A new subscription service is launching for the Xbox One called EA Access. The new service from the software publishing giant offers gamers two different ways to pay for their content, including a monthly $4.99 subscription and an annual subscription for $29.99. The service, as mentioned, is only going to be launching on the Xbox One and will be exclusive to the system.
Electronic Arts recently made the announcement today in a blog post on their official website. They detail the breakdown of the new service, and how gamers will be able to benefit by gaining access to many of the company's popular sports, action and miscellaneous titles by paying either a monthly flat fee or an annual subscription. Once you pay for the service you can access all the games within that service for however long you want, whenever you want, so long as you continue to pay the subscription fee.
This is basically Electronic Arts' answer to Sony's PlayStation Plus service, only that it offers far more games as well as a massive back catalog of EA titles the longer the service stays in operation. Of course, once you stop paying on the subscription or EA decides to shut the doors on their Access program, you will lose access to the content.
As mentioned in the blog post...
“We have partnered with Microsoft to deliver EA Access, an all-new monthly (or annual) membership for gamers exclusively on Xbox One that starts at just $4.99 a month. The service is being rolled out in beta to a limited number of players today, but it will launch for everyone on Xbox One soon. At EA, we are always looking for new ways to make it easier for gamers to play more EA games across all platforms, and we are excited about what EA Access will offer to players on Xbox One.”
At the moment, the service is currently going through a beta phase where four games are being tested. Players selected to participate in the beta will have access to FIFA 14, Madden NFL 25, Peggle 2 and Battlefield 4.
Additionally, those who subscribe to the service will get 10% discounts on purchases made in the Xbox Live digital store for Electronic Arts games. EA also has a “Play First” model setup to enable gamers to gain access to some titles early in development (when and where available), so players will get to experience first-hand what EA is working on.
Some believe this could be disruptive to GameStop's business model, but EA makes it known that they will sell subscription cards in retail stores (even though technically you wouldn't need to buy games from GameStop if you had a $5 monthly card and access to all of EA's important titles anyway).
Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia commented about this very thing, saying that...
“With a low entry point ($4.99/month), it allows mass market consumers to rent older games and try new/upcoming games. It also encourages digital downloads by offering a 10% discount versus packaged. With respect to its impact on GME, we think it’s too early to tell. However, in the current form, we don’t think it’s that disruptive to GME.”
We won't know exactly how well the service will do until it officially rolls out on the Xbox One for everyone. For now, there are those with beta access to some of the games. You can learn more about EA Access by visiting the official website.