EA has operated an Xbox One subscription service called EA Access for about a year and a half now, and the gaming giant is taking a similar step into the world of PC gaming with its new Origin Access program. At a glance, it offers Windows gamers the same kinds of benefits Xbox One subscribers have enjoyed since summer 2014. (Sorry, Mac gamers — you're out in the cold for now.)
For $5 a month, subscribers gain access to EA's Vault, a free, continuously growing collection of some of the publisher's older games and selected third-party titles. (PC launch titles include Dragon Age: Inquisition, Battlefield Hardline, The Sims 3, FIFA 15, SimCity, and more.) They're also given access to pre-release trial versions of new EA games. The first trial being made available is for the yarn-based platformer Unravel. Origin Access users can play the game on February 4th, and they'll have access for five days before it's wide released on February 9th. Finally, Origin Access subscribers receive an additional 10 percent off on all of their Origin purchases.
EA must be pleased with the performance of its Xbox subscription service
EA isn't the only company to offer gaming subscription services. Microsoft's Games with Gold program gives Xbox Live Gold subscribers two games a month as part of their subscription; Sony's PlayStation Plus users also receive two games a month, and the company's PlayStation Now service lets users pay monthly to stream older titles. The very existence of Origin Access suggests EA is happy with the performance of its Xbox One-based initial gambit. It remains to be seen whether EA will offer some kind of subscription package for customers who split their gaming time between their Xbox and their PC, and the company doesn't seem to have plans for offerings on other consoles yet.