Opinion PC

Five reasons why you should take notice of Origin Access Premier

Origin Access Premier.jpg

Origin Access saved me from purchasing Mass Effect: Andromeda at its release day price. I played the free trial and decided against purchasing the game. Soon after I cancelled my subscription as I wasn't interested in any of the upcoming games from EA that year. However, I am reconsidering now, and the new Origin Access Premier service is looking extremely attractive.

Origin Access Premier: Important Info

  • Launch date: Summer 2018
  • Monthly Price: R199.95 / $14.99
  • Annual price: R1199.99 / $99.99

The standard Origin Access subscription already offers great value for money with access to over 100 PC games in the Vault. You also get that valuable 10-hour free trial, early access, and 10% discount on games. So what does Origin Access Premier offer on top of the standard service? You will, of course, also pay more for the service, so let's take a look at five reasons why you should consider becoming a subscriber.

1. Immediate Vault Access

With a standard Origin Access subscription, you have to wait for newly released games to eventually find its way to the Vault. With Origin Access Premier the full game unlocks in the vault - before its official release date.

"For the first time in a subscription, you’re getting new games like Madden NFL 19, FIFA 19, Battlefield V and Anthem, and full access to more than 100 games from EA and other publishers with a single membership," said Electronic Arts’ Chief Executive Officer Andrew Wilson. "We’re thrilled to be opening up this new way for players to access great games, with the freedom to play what they want, whenever they want.”

It is important to keep in mind that your access to all games in the vault expires when you cancel your subscription. That being said, with so many incredible games releasing every year, I wonder how many replay games. On the other hand, games like Battlefield, and FIFA series, and the upcoming Anthem are all games that we play for months on end. So, if you are not currently an Origin Access subscriber, and you are considering to join Access Premier, then the question of "When" becomes very important, and that brings me to the second point.

2. Upcoming EA Releases & New Vault Games

Origin Access Premier launches this Summer (Winter in South Africa), and the next twelve months following that is looking very promising for EA games. Below is the list of all upcoming EA games with the worldwide release date.

  1. A Way Out: Released (to unlock in the Vault soon)
  2. Unravel Two: Out now (to unlock in the Vault soon)
  3. Madden NFL 19: 10 August 2018 (previous Madden title released on PC over a decade ago)
  4. FIFA 19: 28 September 2018
  5. Battlefield V: 19 October 2018
  6. Anthem: 22 February 2019
  7. Sea of Solitude: TBA
  8. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order: TBA

The first two games become immediate unlocks when the service launches (summer in Los Angeles means the service should open any day now), as both have already released. It is important to note that with Access Premier you skip the Play First Trial and get immediate access to the complete game. And you get it well in advance of the worldwide release date.

3. Play all upcoming games days before release

According to the FAQ on Origin, you'll be able to play the above upcoming releases a full five days before anyone else - and you'll have access to the full game (unlike the 10 hours of the standard subscription). However, the early access release dates as listed on the press release give more than a five-day head start. Be that as it may, a five-day head start in online multiplayer games like Battlefield V, FIFA 19, and Anthem makes a huge difference in terms of experience, map knowledge, unlocks, and strategy. Below is the early access dates as confirmed by EA's press release.

  1. Madden NFL 19: 02 August 2018
  2. FIFA 19: 20 September 2018
  3. Battlefield V: 11 October 2018
  4. Anthem: 15 February 2019

Another thing to consider here is that Battlefield V won't have Premier, so that means all upcoming expansions will be available to everyone and with Access Premier you'll also play those earlier than other players.

But does Access Premier offer subscribers value for money? Let's take a look at the pricing structure.

4. The Price

Let's assume for argument's sake that you'll play at least two of the upcoming games for at least one year. I'll take Battlefield V and Anthem as examples as we already published both these local price lists. Battlefield V's standard edition costs R950, and Anthem's standard edition will also cost R950.

If you subscribe to Origin Access Premier for a year, it will cost you R1200, if you purchase the aforementioned two games it will cost you R1900.

Yes, for the short-term it is cheaper to subscribe to Access Premier than to purchase those two games - but remember you only own it as long as you are a subscriber. If you love a game so much that you want to own it, then you can always purchase it at 10% discount. As I've mentioned before, not many people play any game for longer than a year, it's just those World of Warcraft junkies. The next Battlefield game might also release before you plan to cancel your subscription, not to mention the upcoming Star Wars game from Respawn, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. If you're a fan of EA games, then you will likely continue your subscription as you wait for the next FIFA, Need for Speed, or the new Sea of Solitude, and so on.

In the above argument, I only compared the price of two upcoming EA games to the subscription fee - and it's cheaper - and that's without throwing all the other benefits of Access Premier into the argument - early access, over 100 games in the vault, immediate access to the full game, and the added comfort of not having to purchase each title separately.

If the annual price tag is too steep, then you can always go for the monthly fee (R200), and cancel the service the moment you feel it doesn't offer you value for money. Or, if you want to try out any of the upcoming games, then you can subscribe in the month it releases, and if you're hooked, then extend the subscription.

5. Everything Else

Essentially, Origin Access Premier is your pass to play every big new EA game without buying it. It certainly looks like the PC option for what Microsoft is offering with the Xbox Game Pass, which is a fantastic service. Another benefit is for SIMS fans as they get unlimited access to The Sims 4, including content from the Digital Deluxe Update, Dine Out Game Pack and Kids Room Stuff Pack.

This is a fantastic service that you can cancel at any time. Looking back at the past few years, and the hot mess EA made not only with Battlefront II but also with previous big releases like Andromeda, I can understand that people would feel negative towards supporting EA. For me though, it is less about supporting EA and more about giving me access to the games I want to play. I will definitely play at least two of the games on the upcoming list, regardless of my views about EA as a company.

I have had countless hours of incredible gaming experiences in games EA published, I also have a lot of respect for some of the developers behind these games. For me, the game itself weighs more than the controversies surrounding its publisher. If the game can deliver entertainment, immersion, adventure, and escape, then I am happy to buy it. Sometimes we can get so caught up in all the controversies that we forget about the games, and then we miss out on something that could've been a fantastic experience. "Vote with your wallet" I hear you say - but there are more resources behind these games than just EA.

Both Battlefield V and Anthem won't have loot boxes, and any in-game purchases will be properly detailed and only cosmetic. Whatever else could go wrong? Females in World War 2! Paint jobs for soldiers! All valid concerns, and all the more reason to use at least the monthly subscription for Origin Access Premier.

You can try out the standard Origin Access right now for free for seven days.

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"your pass to play every big new EA game without buying it"

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