They are Electronic Arts. They’ve been around since the very beginning of the industry. They were here before the Nintendo Entertainment System. They saw the video game industry crash in 1983, and they did what Atari couldn’t; they survived and prospered. Today, they publish some of the top video game franchises of all time. The Sims, Battlefield, Crysis, Skate, Army of Two, Dragon Age, Rock Band, Burnout, Need for Speed, FIFA, Madden, and hundreds more. If you’re a gamer, you’ve played one of their games, and you had fun doing it.
However, throughout the years, EA changed. They were once a company that challenged everything, and then they flipped it upside down, and sold it in bits and pieces. They angered the gaming world with microtransactions in full fledged $60 titles. They introduced extensive digital rights management into games such as the 2013 SimCity reboot, which at launch, prevented you from playing the game without an active internet connection. This was of course patched out later on, though the damage was done. EA was no longer in the game.
This article isn’t intended to be a negative jab at Electronic Arts, but rather to shine a rare yet positive light upon what is known as EA Access.
EA Access is, quite simply, a subscription rental service exclusive to the Xbox One platform. You, the gamer, pay $5 per month, or $30 per year, to gain access to a growing catalog of EA Vault titles. Of course there are other benefits involved too, such as discounts on EA digital sales done through the Xbox Marketplace, as well as early access to upcoming EA releases. Though, for the most part, you’re paying for the Vault.
The EA Access Vault makes this whole thing worth it. In fact, in a world where EA is known for constantly shoving anti-consumer practices down our throats, the EA Access Vault is arguably one of the best and most consumer-friendly things EA has done in recent history.
The Vault is home to a growing catalog of EA Xbox One titles, including NHL 15, Battlefield 4, Madden 25, Need for Speed: Rivals, Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare, among a handful of others. It is, to be entirely honest, one of the best subscription models I have seen in recent times, though the OnLive PlayPack remains the best deal in gaming history. (rest in peace, OnLive)
To attempt to summarize this article in a short sentence, the EA Access subscription service is a valuable add on to any Xbox One gamer. There’s just so much value in one small subscription, it’s almost too good to be true.
But it is true, and I’m thankful for that.
EA, you’re not getting off the hook for all of the other things you’ve done over the years, though I’m glad to see that you’re moving in the right direction. Let’s just hope that you continue to move in this direction.