An interesting and exciting new alliance has popped up in the news today.
To further solidify their relationship for the forseeable future, EA and Microsoft have announced a new collaborative effort that brings a subscription service to Xbox One.
EA Access is a new service that can be used monthly or annually. For a fee, players can have access to a Vault full of EA games, ready to download and play to their full.
The service launches in beta today, and will give players access to four games to begin with: FIFA 14, NFL 25, Peggle 2 and Battlefield 4. More games will be added to the service overtime.
The service will cost $29.99 per year on Xbox Live and will eventually allow players early access to games. Small aspects of pre-release games will be added to EA Access and players will be able to carry over progress from that game to the full version upon launch.
There will also be the opportunity to purchase the membership at retail and different stores will offer different options in different territories.
This is a fascinating experiment from both EA and Microsoft. At first, it may seem like EA will lose money on the venture, a small fee to play an entire catalogue of games. Sure, the player never owns them, but in a year, they can max the title as much as they like and play it to the full. That said, with EA’s annual releases, this may be the best way to experience these games as people generally trade in old for new anyway and would rather spend a small fee to play a game rather than the full retail tag. It also means that players who would never normally have this level of access to a game will finally be able to get involved and share play experiences.
If successful, this model will almost certainly be replicated by the likes of Ubisoft, Activision, Konami and others. Maybe even Microsoft themselves will offer their titles under the same subscription service.
Beyond that, it will surely change the face of gaming forever. Is our future closer at hand than we first thought?