Fri. Feb 3rd, 2023
EA is launching a $5 monthly subscription to access

EA

EA is shaking up the downloadable PC games market with a new subscription-based service that mimics some of the most popular features of console offerings like PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold. On Tuesday, the company made a surprise announcement of EA Origin Access for PC – not to be confused with the similarly named, vastly different offering on Xbox One consoles.

The new PC service will refund players $5 per month in exchange for access to full game downloads from the “EA Vault,” which currently contains 15 games, as long as they have a paid EA Origin Access subscription. Just one of those Vault titles, Battlefield hardline, came out last year; the rest are “legacy” titles from years past, inclusive Dragon Age: Inquisition, Battlefield 3 and 4and the 2013 reboot of SimCity (all without DLC). EA promises to add more Vault games monthly, including third-party offers.

The service’s FAQ claims that “some” EA Vault games will work offline as long as players “reconnect to Origin periodically,” but it doesn’t clarify which games or for how long “periodic” means. More troubling is the site’s lack of confirmation on whether or not Vault games will expire for paying members; on the comparable PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Games with Gold services, members will have permanent access to unlocked games as long as they maintain a paid subscription. We have asked EA representatives to clarify this point and will update this report if we receive a response. Updating: An EA representative confirmed to Ars that Vault games can indeed be removed after they were initially offered, while stating that “we currently have no plans to remove games from the Vault.”

In addition, just like on PlayStation and Xbox, paying members get discounts on several member-only promotions. Unlike the console services, EA Origin Access also offers a 10 percent general discount each Origin store purchase. Subscribers also get time-limited access to “full trial” downloads of games before they launch in stores (EA’s Xbox One version of Access offers a similar feature). Members can transfer progress from those early trials to the full version of the game when they make a purchase.

Since EA’s Origin gaming store is a Windows exclusive, Mac and Linux players cannot participate. EA has confirmed that the company does not currently sell subscriptions through physical gift cards, nor does it offer annual discounted subscriptions.

By akfire1

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