Between Xbox Game Pass, PlayStation Now, and others, more and more services are attempting to get us to pay a monthly fee for games rather than simply buy them outright.
While some of these end up being a net positive for customers, we can’t all afford to subscribe to every service. It’s like the TV streaming wars, with each company grasping for our hard-earned money.
While you’ll hardly see a published like Devolver Digital offering a subscription service, larger publishers like Electronic Arts and Ubisoft have entered the game.
In EA’s case, it offers a large back catalog via Origin All Access as well as newer games. Is it worth the asking price?
1. Demos and Early Access
Other subscription services tend to rely exclusively on the games they offer from their back catalog and, to a lesser extent, new releases.
While this is part of EA’s strategy, it isn’t the only part. Origin All Access also grants you exclusive access to early looks at games prior to release.
Back in the day, publishers used to offer demos for games. This still happens on occasion but is much more rare. Origin All Access not only gets you early access to upcoming games, but you also get a deal on them when or if you decide to buy them.
Of course, just how much you get to play of a game before you buy depends on which subscription you have.
2. Basic or Premier?
Most current gaming subscription services offer one tier of service, or at most services across different types of hardware like PCs and consoles.
Origin All Access is different in that you choose between two different service levels, which affects what you’ll get from the service in several ways.
The cheaper of the two plans is Origin All Access Basic, which costs $4.99 per month or $29.99 per year. This gets you access to more than 200 games from EA’s backlog on the PC, as well as a 10-hour trial period with new and upcoming games. You also get a 10 percent discount on games you buy.
The higher tier is Origin All Access Premier, which costs $14.99 per month or $99.99 per year. Instead of a 10-hour trial, you can play new games all the way through in addition to accessing many of them early. You get the same back catalog but also some newer games not available to All Access Basic subscribers.
Finally, you get the same 10 percent discount on games, but you also get a guaranteed $20 value in additional content for games you buy.
3. How Much Do You Like EA’s Annual Franchises?
If you buy a few EA games like clockwork every year without even thinking, then Origin All Access Premier could make sense for you.
The Madden and FIFA franchises are included, and you’ll be able to play them before many others get the chance. The Battlefield and Need for Speed franchises are included as well.
Other games like Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order are only available for Premier subscribers, but really, the bread and butter of this part of the service are EA’s annual and semi-annual franchises.
Looking to Add Variety to Your Library?
If none of those above titles interest you, it’s likely not worth paying for Origin All Access Premier. That said, that doesn’t mean you should write the service off altogether.
EA’s catalog has had its fair share of gems over the years, and you can get access to many of these with the cheaper service.
The entire Mass Effect franchise, the Dragon Age series, and a whole host of Star Wars titles are included in the games available via Origin All Access Basic.
Plus, if you’re looking for some classic games but don’t want to spring for a retro game console, you’ll find plenty here.