I signed up for Origin Access today. For those who do not know, this is a subscription service to the EA Origin platform on the PC. For the nominal sum of £3.99 a monthly subscriber gets to “explore an instant collection of 75+ PC games and play as much as you want. Origin Access members also get to try new EA games before they’re released and save 10% on Origin purchases”. Out of those 75 PC games many are fairly recent titles such as Mass Effect: Andromeda Deluxe Edition, Battlefield 1, Titanfall 2, Unravel and FIFA 17. There are also classic titles such as the Crysis and Dead Space series. However, the reason I decided to sign up to this service is because Origin Access members get trial access Star Wars Battlefront II before the game is released to the wider public. Here is the staggered release schedule for this much awaited title. Subscribers get their hands on the game first, then owners of the Deluxe Edition. Finally, those who bought the base edition get to play. Make of that what you will.
- STAR WARS™ Battlefront™ II: Play First Trials Release date: November 9, 2017 (time not yet specified)
- STAR WARS™ Battlefront™ II: Elite Trooper Deluxe Edition Release date: November 13, 2017 11:00 PM GMT
- STAR WARS™ Battlefront™ II Release date: November 16, 2017 11:00 PM GMT
Triple A games are becoming increasingly expensive to buy and as far as I’m concerned if I’m going to sink over £60 into a new title I want to be as certain as possible that I’m going to enjoy the experience and also get value for money. Thus spending £3.99 on a subscription that offers me a free trial of Star Wars Battlefront II, seems a better option than spending £69.99 blind on the Deluxe Edition. If I enjoy the game then I can buy it later with a 10% discount, reducing the price to £62.99 which although not huge, is better than a poke in the eye with a pointed stick. Conversely, if the game is overrated, spoilt by the microtransactions or simply not to my liking I can elect not to buy it. Furthermore, if there are no further titles on Origin Access that interest me, I can simply cancel my subscription. At worst, all I’ve spent is £3.99 which is an acceptable gamble.
It should be noted that the Play First Trial as EA refers to them for both Star Wars Battlefront II and other premium titles are limited to ten hours. Some people may think this too little time however I think it will be sufficient for me to make an appropriate judgement about the game. I now simply await Thursday evening when the game client becomes available for me to install. I suspect it will be a substantial download, so I probably won’t actually be able to check out the game until Friday morning. In the meantime, I shall install one of the older titles available on Origin Access and ruminate upon the ongoing transition of gaming from a product driven business, to a service industry.