Microsoft and Electronic Arts announced recently a partnership involving an annual subscription for playing certain titles. Much like rival Sony's PlayStation Plus subscription, certain EA titles will be made available to play at certain times. However, unlike Plus, the titles EA will be offering with its service will be permanent according to EA Senior Executive Peter Moore. In an interview with CVG, Moore sheds some light on some of the benefits and what to expect from the upcoming EA Access, which is currently in beta.
With Sony offering its PlayStation Plus service, this could be the main reason that it rejected EA's offer to bring this service over to the PlayStation. Sony is working on its PlayStation Now service to offer games from older systems to played on the PlayStation systems. However, the pricing model is not getting very good feedback as you will basically be renting a game for a few hours. Meanwhile, PlayStation Plus has offered an abundant amount of "permanent" content over the years. The word "permanent" is in quotations because if your subscription expired, any content that was released during that time could not be accessed, and if you are new to Plus, any previous content will not be available. If you have been a Plus member since day one, you most likely have an abundant library of games.
Microsoft countered Sony's premium service last summer with its Games with Gold promotion. Microsoft still has not fully delivered on its promises, but have started to gain steam as of recently. The partnership between Microsoft and EA can relieve the pressure of Microsoft having to deliver on its Games with Gold promotion, or it can offer more than the competition at the same time. Games with Gold is included with Xbox Live subscriptions, but you will pay $4.99 a month, or $29.99 a year, for what Peter Moore is promising as a "permanent" and "substantial" library of AAA titles.
Currently in beta, EA Access is offering some major titles for unlimited play. Battlefield 4, Madden NFL 25, FIFA 15, and Peggle 2 are all substantial titles with a massive community online. Even though these games are almost a year old, the new ones have yet to be released, and it's an excellent way to lure people into the program. Moore stated in the interview that the games that will be added will be determined by timing and franchise. There will be no set template for when a game goes into the vault. Moore also expressed the importance of a title to stay there. However, three years from now, are people really going to want to play FIFA 15? Sports titles should certainly be held to a different standard when it comes to this subscription.
It was noted recently that Sony declined the offer from EA stating the subscription "lacked value." Moore stated it was tough to comment on Sony's decision, but they made it pretty clear. This could mean that you won't be seeing any EA games hit PlayStation Plus anytime soon. It should also be known that the EA Access subscription does not require an Xbox Live subscription. Stay tuned for more information involving EA Access. You can read the full interview here.