EA pinged me an email the other day to update my payment options for my Origin Access subscription. A memory flashed in my mind of me removing Origin as a subscription on PayPal. After buying a year of EA’s PC subscription service, my time was finally up. I was free. Understanding the subscription service, its tiers, and what it offers can be difficult, but one question is more important than all of those: is Origin Access worth it in 2019?
Just to clarify, EA’s Origin Access subscription isn’t necessary to play games online or anything like that. This subscription service is exclusive to PC, and the community would almost certainly be outraged. This is also different from EA Access, a similar subscription service which is exclusive to Xbox One owners. If you’re done getting your head around that, you should know that Origin Access has two tiers, Origin Access Basic, and Origin Access Premier, which are similar, but Premier has a few significant advantages over Basic, at a significantly higher cost. It must be quite a heavy task to differentiate all of this in marketing.
It’s in the game
The biggest reason to subscribe to Origin Access is games, of course. With Origin Access, you can play unlimited amounts of EA’s game library, from classic games like Populous and Dungeon Keeper, to new titles such as Mass Effect Andromeda and NFL 19. What is perhaps more interesting, is that it’s not just EA games available to you through Origin Access. Big titles such as Darksiders 3 and Mad Max are available alongside smaller games like Limbo, Inside, and Rime. It’s a massive selection especially since it includes access to premium DLC; a thoughtful addition for those who may have missed post-game content on other platforms.
If you see a couple of games you’re interested in but don’t want to pay a large amount of money to own, the subscription is a pretty attractive prospect. For a year’s subscription, you could easily play through the Mass Effect and Dragon Age trilogies, in addition to checking out recent releases like Battlefield 5, and going back to games you might have missed like Titanfall 2 and Unravel. You can get a lot of gaming done in a fairly short amount of time.
Save for Battlefield 5 and Darksiders 3, all of the games I’ve mentioned so far can be played, in their entirety, with an Origin Access Basic subscription, which is a very fair £3.99 ($4.99) a month, or £19.99 ($29.99) a year. In a month you could play a lot of games for that price, and for a year it almost feels like a steal, given that many of the games available would cost that price on their own.
And in addition to that, you get trials of newer titles. Battlefield 5, Anthem, and other new EA games will get 10-hour trials with Origin Access, giving players more than enough time to decide whether they want to invest in the full game. If you look at this as an additional bonus, and not a selling point, it’s incredibly nice. Of course, as these games get older, they will eventually be incorporated into the Basic package.
But with an Origin Access Premier subscription, you get all of that and more. A 10-hour trial of Battlefield 5? Nope, the entire game. And then when it comes to new releases like Anthem, a Premier subscription saw players riding around in their Javelins on February 15 instead of the release date February 22. However, it’s arguable those early players ultimately just ended up as beta testers in preparation for the day one patch.
So with a Premier subscription, players essentially get full games at release instead of the game trials Basic subscribers receive. But what else? Not much, to be frank. Right now there are nine games that Premier subscribers have that Basic ones do not. Including what we’ve already mentioned, a Premier sub will get you access to Fifa 19, Madden 19, They Are Billions, Beholder 2, This Is the Police 2, and The Sims 4 — which is also on Basic, but Premier has more DLC.
The Premier deal doesn’t sound so bad until the price comes into play. It’s £14.99 ($14.99) per month or a whopping £89.99 ($99.99) per year. That is pretty hefty, for not much more than what your Basic subscription includes.
If you were to sub to Premier for a month to enjoy the latest release, it might be a cost-effective way of playing as many games as possible, but if you want long-term access to a bunch of PC games, look no further than the Basic subscription.
Is Origin Access worth it in 2019? Shockingly, it broadly is. To make sure it’s worth it for you, double check your PC’s specs and the games in the subscription that interest you, but Origin Access Basic might be a good investment for many PC gamers out there. Once people look past their hatred of EA, it’s hard not to acknowledge that EA has a decent service on its hands, given the selection and (mostly) decent prices. And it can only get better from here.