EA works with Microsoft on subscriptions for gamers

Gamers sick and tired of paying high prices per title may have an opportunity to pay less with monthly and yearly plans coming to select EA games, but you’ll need an Xbox One if you want to try this out.

Living in Australia, one of our pet peeves has always been how much we pay for video games: does anyone know why we pay close to $100 per title? And don’t use the “we’re an island in the middle of the ocean” concept pushed onto us by sales people; we know this one already, and it’s old.

We shake our heads all the time at this concept of overpriced games, walking into retailers to see $80 to $100 price tags, values which seem to be at least $10 to $20 over their American comparative values with sales tax added, even though we’re close to parity with that dollar now.

While there have been moves to change this, online game sales are helping to make a dent in this old issue, an area where it seems Australians are often gouged because that’s what we’re used to.

Valve’s online store Steam has helped in numbers here, at least for the PC market, while Humble Bundle is also making some dents, but outside of the used title market — an area that often applies extra gouging itself — it’s online subscriptions that we’re likely to see the most movement for price drops.

Both Sony and Microsoft run online subscriber programs for owners of their consoles, with both discounted and free titles available on each, but this week we’re seeing Electronics Arts join in as well, with a monthly and yearly price for access to four of its titles, with more to come.

Madden NFL 25 is one of the titles activated under the EA Access program.

Called the “EA Access” program, it will be available strictly to Xbox One owners to start with, providing access to FIFA 14, Madden NFL 25, Battlefield 4, and Peggle 2 for $6.99 per month in Australia, or a yearly price of $39.99.

More games will be added later on, with trial runs of selected games provided on the EA Access system for up to five days before they come out.

At the moment, EA Access is a beta only program, though, and will roll out to everyone shortly, not just select gamers.

We’ve checked with EA as to whether this will roll out to other consoles, and while it has nothing to report for a PlayStation (3 or 4) version of this system, nor does it have anything to say about a possible Xbox 360 version, it did say that it “partnered with Microsoft to create a service we feel gives great value to Xbox One gamers and gives them the opportunity to play more EA games.”

Look for it on Xbox One in the coming weeks.

Battlefield 4 is available on the Xbox One as a stand-alone title, or under the EA Access program.