[Column] EA Origin Premier Is A Value Proposition

Back when Origin/EA Access debuted on PC and Xbox, I said that it was one of the most gutsy things that Electronic Arts has done in their history next to the Origin Guarantee (refund policy) and my reasoning was pretty simple: By showing off their games in 10 hour trials before launch, EA is taking two major risks that players could A.) burn out of the game within that ten hour window and B.) If the game isn’t good, it can tank day one sales.

And you don’t have to look far for evidence of this, because Battlefront II is a prime example of a game that most assuredly lost a lot of day one sales because of the reception to the early access demo. Yes, the service costs money and for many the $30 per year is worth it to cover the included vault games as well as the ability to personally preview new releases and see if they are worth it. Even if you are not an Origin subscriber, you still see a benefit in that other people are playing the games early and able to report on their quality.

This weekend, EA announced a new tier of membership to Origin: Origin Access Premier. This is no doubt a response to Microsoft’s Game Pass on the Xbox One and functions very similarly. For $14.99 per month or $100 per year, you get full access to new games without the ten hour time limited demo version that standard Origin Access members receive. This seems to include all of EA’s first party lineup as well as potentially some third party titles, since the promo page teases Anthem, Battlefield V, A Way Out, and EA’s 2019 sports games. Incidentally, this is also marks the first Madden game on PC in a decade.

I’ve seen some varied response to this service and, as I said with Origin Access when that first launched, this is a value proposition that is entirely subjective to your wants and needs as a customer. If you are hardline militant on owning your games or refuse to go digital except when necessary and don’t care about the five day head start, well this service doesn’t offer much to you. If you’re the kind of person who burns through several Electronic Arts games per year from day one, then dumps the games like a bad habit, there might be a value proposition in $100 versus whatever you’re currently spending. If you’re the casual player who only buys games once they are extensively marked down, it might not be a bad value to subscribe for one or two months out of the year to check out the current library without restrictions.

Ultimately I still stand by my belief that Origin Access and Premier are a net positive for gamers, even if you only consider it to be the canary in the mine for EA publishing low quality releases. If Anthem is bad on launch, trust me when I say the internet will let you know with plenty of time to cancel that pre-order.

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