BUSINESS Technology

Electronic Arts launches video game subscription service for Xbox One

At $4.99 per month, EA Access lets players download four titles that would cost $100 separately.
Will EA's new subscription plan change the economics of console video games?

Electronic Arts Inc. announced a new subscription service Tuesday that would allow players to download some of its biggest titles for a $4.99-per-month membership.

The company said the service, dubbed, EA Access, is currently in beta testing with just a few Xbox players. But EA said in a press release that it expects EA Access to be available to all Xbox console owners "soon."

With sales of video games struggling in recent years, studios like EA are looking for ways to spark interest and revenue among players who are increasingly flocking to mobile and social games. In some ways, the $4.99 price puts the cost of otherwise expensive games in the realm of a paid app download.

It remains to be seen whether that shift in pricing will get gamers to think differently about the economics of console games.

In the current limited beta version of EA Access, subscribers get to download and play four of the company's biggest games: Madden NFL 25, Peggle 2, FIFA 14, Peggle 2, and Battlefield 4.

In addition to downloading games, members will get other special perks, like being able to play new games before they are released, and discounts on other digital content available in the Xbox Games store. 

"At EA, we are always looking for new ways to make it easier for gamers to play more EA games across all platforms, and we are excited about what EA Access will offer to players on Xbox One," the company said in a blog post.

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Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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