So EA has recently has announced itís new idea of a subscription based service for Xbox One.
The system breaks down as follows:
$30 a year to access a library of EA games and play as many as you want or pay $5 for a month for the same.
The system is meant to allow people to purchase it like Xbox Live gold membership meaning you can buy it in a physical shop or online in code form as a one off subscription just for that time.
The system will give a 10% discount on all EA downloadable content with the implication being on demand games on Xbox one.
Saves will be transferrable between EA access and full retail version.
Some games may be available to EA access customers 5-7 days before the retail release of them.
Suggestions indicate the system may also get the 2015 sports games and dragon age Inquisition.
YOU DO NOT NEED EA ACCESS TO PLAY AN EA GAME YOU BOUGHT AT RETAIL.
So I have every right to hate EA, I do, especially recently. I mean EA have let the Battlefield 2142
servers shut down after gamespy went offline, and claimed it was time to move on. Move on to what EA Titanfall
? Battlefield 4
? Sorry but neither have the mix of combat I want with the ability to call down a giant Ion cannon attack on locations or fight as a boarding party trying to take the enemies giant troop carrier.†
Then we have the Dungeon Keeper Mobile affair
. Not only did EA dig up the corpse of a franchise I liked but then put it out on the corner in a cheap dress and asked people to pay up or spend hours waiting to see just how rotted it was and how little was left of the original well loved game. Then to make matters worse EA turned round and claimed it was simply people not understanding itís vision.†
No EA, consumers understood your vision and we all thought this vision was something we werenít going to help you achieve.
However I have in the past written how EA maybe isnít as evil as people think
, or at least every now and again something sneaks out that isnít completely terrible.
So with that in mind Iím going to try and look at EA access from three perspectives. The consumer advocate / Garmz jurnalizst †(read idiot with a blog), the downright confused and finally the Fuck you EA you complete evil bastards angle.
So to start with on the consumer advocacy angle I have to come out and say wow, just wow. This is insane industry breaking level of change. $30 for all EA games on the service for a year, this is insane, if you buy one new EA game a year at what $50 then youíre already saving $20 just by doing this and getting access to more games to try. So no matter how much people say ďbut trade insĒ Iíd rather save the $20 immediately than take a gamble about how much Iíll get trade in down the line.
So next the cry has been ďBut itís always onlineĒ to which I have to say, well so are most EA games that people play short of a handful like Dragon Age
and Peggle 2
. Most of the reason people buy EA games is to play them online like the Battlefield
games or Fifa
(blech I hate football). You can still buy the retail games and this is merely an option.
Now it also means that EA have to work on improving their games and bug fixing. They canít leave games in the terrible state they have (Battlefield 4
) , if they do people will stop subscribing and when potentially people could be paying $5 for 1 month only to try the new game that theyíd normally have bought for $50+ then EA could be seriously hit if they do screw up releases and make buggy games.
This could seriously kill pre-orders, as why pre-order when you could be playing the game early thanks to this service which you might already be subscribed to why bother paying $5 down then $45 for a game when the service youíre paying $30 for gives you the game before itís out anyway ?
Then a 10% discount on DLC on top, this is insane.
Then if you realise that many of EAís yearly franchises could be on this it really means that people can move on more easily to the next iteration each year and it doesnít matter so much as the previous one drops out of popularity. EA are essentially shooting themselves in the foot now each year with the releases as people wonít need to pay full price for the new game.
This all leads me onto the confused angle.
This all makes no sense.
Even people who only buy 1 EA game a year will save money on the $30 model. EA will be losing a lot of money in sales revenue realistically from this especially those who buy multiple sports games a year.
EA have to fix their faults and work hard to make sure their games are good to earn the money and keep people playing and potentially giving them access to a large selection of games.
This makes no sense because EA will be losing money potentially from this in a big way as people pay $5 for their fill the latest Battlefield game then stop.
Now this nicely leads me onto the third angle. Fuck you EA you evil bastards.
Now this angle actually makes me look at this move by EA in a very cynical manner. Iím not going to go with the ďOMG EA ARE Trying TO Control our gamesĒ Move because theyíre not really. This is more of a rental service then a purchase service. Which then makes me think this is a very clever move by EA to kill off or make more money from the rental sector. One which here in the UK the likes of blockbuster have been gouging consumers with rentals costing up to ľ of the full retail price for a mere 2 nights. So could EA be trying to take it share of this cake ?
Now the real fuck you EA †angles comes with me suggesting this is a Trojan horse move.
EA are offering itís games as a service, now every time itís offered games as a service before even full retail games itís lead to one thing. Lots of DLC and or Microtransactions , this could well be EAís giant evil move to offer consumers what appears to be an amazing value service only to then pack all itís games with more DLC, to cut out more content and to add more microtransactions to the games in the name of choice or claiming ďWe need to because of falling profitsĒ . EA could be using this service to introduce consumers to a horrifically exploitative system designed to milk them of money and not only harm those who subscribe but also those who do buy the full retail release. EA arenít stupid, they might be arrogant, incompetent and downright ignorant but one thing they arenít is stupid. EA will have costed this, they must realise how much it will cost them vs how much they will lose and because of the shockingly amazing value of the service then there must be something weíre not being told lurking there behind the scenes.
In the end I have to look at it this way.
Will it convince me any more to buy an Xbox One ?
No because fuck you Microsoft youíre still screwing over indie developers †with the parity clause / system in place.
However would I be interested in this on other systems ?
Maybe. Iím very cautious to see how it goes but maybe in a yearís time once people have seen the system in action, and found out if there is some dark thing lurking there, then I might well want to do this. I mean a nice back catalogue of games like some of the old Dargon Age
games. Iíd be tempted to subscribe just to try out some of the games Iíve never felt driven to buy at full retail but saw as something I might enjoy at a far lower cost, even if I only buy and play 1 EA game a year at normal retail Iíd still be saving and get to enjoy more games I might normally not bother with due to the costs of buying them.