In a bold new program, you can play games and enjoy discounts for $30/year.
It's a fascinating move for a multi-billion dollar company to make: EA has adopted a new "EA Access" program on Xbox One. This membership program offers a catalog of games to play, and gives members a 10% discount across the board* on digital EA goods. Coming "soon", here's what you can expect:
For $5/month or $30/year, you have access to "The Vault". This is where you can access a collection of EA titles. The Vault is starting off with four games: FIFA 14, Madden NFL 25, Peggle 2 and Battlefield 4. (Average release: 9 months ago) Over time, the available titles will be expanded – or, at the very least, shifted around.
Early Game Trials
Besides the 10% discount and good games to play, you can also play new games first. Up to five days before release, games will have a limited-play "trial" available. When the full game comes out, you can transfer your progress.
Now that we've explored the benefits for members, let's get a bit deeper:
- A steady stream of revenue, whether monthly or annually.
- Reliability that people will buy EA games so that they're using the discount.
- A member of EA Access will have EA games on their mind more often.
- Entice members to buy new games in a series after playing earlier ones in The Vault.
- The Vault may disincentivize new purchases for patient gamers.
- Sales of old games will decline, due to placement in The Vault.
- Origin account required. That doesn't seem necessary, but hey.
- *Exemptions from the program, such as Titanfall. Other titles will also be exempt in the future.
- "EA may retire this service and/or online services associated with Vault titles after 30 days' notice posted on this website."
- Lack of a physical copy when purchasing a new game.
- Will enough good games come to The Vault? Will it reward patient gamers?
Ultimately, it seems like a great deal for the right people. The annual price is very reasonable and the perks are enticing. Props to EA for making big moves. Will it work out for both EA and gamers? Time will tell.