Ask a Dork: EA Access
“What do you think of the announcement of EA Access? What do you think it means for the future of the industry and retailers?”
Just as a recap, let’s talk about what EA Access actually is. EA Access is a subscription based platform similar to that of Netflix. It will cost $4.99 a month or $29.99 a year and is currently in closed though it will launch for everyone on Xbox One shortly. What EA Access membership actually gives you for your money is entrance to what the company is calling “The Vault,” which is a collection of EA’s titles currently available on Xbox One. Right now that includesunlimited access to FIFA 14, Madden NFL 25, Peggle 2 and Battlefield 4, but EA says the library will be expanded going forward. There will also be the additional value of a 10% discount on EA’s digital content for Xbox One.
What do I think about it? I dunno, right now it doesn’t seem that bad. If people want to partake, they can for a fairly decent price. I dig that. The challenge, right now, is trying to decide whether the value is actually there. You see, Netflix works because the content offered is widely of high quality and quantity. The quality of EA’s current Access offerings is of opinion, but the current quantity is low. Unless they add a number of excellent new games to the roster, I’m not going to say that it is worth it. Also, I find it to be a bit unfortunate that this is Xbox One only. And I don’t even say that as a gripe over the fact that it won’t be on PS4. EA has a huge library… on Xbox 360 and PS3. Not so much on next gen consoles. If the Xbox 360 was still alive and well, which it isn’t, this service would be on THAT console and I’d probably love it.
In terms of what it means for the future of the industry and retailers, I think this could be a very good thing for consumers. Not so much GameStop. Maybe not for developers either. Netflix flourished because it streamlined content discovery and reduced consumer risk. No longer did players have to waste money on terrible purchase, but that has also diminished the returns movie studios see on DVD and BluRay sales. As much as I would love to see Ubisoft and Activision wholly screw over GameStop, Steam, and PlayStation Now’s pricing models, I don’t think developers would make a ton of revenue under this model. Though, I could be wrong.
Hard to say at this point if EA Acess will be successful or a game changer. I think we just need to let things play out a little more.