Announced in mid-August, EA’s subscription service, “EA Play” is now live on Steam. Subscription costs either £3.99 per month, or £19.99 for the full year (including a 58% discount on launch), granting access to a healthy array of the EA back catalogue. For those not in the know, EA Play is the ingeniously re-branded EA Access, a wonderful insight into EA’s insatiable want to iterate.
Nevertheless, this marks the fourth platform to host the divisive developers foray into Games as a Service, following previous adoption from PlayStation, Xbox and EA’s own Origin Storefront. Fans of the loot-box Lothario should be pretty happy, mind you. They now have access to some of EA’s most popular franchises, including Mass Effect, Dragon Age, The Sims, Titanfall and Battlefield.
Additional benefits listed on Steam’s own website include the following teasers;
Reward your dedication
Unlock exclusive Rewards and member-only content.
There’s always more to play
Get instant access to a collection of EA’s best-loved games.
Try something new
Play select new-release EA games for up to 10 hours.
Get more for less
Save 10% on EA digital purchases from full games to DLC.
In particular, this last point does seem a bargain even orange skinned enthusiast David Dickenson could get behind. EA goes on to clarify,
“As an EA Play member, you’ll score an automatic 10% discount on EA digital purchases from Steam, including new releases and pre-orders. Ditto for expansions, game packs, points, you name it. Please note: while EA Play is available on multiple platforms your discount only applies to the platform you joined on. For example, if you joined via Steam, your EA digital purchases here would receive a 10% discount. If you joined on Xbox One, your EA digital purchases on Xbox would receive the 10% discount.”Taken from the SteamPowered announcement article
A new era of consumer choice
With the gaming industry experiencing increasing criticism around monetization practices, ultimately this is good news, albeit from an unexpected source. EA have often been at the very epicenter of those debates, but the magnanimous publisher has teased a change of attitude, demonstrable particularly in its handling of the Star Wars Battlefront 2 loot box fiasco.
Time will tell if this 10% discount will simply offset the much rumored increase to games the next gen will seemingly herald. But this trend toward Games as a Services is a step in the right direction, if only to promote consumer choice. Perhaps EA’s place as the company we all love to hate is finally coming to an end. Bad news for Bethesda, then.
As ever, let us know what you think of this bold move by EA, and check out some of our related article for more news on this hot topic.
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“Video games are great. I should know, I’ve played some.”
Olly S, July 2020