EA Play | Credit: ea.com
Leading American video game publisher, [Electronic Arts]9https://www.ea.com/) has combined its previous two cross-platform subscription services into a single new subscription service called EA Play. Here's everything you need to know about the transition.
EA Access | Credit: ea.com
EA Access launched as an Xbox One exclusive subscription service as a sort of Netflix for EA games. Gamers can pay one monthly fee to access EA games, get discounts, and trials, demos, and betas of games before they are released.
EA Access was $5 a month, or users could prepay for a full year for $30. It also offered an automatic 10% off when buying digital content published by EA. The service was only available to Xbox One owners. EA approached Sony about the program on PS4, but Sony refused to allow it.
The service also provided exclusive access to EA games before they released it to the public. When Mass Effect: Andromeda launched, EA Access members could play a full 10-hour demo for a week before launch.
EA Origin Access | Credit: ea.com
EA Origin is EA's PC-focused client for downloading and playing its multiplayer games. It offered a parallel EA Origin Access subscription to PC owners. The two subscriptions were functionally similar, with EA Access targeting consoles exclusively. EA Origin Access provided access to EA's entire catalog of games for a $5 monthly fee to PC users. But gamers who wanted access on both PC and console had to pay the same fee twice.
EA later launched a higher-priced paid tier for PC users called Origin Access Premier. It was priced at $14.99 a month and offered PC gamers access to 129 games. Subscribers to Premier also got early access to new releases before their official street date. The Premier subscription also included a 10% discount on Origin purchases and extra content – like microtransaction bonuses.
EA Play | Credit: ea.com
EA rebranding EA Access and Origin Access as EA Play eliminates the double-dipping problem. EA says the move will help streamline its services to make them less confusing for new customers.
EA Access and Origin Access Basic become EA Play, while Origin Access Premier becomes EA Play Pro. There are no pricing changes or new tiers customers need to worry about seeing. EA appears to be taking a cue from Ubisoft by offering in-game redeemable rewards for loyal customers who play their games.
EA says some of the new exclusives for EA Play will include early access challenges, exclusive vanity items, cosmetics, and more. EA also says the availability of exclusive content will depend on the title. As part of the rebranding effort, EA is also calling its E3 show EA Play Live.
Streamlining their lineup helps customers who own both in the long run. It's a smart decision that turns gaming into an activity that feels like streaming. Instead of buying a game outright for $60, pay the publisher $15 a month to access their entire back catalog.