Electronic Arts (EA), makers of wildly popular sports games like FIFA and Madden, is introducing a new subscription service for Xbox One that will allow members to play parts of EA’s catalog for $4.99 a month.
The service, called EA Access, allows Xbox One gamers to play FIFA 14, Madden NFL 25, Peggle 2 and Battlefield 4 with more titles to be added in the future.
Subscriptions are priced at $4.99 monthly or $29.99 annually. By comparison, those four titles would cost approximately $100 purchased individually.
EA has entered into a number of sports licensing deals to carry FIFA, Madden, NHL Live, NBA Live, PGA Tour and UFC titles that, along with other genres, has given the company the highest software-retention rate in the industry.
Predictably absent from the offering is EA NCAA Football, a discontinued title that has been at the center of courtroom discussions surrounding the NCAA and college athletes.
Rather than make its money on selling traditional single-game titles, EA is betting that consumer loyalty — through continued subscriptions and in-game purchases — will win the day.
In addition to playing game titles, EA Access members will receive a 10 percent discount on EA digital download purchases, including full games, downloadable content and in-game currency.
EA’s efforts are just the latest example of a company experimenting with new models that shift prices to different phases of the revenue cycle when delivering a product or service.
Whether customers are being charged at the front or the back end, its money just the same for EA.