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Even without in-season sports games EA Access is proving its worth

By on @pastapadre

When we last checked in on EA Access over the summer, prior to the latest sports gaming season, we declared it to be arguably the best value in all of gaming. Since then, EA reports that the numbers of subscribers have doubled. In fact, they’ve even started to advertise the service, which they had not really done in the past.

When considering the current desirability of the service, the circumstances are somewhat different at this point in the year. The majority of the sports games within the Access “Vault” have become irrelevant with new products having launched onto market. Does that change the value of the service for those who place primary importance on sports games?

There’s no doubt that right now it would be a tougher sell to convince consumers they should pay the $30 for a year of EA Access simply to get the likes of Madden 15 and FIFA 15, and even games that don’t have a true “season” such as EA Sports UFC won’t be incredibly attractive. There’s a lot more to the service than just getting out-of-season sports games however.

The 10 hour trial periods remain available for every EA game to anyone with a subscription. Those can either help someone determine whether they should buy the game outright, ease their mind on waiting until they’re added to the Vault or a deal can be found, or even be enough of an experience on their own. If you’d never consider paying for a game like Dragon Age or Need For Speed, you can still experience 10 hours of them via the Vault – a significant amount of time to determine whether something speaks to you. Additionally the 10% discount on all digital purchases can come into play immediately, whether it is for buying the games themselves or paying for transactions in modes such as Ultimate Team.

Based on when last year’s sports games entered the Vault, the wait really isn’t that long should they follow the same pattern. Rory McIlroy PGA Tour could be added as early as next month, as UFC went in last December after just six months on the market. NBA Live followed in February, Madden in March, NHL in April, and FIFA in May.

Later this week the 10 hour trial will open up for one of the most anticipated games of the year with Star Wars: Battlefront. Last month Battlefield Hardline was added to the Vault. EA Access is now recognized by many as a terrific value and a selling point for the Xbox One. The value for those who primarily play sports games however will fluctuate to an extent over the course of every year.