The video game industry is changing dramatically. Ahead of the next-gen Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 launches, companies are focusing on subscription models as the future of gaming. That includes plenty of revamps and innovation. In other cases, it simply means tidying up.
EA is jumping on the trend by combining its two existing services—EA Access and Origin Access—into one. The new service will be called EA play. Fortunately, the rebranding is a lot simpler than HBO’s recent shift in strategy.
What is EA Play?
Although EA’s services aren’t as popular as the likes of Xbox Game Pass and PS Plus, they have a sizeable subscriber base. However, they are a bit disjointed and the differences between EA Access and Origin Access aren’t drastic.
That being said, it makes a lot of sense to combine the two. Subscribers won’t notice a change in price. EA Access currently costs $4.99 a month or $29.99 a year. Origin Access is the same price while Origin Access Premier costs $14.99 a month or $99.99 a year. The combined EA Play service will follow EA Access’ pricing model.
A blog post announcing the streamlining says, “EA Access and Origin Access Basic will become EA Play, and Origin Access Premier will change to EA Play Pro.”
EA also says that it is “adding even more in the coming months, starting with exclusive in-game challenges and monthly reward drops for members on select titles.”
Not coincidentally, EA is currently preparing to bring its subscription services to Steam. Combining them under one banner will make it much easier for users to find the service and sign up.
Those who subscribe to EA Play can look forward to “early access challenges and rewards like Ultimate Team Packs, exclusive vanity items, cosmetics, and more.” Understandably, perks will vary by title.
The changes to EA Access, Origin Access, and Origin Access Premier will take effect on August 18.
Future of Gaming
Streaming and subscriptions have quickly taken over the entertainment world. Most media companies have some form of subscription service with their name on it. The gaming industry is no different.
Clearly, it is in the midst of a shift towards a subscription-based model. Microsoft is arguably leading the way with Xbox Game Pass. The service offers gamers a ton of attractive features at a reasonable price. When the Series X launches this November, subscribers will gain access to several top-tier next-gen titles. Check out The Burn-In’s roundup of announcements from Microsoft’s recent Xbox Series X games event to see which ones are on the list.
Google’s Stadia streaming service is a bit different. Rather than offering players a Netflix-like library of games, it lets you play purchased games from a variety of devices. Better yet, you don’t have to download a bulky title or updates before diving in.
For EA, consolidating its services brings it into the era of modern gaming. The move should pay off as players transition to next-gen consoles and adopt its new EA Play service on Steam.