Everyone’s Making a PC Game Subscription: Are They Worth It?

PC game in a cybercafeOHishiapply / Shutterstock.com

Each television network creates its own streaming application and every major game publisher wants its own subscription. EA, Microsoft and Ubisoft have already launched their subscriptions, but is it worth it?

PC games: an embarrassment of riches

Xbox Game Pass with the game Gears 5.

There are several subscription services for PC games. Some offer download buffets at will, while others are streaming services for which you do not even need a gaming PC.

In this article, we only look at the first one. Currently this list includes Access to EA Origin, Xbox Game Pass from Microsoft for PC, and UPlay More Ubisoft which will be released in September 2019.

We do not include GeForce Now from Nvidia or the next Google Stadia. These services focus on streaming games from remote servers to your home hardware.

The idea of ​​a subscription to a library of games is not particularly new. The EA for PC service has been around since 2016 and the Xbox Game Pass for the console was rolled out in 2017. Still, it took Microsoft and Ubisoft until 2019 to catch up with EA's leadership. on PC. Other game makers with desktop launchers, such as Activision Blizzard and Epic Games, have not yet followed suit.

How do they work?

The basic idea is to download an application for your Windows desktop hosting service. Most of these applications include a game launcher, a gaming store, ads and social features, such as chat. Once the application is downloaded and connected to your account, you can download games from the service. It's similar to Steam or Epic Games Store, except you do not pay for individual titles.


The safe of the Origin Access game from EA.

Below you will find all the options available from the three main games subscription services:

EA Origin Access Basic: The oldest of the services we are looking at, it was launched in 2016 and has become a multi-level service. The first level is Origin Access Basic for $ 5 a month, or you can pay $ 30 for a year. Basic gives you access to what EA calls "The Vault", a large number of PC games that includes (to date) more than 200 titles, such as Battlefield V, Battlefield I, Star Wars Battlefront II and Madden 19. Also Origin members get 10% off their purchases at the Origin Shop.
EA Origin Access Premier: At $ 15 a month or $ 100 a year, this level adds only ten more games to date. However, you also get advance access to the full version of upcoming games. Basic, in comparison, has a 10 hour delay for early access securities. If the new EA games are important to you, then Premium is the best buy. It also does not require you to pay for a game like Anthem, which seemed interesting and exciting at launch, then, well, had problems.
Xbox Game Pass for PC: With Xbox users happily using Game Pass for two years, Microsoft finally remembered the PC player in June 2019 when he released this service. At $ 10 a month, it offers access to over 100 games. Microsoft promises to include all of its proprietary titles with Game Pass as it does with the console version. Like the EA service, it offers a plethora of older games, as well as new titles, such as Metro Exodus and the upcoming Gears 5. In addition, Xbox says members receive "exclusive discounts and offers for the members".
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate: This service offers Xbox Live Gold subscribers (a must have for most Xbox owners) and Game Pass for PC and console. This is a fantastic offer for anyone who has a gaming PC and an Xbox at home because the new Microsoft proprietary titles are compatible with all platforms. This means you can start playing on the console, report your progress to your PC, and then return to the console.
UPlay Plus: This is the newest service – it debuts on September 3, 2019. UPlay Plus will cost $ 15 per month to access 108 games, including The Division 2, Rainbow Six Siege, Assassin's Creed: Odyssey (and the old titles of Assassin's Creed), and Far Cry series, starting with Far Cry 2. It's by far the most expensive of the services we've covered. However, subscription fees not only cover basic games, but also additional content and extensions for most titles. Neither EA Origin Access nor Xbox Game Pass cover all that. It would be nice if Uplay Plus offered a cheaper "no DLC" version, but maybe it will show up in the future.

Are they worth it?

Uplay Plus logo on background of several video game cover images.

Now here is the difficult part. Because there are so many styles of play out there, we can not say that any of these services is a universal option. So we invented some theoretical profiles to compare and contrast the needs of different players.

For this list, we assume that the average player buys about three AAA titles a year, not counting the games that he could buy for sale. This is certainly our best guess because there is not much current information on game buying habits. Still, about $ 180 a year on new releases seems about right.

Here are the best services for certain types of players:

The bargain hunter: If you pay for an option of all the services we have covered at advertised prices, it will cost you $ 330. It's a little more than buying five games a year, but you benefit from a large catalog.
The fan of the brand: If you are all about Xbox, Ubisoft or EA, buying the service of your particular brand is a no-brainer. One year of Xbox Game Pass for PC would cost you around $ 120 for the minimum service. Origin Access Basic would be $ 30, while Premier is $ 100. Uplay Plus would cost $ 180 each year.
L & # 39; achèvementiste: Players who are more interested in completing campaigns will probably not find it beneficial to subscribe to all three services. A better option would be to choose either Xbox Game Pass with Origin Access Basic or Uplay Plus alone. Either way would equate to nearly three purchases of AAA securities a year. The disadvantage for the completionist is, except for Uplay Plus subscribers, that additional content will cost more.
multiplatform: If you have an Xbox and a PC, you should consider the Xbox Game Pass, especially if you're a fan of Microsoft's proprietary titles, like the Gears of War series and (coming later this year) Halo.
L & # 39; intriguing: No matter which service or services you choose, the bonus is that you can cancel at any time. So, if EA has a game coming out, you're dying to try, sign up for Origin Access Premier, play the game, and cancel the service when you're done. It's easy to do with a monthly subscription and ideal for those who do not want to engage on an entire year.

What you will not get

Although these offers are excellent, they are not even close to cover all upcoming titles that PC players are enthusiastic. Projekt Red's Cyberpunk 2077 is not available on any of these services, nor is the instant classic from the same studio, The Witcher 3. The Epic Games and all that's new from Activision Blizzard will also be limited.

The Bottom Line

Again, it's difficult to say in general which (if any) of these subscriptions is worth it – it all depends on your taste and your style of play. That's why we used the basic profiles here above to examine various options and examine the value from a few angles. Another thing to consider is, once you stop paying your subscription, you lose access to the games.

If you are a player who does not have a lot of time to play, you might be better off buying a few titles and playing at your own pace. In this way, you do not have monthly timers or subscriptions hanging over your head.

However, for players who like to play a lot but are reluctant to pay a high price for AAA titles at launch, these services are worth the detour.


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