Streaming games is a fascinating idea which I’m not entirely sure is going to come together. I remain skeptical that enough of the gaming world has an Internet connection fast enough to make it anything other than a curiosity. But, hell, when has that ever stopped EA?
Just announced is EA Access, which is essentially a streaming games setup designed for the Xbox One, and which is supposedly an exclusive. For $30 a year, or $5 a month, you can… stream four of EA’s older games and get 10% off all EA digital content.
Honestly, it’s that 10% off that’s more interesting. That includes full games, so really, buy five EA games at full price, and you’ve made your $30 back. The streaming games option, though, is kind of weak, so far, with one exception.
The service will launch with four games in “The Vault”: FIFA ’14, Madden 25, Peggle 2, and Battlefield 4. Play ’em as much as you want, as long as you keep that monthly $5 coming. What stands out is that you can demo future games as well, like Dragon Age: Inquisition. Is that worth $2.50 to $5 a month? Ehhhhhh, probably not, but it is interesting.
For a lot of gamers, I suspect, it’s going to come down to what games are added to the Vault. If it’s just EA’s popular titles that we all own anyway, it’s going to remain rather uninteresting. But if EA is smart, it’ll start digging deep and breaking out games that you can’t get anywhere else, especially the 16-bit and 32-bit titles of the past that we can’t play anymore. True, there’s only so much money in nostalgia, but even so, it seems to be a better use of the company’s time than just advertising modern games.
As for platform exclusivity… well, considering Sony’s ambitions in that sphere, we expect this won’t be an exclusive for long.