Announced earlier this week, EA Access, the new subscription-based service from Electronic Arts, appears to offer incredible value for money for its fans, but only if they own an Xbox One.
For £3.99 a month, or approximately £19.99 a year, EA Access subscribers will immediately be able to play EA SPORTS FIFA 14, EA SPORTS Madden NFL 25, Peggle 2 and Battlefield 4 as much as they want with more games being added at a later date. With the likes of FIFA 14 costing a whopping £59.99 to buy from the PlayStation Store, but the chance of some great savings by subscribing, why then are PlayStation gamers not welcome?
Well, it turns out that Sony Computer Entertainment isn’t interested in bringing EA Access to PS4. Sony’s excuse is that the service “does not bring the kind of value PlayStation customers have come to expect” as users will have to pay for access on top of their current charges for PlayStation Plus. “We don’t think asking our fans to pay an additional $5 a month for this EA-specific program represents good value to the PlayStation gamer,” said a Sony spokesperson to Eurogamer.
However, that’s where Sony is wrong. Users do NOT have to pay for EA Access. They can choose to pay if they want to take advantage of it, or simply ignore it. PlayStation gamers should at least be given the choice. Ignoring such an attractive proposition for its consumers is a disappointing decision by Sony, though it’s totally understandable why it has snubbed EA’s service.
The real issue is that Sony has nothing to personally gain from EA Access; in fact it could lose out on some extra cash that it hopes to gain from PlayStation Now rentals, which hits open beta in the U.S. and Canada today. So much has been invested in making PlayStation Now a success that the last thing that Sony would want to do is confuse things by adding an additional service onto its platform that potentially has players enjoying a range of EA titles rather than investing in lucrative rentals.
Let’s face it, EA’s titles sell incredibly well and are played by millions of gamers. I know if I had a subscription to EA Access I’d more than happily subscribe and spend most of the year making sure I got value for money by playing the games that EA makes available. With the likes of Dragon Age Inquisition and FIFA 15 confirmed for the service there’s already plenty of reason to subscribe. And that’s just it. PlayStation Now and EA Access simply can’t work together for Sony as the latter views it as a competitor.
While you can’t really blame Sony for thinking about the possible loss of revenue that could occur if EA came on board with its own attractive subscription-based system, it’s still incredibly disappointing that PlayStation consumers won’t benefit from a scheme that would have ultimately saved them money.