We don’t think that Sony and EA Games are on the best of terms. After the latter promised an unprecedented partnership [Haha – Ed] with Microsoft for the launch of the Xbox One, we’ve always got a sense that relations are a little, well, strained. And a statement from the platform holder regarding the mega publisher’s new Xbox One exclusive EA Access subscription service has reinforced that suspicion in our minds.
For those out of the loop, the impending promotion sees you stumping up $5 per month or $30 per year in order to obtain complete on-demand access to “catalogue titles”, game trials, and discounts. It’s basically the EA Games equivalent of PlayStation Plus – but Sony doesn’t think that it’s very good. “We evaluated the EA Access subscription offering and decided that it does not bring the kind of value that PlayStation customers have come to expect,” an outspoken spokesperson said.
The firm continued: “PlayStation Plus memberships are up more than 200 per cent since the launch of the PlayStation 4, which shows that gamers are looking for memberships that offer a multitude of services, across various devices, for one low price. We don’t think that asking our fans to pay an additional $5 a month for this EA-specific programme represents good value to the PlayStation gamer.”
We’re a little torn on this to be honest. On the one hand, we’ve always appreciated options, so it would have been nice for the platform holder to allow us to make up our own mind about the model’s value proposition. However, on the other, this potentially sets a dangerous precedent, with other major publishers likely to create their own custom subscription services separate from PlayStation Plus if this proves popular.
There’s also the fact that games like Peggle 2 aren’t even available on the PS4 yet, so subscribers would probably end up with even less value should they stump up for the service on Sony’s machine. What’s most strange, however, is seeing the platform holder come out and publicly dismiss the programme. We get the sneaking suspicion that SCEA boss Shawn Layden won’t be exchanging Christmas cards with EA Games gaffer Andrew Wilson this holiday.