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Everyone is subscribed to PC games: are they worth it?



  Gaming PCs in an Internet Café
OHishiapply / Shutterstock.com

Each TV network makes its own streaming app, and every major game maker wants its own subscription. EA, Microsoft and Ubisoft have already started their subscriptions ̵

1; but is it worth one of them?

PC Games: An Embarrassment of Wealth

  Xbox Game Pass with the game Gears 5.

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

This article discusses only the former. Currently, this list includes Origin Access, the Xbox Game Pass for PC from Microsoft, and Ubisoft's UPlay Plus, which will be released in September 2019.

Nvidia's GeForce Now and the upcoming Google Stadia of are not included. These services focus on streaming remote server games to your home hardware.

The idea of ​​subscribing to a game library is not very new. EA's PC service has been in operation since 2016 and the Xbox Game Pass for the console was launched in 2017. However, Microsoft and Ubisoft needed to 2019 to regain the PC lead by EA. Other game makers with desktop starters like Activision Blizzard and Epic Games still have to follow suit.

How do they work?

The idea is that you download an application for your Windows desktop that contains the service. Most of these apps include a game launcher, a game store, announcements, and social features like chat. Once you download the app and sign in to your account, you can download games from the service. It's similar to Steam or the Epic Games Store, except you do not pay for individual titles.

The Services

 Origin Access Game Vault by EA.

The following are all the options that are listed in The three leading subscription services for games:

  • EA Origin Access Basic: The oldest of the services we looked at started in 2016 and has become developed a multi-layered service. The first tier is Origin Access Basic for $ 5 a month or you can pay $ 30 for a year. With Basic, you have access to what EA calls "The Vault" – a large selection of PC games that currently include more than 200 titles, such as Battlefield V Battlefield I Star Wars Battlefront II and Madden 19 . In addition, Origin members receive 10% off their purchases at the Origin Games Store.
  • EA Origin Access Premier: $ 15 per month, or $ 100 per year, adds only ten additional games at this level. However, you also get early access to the full version of upcoming games. By comparison, Basic has a time limit of 10 hours for early access titles. If you care about new EA games, Premium is the better bet. It also does not force you to pay for a game like Anthem that seemed interesting and exciting at the start and then had problems.
  • Xbox Game Pass for PC: With Xbox users use Game Pass for two years. Microsoft finally remembered the PC player in June 2019 when he published this service. With a monthly price of $ 10, more than 100 games are available. Microsoft promises to include all first-party titles as in the console version in Game Pass. Like the EA's service, it offers a shipload of older games as well as some recent titles such as Metro Exodus and the upcoming Gears 5 . According to Xbox, members also receive "exclusive discounts and member quotes".
  • Xbox Game Pass Ultimate: This service gives subscribers Xbox Live Gold (a must-have for most Xbox owners) and Game Pass for PC and console. This is a fantastic deal for anyone who has a gaming PC and Xbox at home, as new first-party titles from Microsoft are cross-platform compatible. This means you can play on the console, transfer your progress to your PC, and then return to the console.
  • UPlay Plus: This is the latest service – it will be launched on September 3, 2019. UPlay Plus will do it cost $ 15 a month for access to 108 games, including The Division 2 Rainbow Six Siege Assassin's Creed: Odyssey (and older Assassin's Creed and the series Far Cry beginning with Far Cry 2 . This is by far the most expensive of the services we cover. However, the subscription fee not only covers the basic games, but also additional content and extensions for most titles. Neither EA Origin Access nor Xbox Game Pass cover any of this. It would be nice if Uplay Plus offered a cheaper "no DLC" version, but maybe that will be in the future.

Are they worth it?

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

Well, here's the hard part. Since there are so many styles of play, we can not say that one of these services is an option for everyone. For this reason, we have invented some theoretical profiles to compare and contrast the needs of different players.

For this list, we assume that the average player purchase is about three AAA titles per year, with games that he possibly picks up are not considered for sale. Admittedly, this is our best guess, as there is not much current information on the buying habits of games. Nevertheless, about $ 180 a year seems to be fine for new releases.

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 If you keep the prices quoted, you will get back $ 330 , That's a little more than buying five games a year, but you benefit from an extensive catalog.
  • The Brand Fan: If you are only interested in Xbox, Ubisoft or EA, you should buy the service of your brand is a breeze. One year Xbox Game Pass for PC would bring you about $ 120 for the minimum service. Origin Access Basic costs $ 30, Premier $ 100. Uplay Plus would cost $ 180 each year.
  • The Completer: Players who are more interested in ending campaigns may not find it useful to subscribe to all three services. A better option would be to choose either Xbox Game Pass with Origin Access Basic or Uplay Plus. Both would equal almost three AAA title purchases per year. The disadvantage for the completer, with the exception of Uplay Plus subscribers, is that additional content costs more.
  • Cross-platform: If you have an Xbox and a PC, consider Xbox Game Pass – especially if you are a fan of Microsoft first-party titles, such as the series Gears of War and (coming later this year) Halo .
  • The Planner: No matter which service (s) you choose, the bonus is that you can cancel at any time. When EA brings out a game, you'll want to try it, 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 commit to a full year.

What you do not get

Although these offers are great, they do not do it Almost all the upcoming titles that PC gamers are looking forward to. Project Reds Cyberpunk 2077 is not available for any of these services, nor is it the classic of the same studio, The Witcher 3 . Epic games and new releases from Activision Blizzard are also limited.

The Bottom Line

Again, it's hard to say which of these subscriptions (if any) it's worth – so much depends on your game's taste and style. For this reason we have used the above basic profiles to check different options and to look at the value from some angles. If you no longer pay for your subscription, you lose access to the games.

If you're a player who does not have much time to play, it may be better to buy a few tracks directly and play at your own pace. That way, you do not have timers or monthly subscriptions over your head.

For gamers who like to play a lot, but do not want to pay the full price for AAA titles, these services are worth a look.


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