January 15, 2016
Origin Access hopes to become the new Netflix of video gaming. For $4.99 per month, subscribers can sample new PC games before they’re released, receive special discounts on current games, and play some games for free. All of the games are delivered via Internet downloads. The subscription service is an extension of Electronic Arts’ Origin, an online community and store for PC games. EA already offers a similar subscription service for Xbox One games and rival Nvidia has one for PC games.
EA decided to launch Origin Access because of the success of EA Access, the company’s existing subscription service for Xbox One games. The company did not release how many subscribers EA Access has, but EA says it is following the trend of successful subscription services like Netflix and Spotify.
Nvidia has a subscription service similar to Origin Access called GeForce. The subscription costs $7.99 per month for access to a collection of more than 50 games.
Origin Access subscribers with Windows PCs will be able to play 15 free titles as part of the service, including some popular titles such as “Battlefield 4” and “Dragon Age: Inquisition.” They also get to try a few EA games for about 10 hours before the release date and any games they buy on Origin will be 10 percent off.
EA’s Origin and Origin Access offerings are part of a larger movement in the gaming world to move toward more digital downloads. A year ago, only 10 to 15 percent of EA’s global sales were full-game digital downloads. Now, those downloads account for 20 to 25 percent of sales, reports The Wall Street Journal.