EA Access, the subscription-based gaming service, may be about to expand to “other platforms” having previously been an Xbox One exclusive.
EA CEO Andrew Wilson, speaking during an earnings call, revealed that EA Access has been such a success that it’s now being considered for further expansion.
“Our subscription services like EA Access and Origin Access are bringing more players from across our network to join in,” he said.
“Our subscription player base continues to grow. And you should expect us to continue driving this model to more platforms going forward.”
The exact consoles being considered remains to be seen, but you’d assume that the PS4 is the one EA is aiming for, as it already runs the similar Origins Access for PC players.
A big part of the drive towards this additional model comes from EA’s focus on “live service” games like FIFA, Battlefield and Battlefront. These aren’t ‘one-and-done’ purchases, instead propped up by microtransactions within the games themselves. So EA is happy to let players gain access to these titles at an affordable monthly rate, confident that they’ll continue to spend more money in the games they enjoy the most.
“The one thing that’s often lost when we have this conversation is that unlike linear media, the subscription fee paid is not the total value of what a player might expend as they enjoy the games they play inside of subscription,” added Wilson.
“And so we believe long term, while it may take us some years to facilitate that at the kind of scale that we expect it to evolve to, in the same way that digital music and digital movies have evolved, the upside for the interactive entertainment industry is uncapped by virtue of the value of live services that are born inside of a subscription.”
But it’s a controversial monetization method, which some see as leading to a decline in the popular (but costly to develop) single-player game market, and introducing ‘pay-to-win’ mechanics that undermine other player’s skills.
That said, EA Access has gone from strength to strength in recent months, with a growing library of games that includes big-hitting titles like Star Wars Battlefront, Battlefield 1 and Mass Effect Andromeda, for an affordable monthly fee.