EA says the service will have faster downloads and updates, easier access to games and the ability to connect with friends across platforms. Gamers will use the EA desktop app to use subscriptions such as the newly renovated EA Play ($ 5 per month) and EA Play Pro ($ 15 per month).
This is another example of how EA is getting rid of some older brands like Origin and rallying around its acronym and gamer-focused EA Play brand. On 14 August EA said it would resume its EA Access and Origin Access subscription game services under the EA Play brand name. It was the same week that Amazon relaunched its Gaming Prime membership service as Prime Gaming, with the goal of reaching a wider gaming audience.
“The EA desktop app is being designed to deliver a frictionless and socially connected experience that is fast to get players into their games,” Michael Blanc, EA’s senior vice president, said in an interview with Gamesbeat. “We have revealed some of it, but we have not revealed it all.”
The new app promises a faster experience, fewer clicks to jump back into your favorite games, and helps Playtime Control keep an eye on how much time you and your family have to play. Blanc said that you should be easy to find and install new games or just play through your EA Play membership.
EA is also rolling out new benefits for EA Play and EA Play Pro membership members. Anyone can register for the beta, and EA is sending download invitations on a first-come, first-served basis. If you are an original player, your game, progress and friends will move forward. You will have full access to all your original content.
Blanc leads a team at EA Dubbed EAX, creating products that tie players together and connect them to their game. It’s a team for things like making all of EA’s games playable where players want them to play and ensuring that games can work with cross-play, cross-progressing and cross-generation, where Fortnite like Games make such changes. . In the long run, EA wants its game platforms to be agnostic.
“This move aligns with the strategy, which is to help players play our game more effectively,” Blanc said. “And the things you’re seeing in the market, such as our EA Play gaming subscription, are designed to help break down barriers to play. You will start seeing more and more of our games being cross-play enabled, not just games that are in the portfolio that are moving towards cross-play, but upcoming games will be cross-play by default. ”
Epic Games are one step ahead in cross-play with their Fortnite games, which allow people to play PCs, consoles and mobile devices (except iOS due to a lawsuit between Epic and Apple).
“We had these different names. The reality is that they all align for the same purpose, which is to help our players play, ”said Blanc. “So it makes sense to bring the brand together under a branded experience in EA Play.”
EA Play Pro is the top level, where players can play the game on the same day under a membership that launches those games. EA Play, meanwhile, provides access to older games.
We are subscribed
If you are wondering how big the rage is about game subscriptions, everyone wants to make “Netflix of Gaming”. This helps in discovering new games, as players will try more games when the cost of doing so becomes zero.
“The ability to offer people is a game in which they can never try,” Blanc said. “In many cases, this reduces the barrier for them to play a game they want to play on an ongoing basis for which they may have to pay on an annual basis at a higher price point. So they can buy a game one year, but then next year should not buy a new version of that game because buying the game is expensive. We provide a great experience to the players. We value their engagement time, and the more opportunities we can give them to play the game, this is a mutually beneficial relationship between them and us. ”
Subscribers can also “energize” players, giving them access to a title before the time when others can access it.
“Players can only access the game if they offer it in this fashion,” he said. “It is a little difficult to predict what will come next. I think there is a very strong role for membership. So we continue to invest in it. That’s why Microsoft is investing in it. That is why virtually every platform company is investing in it because doing so is valuable to the company. ”
The original name has been around for a long time, since EA bought Richard Garrett’s Ultima Studio in 1992. EA closed that studio in 2004. But it launched its original online gaming service in 2011 as its platform in the digital game distribution business. It was EA’s rival for steam service operated by Valve.
“It was less about the original name and we are on a journey to offer players choice,” Blanc said. “Differentiating a variety of different brands” does not serve EA or its players, he said.
Cross-play and more
EA is trying to make more and more connection points throughout its game, even though it cannot perform cross-play, cross-progression and cross-generation play on every game.
“If you’re providing the same game experience across multiple different devices, then being able to play those players simultaneously is important,” Blanc said. “We know that players are switching between different platforms and this is a new generation of consoles. Switch has emerged as a major platform, and people can also own each other’s consoles.”
In some EA games, players can be on different platforms and still play against each other. Apex Legends players can enjoy cross-play on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch (this fall) and Windows PC. Cross-progress, where you can move from one platform to another and reach your same game level, is not yet supported.
“A lot of what we’re doing here is centralized around a generic brand,” Blanc said. “Viz is adding players to the EA ecosystem, whether through EA Play to the EA desktop app or other ways that we can make it frictionless and convenient.”
EA recently made EA Games available at no additional cost on Valve’s Steam service as well as the Microsoft Xbox Game Pass service.
Blanc said that players are demanding such a world, as they have seen with services like Netflix or Spotify, which run on any device. They want gaming to work like other entertainment subscriptions.
“The gaming experience is fluid, and it doesn’t start or end in the same way it once did,” Blanc said. “Whether you’re playing on a mobile device or on a PC or on a console, or you’re playing in the cloud, or you’re playing on a subscription, players are demanding a more seamless, connected ecosystem.”
I asked if we were able to write a game once we were anywhere near EA and it ran on any platform.
“We’re not there yet,” Khali said. “If everyone can agree on one technique, it will work. But this is not the way the world works. “