Now Loading…EA Access for PlayStation 4
This week’s “Now Loading…” segment will focus on Sony’s rejection of EA Access feature for the PlayStation 4. PSLS staff discuss how they feel about Sony’s decision and whether they thinks it was the right move or not. Please note that each opinion should be attributed to the respective individual and not to the website as a whole.
Alex: I’m honestly conflicted. While I don’t want my gaming console to be inundated with lots of subscription plans and what not (since you know other publishers will follow suit if this is successful), I have to say, I also want Sony to give me the option of choosing it or not. But then again, I’m very happy with how PlayStation Plus has been performing and frankly, I don’t even see myself signing up for it. Also, not to be a wet rag or anything, but I’m very skeptical of EA’s plans.
EA, the same company that pushes for max profits on almost every game, is giving us a flat fee to play its games? If I had to hazard a guess, it’d be for older titles only, which means you can buy the games in the game vault at a lower price somewhere and actually own a disc for it. Case in point: Titanfall. EA’s arguably biggest game of the year is absent from the list and that alone makes me think Sony might have made the right move.
Chandler: I’ve gone back and forth on this since it was announced. At first, I wanted to say that It was good of Sony to stand their ground and that Plus is plenty for PS gamers. Then I was in the camp that Sony ought to allow gamers the choice of what subscription plan they want. Then I found out that EA Access billing, membership, and customer service is entirely handled by the platform holder. What this means is that Microsoft will be responsible for handling any problems and issues that come up with EA Access on the Xbox One.
Sony is actually very smart for doing this. With trying to offer subscriptions to PlayStation Now and Plus, EA Access would be in direct competition with their own services, and yet they would still be responsible for customer service and handling the issues that would inevitably come up. Partnering yourself in such close proximity with a company that recently won the Worst Company in America award twice, (though lost out to Time Warner this last year) probably isn’t in Sony’s best interests. Sony is its own company and doesn’t need to be blamed for problems with EA access that are out of their control, which would likely include complaints of what’s in the catalog, billing issues, and problems that occur with the service. That would be like GameStop agreeing to take on customer service for problems in the games they sell. It’s a deep partnership that requires more than just allowing gamers a choice of what subscription service to choose.
Zarmena: In the words of Rhett Butler, “frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” That’s how I feel about the EA Access program. But I understand that Sony’s decision to turn it down may come as a disappointment to some, especially those who are fans of the EA Sports franchises. Receiving free catalog titles for $5 a month can’t be that bad, but I personally think that the PlayStation Plus membership already offers the kind of value a lot of us want out of a subscription.
What I’m struggling to understand is why EA didn’t just decide to run this program by itself. The company could have run a trial via Origin instead of approaching console makers. And then, there is also the question of who handles customer service and back-end support. I’ve noticed some comments declaring that Sony’s decision is going to harm competition and that it should be our decision whether we want to pay for something extra or not. I beg to differ. Sony has a duty of care towards its customers and it needs to consider a number of factors before allowing another company to tack on a subscription service to the PlayStation 4. Perhaps, Sony’s statement regarding ‘value’ also reflects the hidden costs and behind-the-scenes challenges involved in allowing EA to run the Access program.
I guess what remains to be seen now is how EA takes Sony’s comments, and that’s what I’m looking out for. Only time will tell if this means that we won’t see EA games on PlayStation Plus.
What’s your taken on Sony’s refusal to allow EA Access on to the PlayStation 4? Should Sony give gamers the option if they don’t want to avail of it or did it do the right move?