EA Access: First Impressions of the pay-to-play service
For anyone who was ever a fan of sports games but was frustrated with how quick they lost their trade in value, this is for you!
Electronic Arts, better known as EA, has a service named EA Access. It is a pay-to-play subscription service that you can access from within your gaming console. The company lists many perks for subscribers of their service but let's skip to what everyone's first question.
Well, that is up to you. If your wallet is on a diet, the service is offered at a monthly subscription rate of $4.99. Over the course of a year, this would top at just over $60 after taxes. If you're pleased with the service (or just want to take a leap of faith), you can purchase a year of access for half of that. A year subscription currently runs at $29.99 plus tax. Either option will leave you paying the cost of approximately one game or less for a year. So why should you be willing to pay this? Let's talk.
The biggest (and best) perk to EA Access comes to those who dig sports games. Subscription to EA Access gives the user access to something called The Vault. Here lies a collection of games that the subscriber can download full versions of to play. Currently, as of October 19, 2015, there are 14 free games in the vault for download. These include Battlefield Hardline, Battlefield 4, FIFA 2015, Madden 2015, Titanfall, Need for Speed, and a few others. So, if you're a fan of EA games, this comes out to renting 14+ games for $2.50-$4.99 a month depending which plan you choose. Okay so that's a great deal... but what if you're still on the fence?
The subscription comes with a few more perks. One such perk is that you get to try EA's newest games before they are released. Most gamers have noticed the decline in Demos available for the biggest new titles. Well EA has, in a sense, brought this back by giving their subscribers an early peek at the games. But, it doesn't end there. Say you spent a lot of time trying this game out and fell in love. Well, with EA Access, you can pre-order the game and not have to worry about starting over. The progress and stats that you accumulate while trying the game will carry over if you purchase the game through EA Access. It will be like you never left. Still on the fence?
The last few perks of EA Access aren't the most spectacular, but they truly are like icing on a cake - they just sweeten the deal. The first is that EA has said the vault will continue to grow. Currently there are 14 games available (full list below) and EA plans to add more as the service continues. If there is even just one game that you like in this vault, the service has already paid for itself. So what about when the vault has grown to 20+ games? The price per game will just keep getting smaller and smaller.
The last small perk to EA Access is the subscriber discount. Subscribers gain a 10% discount on all EA digital purchases. While that doesn't seem like much, the discount extends to all digital EA games, DLC, and everything else that digitally accompanies an EA title. Rest assured that those 10% discounts have the potential to add up to big savings.
At first, this gamer was a little skeptical of adding another subscription to my monthly bill. After all, Xbox Live and Internet aren't free. I crunched the numbers and realized just how much potential this service had for me. Having friends who are also subscribed to EA Access makes it even better. You can easily play a variety of games together without having to ask "hey, do you have this?"
A few closing thoughts
I'm not a salesperson for EA, so I can tell you that this service isn't for everyone. My advice would be to check out their website and look over the information for yourself. If you don't see any games that you like, you probably shouldn't subscribe in hopes of something being added to the vault later that you will like. But if you see 2+ games that you like, and you have the money to spare, it is a service that is worth a try.
Current games include:
- Battlefield Hardline
- Dragon Age: Inquisition
- FIFA 15
- Battlefield 4
- Madden NFL 15
- Need for Speed Rivals
- Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare
- NHL 15
- EA Sports UFC
- NBA LIVE 15
- Peggle 2
- FIFA 14
- Madden NFL 25