Yesterday, EA announced a new program called EA Access that allows Xbox One owners to pay a monthly subscription fee in exchange for access to a catalog of the publisher’s games and some additional perks. Now, Sony has revealed that the Xbox One exclusivity wasn’t EA’s decision—it was theirs.
“We evaluated the EA Access subscription offering and decided that it does not bring the kind of value PlayStation customers have come to expect,” a Sony rep told Game Informer. “PlayStation Plus memberships are up more than 200% since the launch of 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 asking our fans to pay an additional $5 a month for this EA-specific program represents good value to the PlayStation gamer.”
As the statement from Sony points out, EA Access is quite similar to Sony’s own practice of giving free games to PlayStation Plus subscribers to the duration of their membership, and the extra five bucks a month (or $30 a year) probably would’ve felt like double dipping. But it’s hard not to wonder what effect Sony’s decision to pass will have on the relationship between the two companies moving forward. Will we continue to see EA titles offered as part of the monthly PlayStation Plus lineup? Will EA offer any analogous way to gain early access to game demos on the PlayStation 4?
More important, perhaps, is whether or not customers will be willing to pay a monthly fee for EA’s games at all. If the service catches out, it may prove to be a boon for the Xbox One, which has lagged behind the PS4 in sales since launch. As with most things, only time will tell.