OK, that didn’t take anywhere near as long as I thought it would. EA’s announced Australian pricing for its Access online subscription service.
There’s a small whack of Australia Tax in there (is anyone really surprised?), with the monthly fee being $6.99 and yearly rate set at $39.99, compared to $4.99/$29.99 if you live in the USA. Because those digital bits have to be, oh, I don’t know, flipped upside down so they’ll flow down our drains the right way or something.
I’ve noted elsewhere today that I’ll be interested to see where this leads in terms of evolving games history — and whether other publishers follow suit on the console front. Still no official word on when the service will launch, however, although it does clarify that this would seem to be a subscription service for older games, given the following on EA’s Access web site relating to early games access:
If you’re an EA Access member, you can download upcoming EA games five days before the release date to play for a limited time. Madden NFL 15, NHL 15, FIFA 15, NBA LIVE 15 and Dragon Age: Inquisition are all included, with more to come. If you love it, buy it, and you can pick up right where you left off.
Actually, having had time to peruse the T&Cs, it’s more explicit than that:
As part of the EA Access Services, members with an active subscription are offered (1) the ability to play a limited trial of certain EA Content 5 days prior to the date that EA Content is otherwise available on the Xbox Marketplace (“Play First”), (2) discounts on EA Content offered through the Xbox Marketplace (“Discounts”); and (3) access to a limited library of certain EA Content (“Vault Title(s)”) for unlimited online play (“Vault Access”) for the duration of their availability in the Vault. Limitations and exclusions may apply. For upcoming EA Content eligible for Play First and Discounts, and for current EA Content available in the Vault, and current details on other membership benefits, see http://www.ea.com/eaaccess. Certain EA Content may be excluded from Play First, the Vault, and/or Discounts; see http://www.ea.com/eaaccess for details on such exclusions as they become available.
Also of interest is that this is a Microsoft initiative; the same T&C document also states that
Please note, the purchase of an EA Access subscription is made with Microsoft and not EA.
Source: EA Access