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EA Tests Subscription Access To Game Catalog 63

An anonymous reader writes: Electronic Arts has announced a new program called "EA Access," a subscription-based service that will grant Xbox One users access to a small catalog of EA's popular games, as well as early trials of upcoming games. They're beta testing the service now, and the available games are FIFA 14, Madden NFL 25, Peggle 2, and Battlefield 4. (More titles will be added later.) They're charging $5 per month or $30 per year. It probably won't ever include their newest releases, but it's interesting to see such a major publisher experimenting with a Netflix-style subscription service.
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EA Tests Subscription Access To Game Catalog

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 29, 2014 @07:01PM (#47561617)

    no guarantee that

    a) the game you want will be available,
    2) the game you want will EVER be available
    3) the game you do play remains available for the duration of your subscription
    4) the rate you pay today will at least somewhat resemble the rate you pay tomorrow.

    • While I'm not a fan of "yet another low, low monthly fee," $5 seems well within the boundaries of reasonable, even if it's for an ever-changing catalog of games.

      I already use Gamefly, and to some extent, this provides a similar service, for less money -- albeit for a smaller selection of titles.

      Games for Gold currently satisfies my need to play a game for a tiny bit and then throw it aside, but this provides another option.

      • by Bugamn ( 1769722 )
        For me, those $5 monthly will buy a better and more varied collection without the subscription problem. The games may be older, but the listed titles really don't interest me.
      • At first i was thinking "Hey, I like playing the games I like to play, not just for a little while, what about my saves?", but then I noticed it's EA, their games are available for a year or two anyway before the server you have to connect to (for solo play too) goes offline in favor of their latest installation of the same game you get to pay full price for.

      • There are quite a few games from their back catalog of acquired games I would love to play again. Remember that EA has bought a long list of companies and products.

        It is terribly unlikely that most of the games will be brought back (which is a shame) but potential is there. They added a few to Good Old Games but most of them have problems or require dosbox or have multiplayer disabled.

        My short list:

        * Wing Commander series, including Privateer (some already on GoG, but buggy on some systems)
        * Ultima seri

        • * Old Dune and old C&C games that allowed LAN multiplayer

          Just so you know, there's a multiplatform open source modern remake of the C&C engine with Dune, Tiberian Dawn & Red Alert supported called OpenRA [] . Westwood/EA released C&C and Red Alert as freeware (link has now disappeared) and OpenRA uses the original assets of the game with added functionality like better screen resolution support, multiplayer via Online TCP/IP and LAN with lobbies, and more.

      • The problem is this....EA is known for killing MP as soon as a title leaves top tier, usually within a year or two max. this means these games will be "pre-crippled" so that half the fun of a sports title, kicking your friend's ass, will already be removed.

        Still for those that made the mistake of buying an Xbone that might be a good deal. For us PC gamers that 30 bucks a year would get you a dozen or more games from the Humble Bundles or Steam sales we could keep forever, of course the guys into EA sports

  • You must be kidding. (Score:5, Informative)

    by uCallHimDrJ0NES ( 2546640 ) on Tuesday July 29, 2014 @07:02PM (#47561627)

    Sign up to give EA money on a subscription basis? There is nothing in the world that will make me authorize them to charge my account at will. EA has established itself as a company that views customers as the enemy.

    • Go to any store that sells cards, you'll likely find an Xbox Live card (not the sub, but money, like an iTunes card). Log in (either via console or Xbox Live website), redeem card. Use those credits to pay for the sub. Problem solved!

      • I agree, that does appear to solve the problem. If I want to play any of the games they're offering on a DRM basis, that's the way I will do it.

        • Well, it's still your money going into EA coffers.

          If you really see them as a company that sees its customers as the enemy, you won't want to be enriching them in any way.

    • Yes. I've set up alarms on all of my accounts, so that if it sees any payment to "EA", it knows that someone has hacked my accounts, because I will not knowingly give that company my money.

    • EA has established itself as a company that views customers as the enemy.

      You normally respect or are wary of an enemy...
      If you don't, they are already your chattel or your victim...

      • EA has established itself as a company that views customers as the enemy.

        You normally respect or are wary of an enemy...
          If you don't, they are already your chattel or your victim...

        Wait a minute...are you saying we can eat EA? What does EA taste like? This sounds like a good plan, and is making me hungry.

        • No, I'm saying EA feels that way about us. They don't see us as an enemy, they see us as something they own and can do with as they please... As to the eating thing, did you think I meant "cattle" instead of chattel? Cattle can be chattel, but chattel is not restricted to cattle...
          • Ah. Now I'm with you. I had the pronoun "they" in what you said referring to customers and not EA, and I did see chattel as cattle. Anyway, I found something to eat since then. I agree. They see us as their chattel, and that's why it's highly unlikely that I would ever buy anything from them. Take a look at this sampling of the crap they are planting on Gamefaqs: [].

  • Just expect them to charge you extra for new releases or something. There is nothing that says the prices will be fixed.
    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      Limited catalogue all with pay extra for downloadable content, which them becomes worthless if you stop paying the subscription mwah hah hah. You can bet that will be the way psychopath executives will think.

      • Is Madden still a good game year after year? I stopped playing them back in the '70s (I think), so I really don't know.

        Is it like fantasy football, or is it more of a twitch controller game where you have to learn combinations and everything and there's quick time events?

        • by N1AK ( 864906 )

          I stopped playing them back in the '70s (I think), so I really don't know.

          First Madden was released in 1988 so either you've got a time machine or whatever you were actually doing in the 70s has fucked your memory ;)

  • I'm cautiously optimistic about this news. I'm just a casual game. I suspect that the vault will contain games that are 8-10 months old or older and have negligible sales. I don't mind paying 30$ a year to play older games. What this will do is eat into the secondary used game market (Gamestop, EB Games, Future Shop, etc..) as it will be cheaper to rent these older games than to buy even one used game, putting money in EAs pockets instead of these types of stores.

    This being EA however, I wouldn't be surpris

    • by N1AK ( 864906 )
      The fact it's a rental service and they make that clear isn't an issue. Clearly some people don't want that, which is fine. Personally I like the subscription model. Both Spotify and Netflix work for me, and at $5 a month I'd consider a games rental subscription. I would however be interested to see how they handle DLC etc and just how much of their newer library they put online.

      Sure I wouldn't 'own' anything but then all the music I bought on tape isn't exactly useful, nor are VHS videos etc. I don't ca
  • All I want is Sims 4 that works standalone, Standalone Complex that works in doll mode, and Second Son: inFamous that works in Grey Hat mode.

  • ... was already subscription based? :p
    • Pretty much their whole catalog is already sub based. But considering you pay like 50-70 per game and year today...

  • I would consider buying a bundle outright, but I don't see for whom this is going to make sense. The whole point of Netflix is that you can continuously watch new movies and don't have to buy many from other sources. Here I will only like a portion of already small catalog and will still need to keep buying non-EA games. This kind of offering should really be done by Sony, Nintendo or Microsoft with games from many publishers.

  • When you can't make new stuff anymore, rent out what you have accumulated. Money has to circulate or it's pointless. This isn't criticism (just look how "well" the alternatives went). It's an observation. I'm sure somebody smarter than me wrote a book on the topic at least a century ago :) but rent, subscriptions and planned obsolescence are pretty much the same thing. Services (as opposed to manufacturing) are probably in the same ballpark. With everything pretty much already invented, we need _something_

  • I like this better when it was called Sega Channel []
  • Given the "always online" nature of most games, it's pretty much an expensive subscription model anyhow, and per-game at that!
    Seriously, when they decide to cut the servers from [favorite game X] in favour of their latest incarnation, then your game is fairly worthless, and it likely cost more than a $30/year subscription.

    That said, it's EA. I'm sure they'll find a way to make this equally awful, if not more.

  • "You can buy our products individually"
    "You can subscribe to all our products for one fee"
    "You can buy our special title by subscribing and paying a premium for that one title"
    "You can buy our products individually"

    Sorry. I don't "subscribe". The value of it rarely lasts long enough to be of any value at all to me.

    Magazines? They tend to repeat themselves after a year, then you realise that all the "new" stuff, you now know where to find out. (Did this for PC magazines, Linux magazines, Astronomy magazi

  • This sounds a bit like Sega Channel ( I was one of the morons subscribers back in the day. Unfortunately, actual did not equal expected. I thought I'd have access to a lot of fun and popular games. In fact, they provided neither.

    This tastes the same.

  • I think its telling that Sony has decided to not provide this service. If they don't think its good value, then there must be something very wrong.. []
  • 3-4 years ago I subscribed to Metaboli ( ) who offer a tiered subscription service.

    I got good value for money, and only really unsubscribed because I started building a good Steam library that grows as quickly as I can play the games.

    As people are predicting with EA the games aren't the latest/greatest versions, but they've been around for a few years now and they're still in business so it's clearly a sustainable model.

  • I'll like to play some BF4 with friends but I'm pretty casual and I'm not a huge FPS player so I don't play it often so I rather shell out $5 instead of 60 plus whatever expansion pack

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