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EA Access Sparks Digital Subscription vs. Ownership Debate

The big success story sweeping the digital landscape is the infamous Netflix business model, which has unwittingly created a long line of copycats desperate to imitate their rapid ascent to success in the modern world.

Recently, the videogame publisher EA announced plans to offer their own subscription service called ‘EA Access’ in a collaborative effort with Microsoft and the Xbox One console. With many games retailing at $70 each, the allure of having access to a vault full of EA games for $29.99 a year sounds like a very tempting offer on the surface, but could also prompt other publishers such as Ubisoft to follow suit.

This could explain why Sony were so quick to criticise the new subscription scheme as the digital landscape enters a transitional phase that could dramatically affect the future of their PS Plus offering, as gaming turns into a TV style choose your own package subscription service.

If other publishers follow suit – and if we are brutally honest, it will only be a matter of time – we could end up in a situation where you have separate subscriptions for EA, Ubisoft and Activision for a total cost around £60 a year, but have a regular offering of games to play and a vault of free older games at your disposal.

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rainslacker1143d ago (Edited 1143d ago )

EA Access didn't spark the debate, the debate has been going on for a while now.

The issue at hand, whether you want to own your purchases, or play content as a service, is rather moot to be honest. It's either you prefer one or the other.

The real debate is if there should only be one choice...namely that the choice of owning the products you buy would be taken away.

The rest of the debate isn't really debate, but speculation on when it will happen.

Off topic: This article barely touches on the actual subject, just offers his random opinion at the end of a long diatribe that really has nothing to do with the debate.

paul-p19881143d ago

Tbh this announcement has made me begin to question whether I prefer digital or physical, and I am now starting to lean more towards wanting a completely digital collection on my PS4/Vita combo (admittedly, minus EA Access due to my console of choice, but hopefully it will come in the future).

This is definitely the way that gaming is going, Steam is obviously very successful and now games companies want to replicate that success on consoles too but most of us are unwilling to (and considering the HUGE markup digital games have on PSN/XBL it's no surprise). If the price point is right on digital, and services like EA Access seem at the right price point imo, then I can see myself not buying any more physical games and just playing all digital instead and I believe I wouldn't be the only one.

The only issue I can foresee (apart from lack of HDD space) is the owning vs renting argument of these services/PS+ and GoG, but personally I just look at those games as rentals anyway or my Amazon Prime sub so I just play them for a bit, complete them if I like them, then just delete them. I will purchase any of the games that I really like so they are mine forever, but only when they are on sale as i'm pretty cheap lol.

B1uBurneR1142d ago (Edited 1142d ago )

I think that's a smart way to do it. I think we should all agree with you. I've played and finished plenty of games I wouldn't buy.. Example Wolfinstein New Order.I've slept with plenty of "ladies" and guided some back to their bf. While it's in your posession Use it for what its for... Purchase what you want to keep... End your subscription when your done. Simple but the internet will make it complicated.

rainslacker1142d ago

I think you have reasonable reasons for your choices. And there is nothing wrong with those choices.

There is no wrong way to do things in this whole matter. The wrongness and debate come in when people try to say one side is wrong over the other, or assert that there shouldn't be a choice.

I personally like to own what I spend money on. I'm also a collector, and take pride in my collection which is worth quite a bit. I just wouldn't get that with a digital collection.