll eventually mean you probably have paid more for less at some point.

Edited by Nashvilleskyline

@luck702:

hmm sorry but it still feels like a good deal. Let's say I want to rent or play BF4. It's gonna cost me 7 or 8$ for a week at my local renting place, maybe a little more. So, for 5$, right now, I can go and play BF4 for a month, get a 10% (7$) discount on another game I want to buy from EA...let's say Dragon Age Inquisition and maybe play other games that might be of interest to me.

What is wrong about that deal apart from the fact that it comes from EA and that it's on the Xbox... 2 companies people are more than happy to crap on?

Edited by EXTomar
@nashvilleskyline said:

@luck702:

hmm sorry but it still feels like a good deal. Let's say I want to rent or play BF4. It's gonna cost me 7 or 8$ for a week at my local renting place, maybe a little more. So, for 5$, right now, I can go and play BF4 for a month, get a 10$ discount on another game I want to buy from EA...let's say Dragon Age Inquisition and maybe play other games that might be of interest to me.

What is wrong about that deal apart from the fact that it comes from EA and that it's on the Xbox... 2 companies people are more than happy to crap on?

Besides the fact the deal seems questionable? Just a quick estimate but it seems like you'd have to buy 6 FULL PRICED EA games in a year to make this worth it. The market is struggling because only the crazy hardcore gamers buy 6 games a year at that price level let alone from just EA.

Posted by masterpaperlink

Its too cheap for them to give you the games you actually want

Posted by afrofools

I feel this is actually one of the smartest things they have done, but I don't want to bother explaining why. Seasonal games such as multiplayer shooters and sports games have a limited lifespan due partly to planned obsolescence, and also because they can get 'stale.' If a new Battlefield comes out each year, they can simultaneously benefit from the promotion of a launch and push everyone onto the new version, increasing revenue and improving the matchmaking experience (due to more players on a single version).

Posted by jvice152

this is a shitty precedent

Posted by OneManX

I got a look at it, through the Xbox Preview and it seems fine.

It just boils down to, what EA will offer, kinda bummed to not see Titanfall on there, but they are still supporting that game, where as a new version of Madden, FIFA, and (before delay) Battlefield is on the horizon.

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