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Sony's Not a Huge Fan of EA Access

The company determined EA's offering "does not bring the kind of value PlayStation customers have come to expect." Ouch.

The newly announced EA Access subscription service from Electronics Arts is exclusive to Xbox One, but only because Sony passed on the program, it seems.

For a monthly ($4.99) or annual ($29.99) fee, EA Access grants a 10% discount on digital purchases, a chance to play retail releases early, and a back catalog of games in The Vault, which currently includes Battlefield 4, Peggle 2, FIFA 14, and Madden NFL 25.

Unless something changes, though, don't expect it on PlayStation 4 or Vita.

“We evaluated the EA Access subscription offering and decided that it does not bring the kind of value PlayStation customers have come to expect,” the company said in a statement. “PlayStation Plus memberships are up more than 200% since the launch of PlayStation 4, which shows that gamers are looking for memberships that offer a multitude of services, across various devices, for one low price. We don’t think asking our fans to pay an additional $5 a month for this EA-specific program represents good value to the PlayStation gamer.”

While it's possible this is completely about Sony making a value judgement of EA Access for PlayStation owners, it's also likely Sony views EA Access as competition to PlayStation Plus. The question is whether EA won't bother including its releases as part of PlayStation Plus in the future. I'm betting it doesn't go that far.

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Posted by Slag

I think Sony did the right thing for their eco system. They have a closed system and they naturally want to protect it which means disallowing internal competition with their own services. EA Access looks like a potential Trojan Horse to more or less hijack the store and online services from Sony and Microsoft. Not to mention it looks like a way to cut Sony's cut of EA new game sales out of the loop, which is likely their primary source of profit on console business.

I'm not so sure this a good thing for consumers , other than argument about store confusion, but their move makes total business sense.

Posted by carlthenimrod

I got early access on my xbone and subscribed for a year to see how it goes.

3 out of the 4 games in the vault I have never played before and I'm hoping I make my 30 dollars back over the course of the year naturally.

Not sure why people would defend Sony over this. Let it on your service and let the consumer decide if they want to spend their money or not.

Posted by ManicMyna

30 dollars a year to save 10% - I doubt EA have that many games coming per year to make that good value to anyone, unless you are dumb enough to pay to cheat in all the games as well

Edited by hermes

@brodehouse said:

@hermes said:

Of course, we shouldn't rule out the possibility that the system has some conditions on the part of Sony that they didn't want to take part of. The EA fee theory mentioned before sounds about right.

Why? Why do you think this? Why do people think this? This is the definition of idle speculation. It doesn't even make business sense for EA to charge console holders in order for those console holders to allow EA to sell a product on their store. That's the opposite of how licensing works!

Who said it was about licencing? All I am saying is that we don't know the fine print and, if we would, it would shade light into Sony's position.

Let me put it this way: Sony gets paid by EA every time someone downloads something from the PlayStation store by EA, in addition to the licencing fees they pay for making a PlayStation game (it was the way Sony kept the online free... by charging the publishers for the architecture maintenance costs instead of putting it on consumers and advertisement). Now imagine having that service allows EA to circumvent having to pay maintenance fees to Sony (which makes some sense, since the EA Access app would be a frontend for EA's servers, the same way the Netflix app doesn't impact on Sony's network architecture that much). Naturally, Sony would no be happy about it.

Or maybe it was a similar case to when Steam pulled EA games down under the justification that they wanted to start using in-game stores for DLC instead of going through Steam...

I guess my point is that I still feel like there is something about Sony's decision they are not telling us. "We don't want any competition" seems too shortsighted for a company that has shown to have no problem with services like Netflix and Amazon Movies chewing on the profits of their own services ("Video Unlimited")...

Edited by TrafalgarLaw

@kanerobot said:

I knew the old arrogant prick Sony would show up again sooner than later once the PS4 had some success.

Arrogant? Sony came up with the stellar Playstation Plus. I was sceptical of it too but after trying it for a year I'm was glad I did sign up.

But this clearly a trojan horse into addional subs. Just like Playstation Plus was a trojan horse to pay for online on the ps4.

Posted by thefriend

Yeah, I don't understand how it's good for consumers to give them less options. Whether EA Access ends up actually being a good deal or not, I'd like the opportunity to make that decision for myself.

Considering the products EA has been spewing out lately. I think Sony made a really good decision. I'm actually kind of glad they're forcing people to make a smart decision.

Posted by leebmx

@benmo316 said:

I can't help but think, and I could be 100% wrong, that EA charges Microsoft, and wanted to charge Sony, a fee to carry the service and Sony didn't want to pay it. It's a business decision that Sony thought wouldn't be best for them. Granted it's taking away the decision the consumer could've made if they wanted the EA service for not.

Why would EA being charging Microsoft? What possible service could they be charging for? MS are letting EA sell games through their infrastructure. It would be like a shop charging the mall owner rent. I don't think even EA has the balls to try that.

The only way EA could charge would be if they are giving MS a cut of their sales, which still doesn't really make much sense. I think they reason Sony said no was because it is a competing service (if a crappy one) and they don't want it drawing customers away from PSN.

Posted by leebmx

@extomar said:

@humanity:

Like other subscription systems, it is whether or not you get the value of it over time that they are banking on. Paying $30 a year to get access to Dragon Age Inquisition and only that probably not a good bargain.

Dragon Age Inquisition will retail for 60 dollars. $70 in Canada.

Isn't the deal that you get 10% off titles and get access to the game 5days early. I don't think you just get all EA releases for free for $30 a year. The titles you get for free are at their discretion.

I think paying $30 a year will get you into Dragon Age 5 days early and for $54/$63.

Posted by Nags

Well, I'm not a huge fan of EA after all their blunders. I don't trust them not to royally fuck this up.

Edited by darkest4

Apparently this is "bad value" but a Sony brand can offer this which is the same damn thing but more expensive with less popular AAA games being offered https://www.soe.com/allaccess?locale=en_US and that's amazing deal huh Sony? Ridiculous. The games EA offered already still cost far more on consoles than the entire yearly fee and they promise more games to come... how is this bad value to those interested in playing a broad spectrum of EA games? How about letting people decide for themselves if they think it's a bad value or not? No one is forcing them to buy it if not.

As a multiple playstation console owner, extremely disappointed by Sony's hypocrisy and clear anti competition move here while insulting us with this clear bullshit excuse and implying we are not worthy of making our own purchase decisions.

Edited by Shivoa
@humanity said:

@shivoa said:

Then two hours later you'll be locked out of the game and counting down the days until you can play any more of it.

How so? From what I understand you get full access to the game 5 days early and your progress carries over?

"Starting 5 days before release, you’ll be able to try the game for at least two hours and then save your progress." [source]

This is a demo and it locks down - this isn't playing the game for 5 days before release and before needing to buy it. It's a subscription that is in part normalising paid access to time-limited demos of EA games, available 5 days before the official launch date (but with a save state that allows you to import your progress in the demo into the full game).

Posted by hermes

@leebmx said:

@benmo316 said:

I can't help but think, and I could be 100% wrong, that EA charges Microsoft, and wanted to charge Sony, a fee to carry the service and Sony didn't want to pay it. It's a business decision that Sony thought wouldn't be best for them. Granted it's taking away the decision the consumer could've made if they wanted the EA service for not.

Why would EA being charging Microsoft? What possible service could they be charging for? MS are letting EA sell games through their infrastructure. It would be like a shop charging the mall owner rent. I don't think even EA has the balls to try that.

The only way EA could charge would be if they are giving MS a cut of their sales, which still doesn't really make much sense. I think they reason Sony said no was because it is a competing service (if a crappy one) and they don't want it drawing customers away from PSN.

There is a second possibility outside downright "charging them", which is EA does not want to pay for maintenance fees of PSN (currently, publishers pay Sony for the bandwidth users use to download demos, trailers or games). Since EA Access would only use PSN for login, they may want to renegotiate so it doesn't pay those fees, and Sony didn't wanted to.

The reason MS is different is because they never charged the publishers for maintenance of their online network. That is the reason PSN remained free for the public while XBox Live was always behind a pay wall.

Posted by Goldfinger

@leebmx: Microsoft as platform holder will take a cut of the subscription money Sony would do the same.

This came down to Microsoft being ok with every publisher having its own separate monthly subscription charge and Sony not being ok with that. PS Plus is built on free games Xbox live is not.

If Microsoft did not have to match Sony to sell consoles they would never would have offered free games, and if Sony was not there they would quickly drop free with gold.

PS Plus was Sony solution to being backed into a corner and needing a solution it proved to be very successful and they want to preserve that. PS plus would still be require to play online but its the quality of the free games that set them apart from Microsoft at this point.

Edited by EXTomar

@darkest4 said:

Apparently this is "bad value" but a Sony brand can offer this which is the same damn thing but more expensive with less popular AAA games being offered https://www.soe.com/allaccess?locale=en_US and that's amazing deal huh Sony? Ridiculous. The games offered already cost far more than the entire yearly fee and they promise more games to come... Extremely disappointed by Sony's hypocrisy and clear anti competition move here.

Uh, it is their store. They are under no obligation to host or service any product they are not interested in. If Sony was being anti-competitive they would make moves to have EA not do this on XBox One where just rejecting it on their system is competition.

I suspect part of the issue is that sell or manage this on Sony's or any number of other digital stores. Why should Sony or Valve or GOG or Amazon be forced to re-architect their system without incentive? It sounds like a bad business move to do this without.

So here is a fun question: How does this work on the XBox One? What do you launch or buy to activate "EA Access" exactly? What changes in the store after activation?

Posted by Novocaine

“We evaluated the EA Access subscription offering and decided that it does not bring the kind of value PlayStation customers have come to expect”

They say this while they are giving EU their 3rd shitty 3DS port of a Lego game on Vita in a year.

Posted by leebmx

@goldfinger: That was pretty much my point, maybe I didn't express it very well. Obviously MS will be taking a cut from EA's sales or charging a fee. I just meant it would be bizzare if EA were also somehow charging MS to host their service as well.

I totally agree with you about Sony just not wanting someone offering a service which has the potential to compete in the very area which they have used to help push them ahead of MS. (Its also not a very good deal, but this is just helpful co-incidence.)

Posted by leebmx

@hermes said:

@leebmx said:

@benmo316 said:

I can't help but think, and I could be 100% wrong, that EA charges Microsoft, and wanted to charge Sony, a fee to carry the service and Sony didn't want to pay it. It's a business decision that Sony thought wouldn't be best for them. Granted it's taking away the decision the consumer could've made if they wanted the EA service for not.

Why would EA being charging Microsoft? What possible service could they be charging for? MS are letting EA sell games through their infrastructure. It would be like a shop charging the mall owner rent. I don't think even EA has the balls to try that.

The only way EA could charge would be if they are giving MS a cut of their sales, which still doesn't really make much sense. I think they reason Sony said no was because it is a competing service (if a crappy one) and they don't want it drawing customers away from PSN.

There is a second possibility outside downright "charging them", which is EA does not want to pay for maintenance fees of PSN (currently, publishers pay Sony for the bandwidth users use to download demos, trailers or games). Since EA Access would only use PSN for login, they may want to renegotiate so it doesn't pay those fees, and Sony didn't wanted to.

The reason MS is different is because they never charged the publishers for maintenance of their online network. That is the reason PSN remained free for the public while XBox Live was always behind a pay wall.

That makes even less sense. If it was EA that had turned down Sony because they thought the maintenance fees were too high why would Sony be shit talking EA's service and saying they refused it. That would just be a huge lie which EA could easily counter.

The reason this service is not on PS4 is simple - Sony do not want someone offering a service which competes where they have been very successful. I really think it is that simple. You people are trying to make this way too complicated.

Posted by Crembaw
@rowr said:

The real question is, is anyone retarded enough to subscribe to this thing.

EA and value for money don't go hand in hand.

There are totally people who will think this is a good value proposition.

I don't know if it will be worth the cost of setting up the network, though.

Posted by Usernameandemail

Forget about competition because there wouldn't be any, EA games wouldn't appear on PS+ anymore. EA are welcome to make their own console however.

Posted by lowestformofwit

@euandewar: Sony have been rude since the launch of the PS3 when they said everybody would buy one (at $600) even if they released no games for it.

Edited by Humanity

@shivoa: Oh well in that case it is a pretty poor offering.

Posted by ez123

They'll reveal that it's coming to PS4 right after they show a Kingdom Hearts trailer.

Edited by EXTomar

@shivoa said:
@humanity said:

@shivoa said:

Then two hours later you'll be locked out of the game and counting down the days until you can play any more of it.

How so? From what I understand you get full access to the game 5 days early and your progress carries over?

"Starting 5 days before release, you’ll be able to try the game for at least two hours and then save your progress." [source]

This is a demo and it locks down - this isn't playing the game for 5 days before release and before needing to buy it. It's a subscription that is in part normalising paid access to time-limited demos of EA games, available 5 days before the official launch date (but with a save state that allows you to import your progress in the demo into the full game).

Err...what (asking "them" not you)? This is pretty terrible. I am a fan of pre-release demos as a way for people to "try before they buy". Demos should be freely available instead of a paid feature.

Posted by lowestformofwit

@darkest4 said:

As a multiple playstation console owner, extremely disappointed by Sony's hypocrisy and clear anti competition move here while insulting us with this clear bullshit excuse and implying we are not worthy of making our own purchase decisions.

No, no, wait. PS4 is "for the players". They've said it enough times now there are millions of morons who think it's actually true.

Posted by BenderUnit22

Does that mean EA games likely won't be free on PS+ anymore?

Posted by YOUNGLINK

PlayStation Plus memberships are up more than 200% since the launch of PlayStation 4"

Funny how that happens when you make PS+ a requirement for multiplayer games.

My thoughts exactly. Also, why not let users of PS make that decision for themselves? I have an X1 and not a PS4, Im happy with EA's offering if the Vault grows bigger. If you dont want it dont use it! Sony comes off as VERY petty just like they did E3 2013.

Edited by helloiamgary

Am I naive for thinking that Sony maybe have a point and are telling EA to maybe get the finger out? How many EA games are available for PS4 at the moment? Peggle 2 isn't on PSN, so looking at EA's own list of PS4 games, that leaves 6 in the past year, and 4 upcoming. $5 a month on top the $5~ for PSN that's necessary to play the online portion of these EA games doesn't really look like a deal to me.

Posted by Dingobloo

I don't love EA's offering but I feel like sony standing in the way of it on principle is worse, there's so much interesting tinkering going on with business models and trying to vet every single one instead of letting people speak with their money is going to hurt them in the long run. Especially if they're doing it in order to protect playstation plus or to try convince EA to put their games into playstation plus.

Edited by Blu3V3nom07

"Sony is that twelve-year-old who just lost an argument but has to have the last word and just yells “Well you’re fat and nobody likes you!” and storms out of the room."

Edited by senrat

Let the consumer decide if its good for themselves. Subscription service gaming has been a long time coming. If the value proposition becomes as strong as something like Netflix, then I see no reason why it cannot succeed. Could be a shortsighted decision by Sony. Xbox one exclusively having subscription services for gaming might be a big deal.

Posted by FateOfNever

The problem with "letting people make their own choice" is Sony still has to take that gamble with their own money. This isn't some "EA just said hey, have this service for free!" Sony has to pay for it as well. So if Sony doesn't think it's a good deal (and quite frankly the EA service seems pretty shitty for the price) then I can see where they're coming from.

Edited by tourgen

Eh whatever. It's Sony's ballpark they get to say what goes and what doesn't. That's what you sign up for when you buy a console.

Anyway, come on. Do you really want to pay a monthly fee to play a 6-8 month old sports game 4-6 months before they shut down the servers? This is EA.

Edited by EXTomar

@senrat said:

Let the consumer decide if its good for themselves. Subscription service gaming has been a long time coming. If the value proposition becomes as strong as something like Netflix, then I see no reason why it cannot succeed. Could be a shortsighted decision by Sony. Xbox one exclusively having subscription services for gaming might be a big deal.

The problem is these closed systems are (duh) closed. EA isn't doing that on the XBox One because it is free or because they have the freedom to do it.

But is having another subscription on top of the subscription you may pay with the console on top of the subscription you may pay for an individual game a big deal? I guess it is because this seems like a badly constructed deal not instead of it is a subscription. Would you pay another $30 for Activision to do the same thing for Activision games? How about Ubisoft? It doesn't matter the vendor where offering access to their games at a discount is a laughable "bargain" because I get that for free anyway.

Edited by mindgarden418

Sony can do what they want. Consoles are closed systems, which is why I avoid them for the most part anyway. It would be nice for Sony to have given consumers the option of this service or not though, but they don't want someone else renting out "free" games for half the price and competing with PS+.

Everyone should keep in mind EA had a much worse value subscription offering, Season Ticket, and Sony had no problem with that. They feel threatened about losing money from PS+ and PSNow. They aren't doing their customers any favors by not making EA Access available as an option.

Really this is just piss poor PR on Sony's part. To use PS+ growth to show what people expect as value... it wouldn't have fucking grown at all if you didn't lock online multiplayer behind it. #4thaplayerz though, right?

Edited by gunslingerNZ

It's a shame people won't get the option but I have to agree that the service seems to offer very little value for the cost.

Posted by ninjalegend

I can't see myself signing up for any more services without a real value add. For the longest time now I have been happy with Steam. I only signed up for GOG because I love the way they treat their customers and their stance on DRM. This has created a rift in my game catalog. More passwords to remember, more accounts to transfer over when I get a new PC, and separate game folders. GOG is a great service, is free, and I still get free games from them occasionally making what little trouble having to keep track of another service worth it.

PS+ is a great service. The variety of free games is nice with AAA games as well as indie games. Some of them are even kind of recent. The sales are nice and it looks like they used some of the cash they have generated from that to make the online multiplayer almost as good as XBL. So I am very happy with it. PS now is another story as I think I have zero interest in that.

I happily picked up a XB1 after Microsoft abandoned their draconian DRM scheme and dropped the kinect from the box so I don't miss out on any great Xbox exclusives. I have flirted with the idea of an Xbox live subscription. Purchased a card for a subscription to give it a go. I was not impressed. After PS+ games with gold was a joke. They don't offer as many sales on games I care about as PS+ does either. The online multiplayer is still as good as ever though. There is value in it, just not enough for me.

Now EA wants me to put another bill on my neck. The subscription is not helping to pay for online servers like PSN and Xbox subscriptions do. The value that the service offers from what I can tell after reading this article is not as good as Xbox live offers and almost laughable compared to PS+. Unless EA can show me why I must have this service this is a no-brainer. I'll pass, thank you.

Edited by Sidoran

I feel like a lot of people are showing their ass in this thread. Three or four people seemed genuinely interested in subscribing to this thing, but everyone else just seems pissy that they didn't get to personally turn it down.

I'm glad Sony turned it down, myself, even if it was only for their own interests (fairly likely). I already hate preorder bonuses and retailer exclusives, I can only imagine what sort of shenanigans publishers will eventually be up to with their own subscription services, not to mention that this currently looks like a bad deal to me regardless.

Posted by Goldanas

I'm not sure I understand the "choice" argument. To me, it seems like another moment for EA to screw the ease of use for the consumer just so that they can have their piece of the pie. It's like Origin all over again. Origin is not a choice, it is a mandate. Do you want to play Battlefield 4? You must use Origin. If there were choice in the matter, I would also be able to purchase under Steam or Uplay, and use it through those systems, without needing the Origin client.

If there were a choice with this, EA would also put some of these games on PS+, which I don't think they will (and vice versa you should see Sony and others' games in this access thing). They put Dead Space 3 on PS+ just this past month, which was nice, but this sets a precedent for them to not include it with my existing service. It's the problem you see with cable companies right now, where if you want to watch Dodgers games or even entire major channels, you can only see them with one of the carriers. This is not choice. It is hording, and creating an environment where customers get less value and have to double dip in order to get their content.

tl;dr: I'm all for multiple services, but they must all have the same or mostly equivalent offerings in terms of content. How they should sway are the extra perks to that service that are either an added feature, or an enhanced way of experiencing that content.

Posted by probablytuna

EA's built up such a bad reputation that anything they do sounds shady, even when they're not. I think the subscription model is a neat idea, but not too keen when it's from a company like EA.

Edited by l4wd0g

"does not bring the kind of value PlayStation customers have come to expect."

Like reselling us PS3 games?

Seriously though, why can't Sony give us the choice? I am deeply uncomfortable with muilti-billion/million dollar corporations telling me what's be for me. How about, Sony gives me the option and I choose for myself.

Edited by Mr_Creeper
Posted by Qurious

While I don't buy EA products, it makes sense for Sony to reject EA Access.

Posted by exfate

If I were Sony I wouldn't want EA Access on the platform either. EA has the worst record when it comes to services.

Posted by kubqo

SO basically EA did not offer cut big enough...

Posted by Vampire_Chibi

Currently EA has no games that i'm interested in that i don't already have, this offer could be good for people that might want to play the older EA games just to try them out.

Edited by 5p3ktro

Sony is trying to be cool by jumping on the "f@!# EA" bandwagon.....maybe. They have pretty subversive PR strategy.

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