EA is rebranding all its varied subscription services under a single name: EA Play. The change goes into effect next week, as an effort to reconcile the confusing names EA’s monthly services have previously used. Separately, EA has also announced a total revamp for its Origin client on PC, aimed to make the app more efficient and reliable.
On August 18, EA Access and Origin Access will be renamed EA Play. The service will still include game trials, a library of full titles, and a discount on EA purchases, but will grow to include additional in-game challenges and monthly rewards some time “in the coming months”.
We don’t know if one subscription will get you access to EA Play on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Origin – EA’s blog post does not make that clear, and EA Access has always been separated across platforms. Origin Access Premier is currently available exclusively through Origin, and is the only tier of the service which lets you play full, new EA games on the day of release, similar to Xbox Game Pass or Uplay+. This service will be rebranded EA Play Pro.
EA Play is still on the way to Steam, but today’s announcement does not indicate whether that launch will be in time for the big rebrand.
EA’s own client, Origin, is getting a big revamp, too. EA says it wants to build “a faster, smarter, more connected desktop app”, and select Origin users will be invited to a closed beta for the new app soon.
EA’s subscription branding has always been confusing, especially now that it’s rolling out beyond Xbox and Origin and onto further platforms like PlayStation and Steam. EA Play might not be the most auspicious name, either, since it’ll get confused with the company’s E3 events, which are now being retitled ‘EA Play Live’.
But the real question is whether one subscription will get you access to EA Play across all platforms. If I can get to play, say, Star Wars Squadrons on my PC in the office and on Xbox in the living room at one monthly fee, that’s a heck of a deal – but it also pre-supposes that the Pro-tier subscription will be available outside of Origin, which also has yet to be confirmed.
The August 18 launch date for EA Play also happens to coincide with the Apex Legends Season 6 release date. Apex is scheduled to hit Steam this autumn, but while summer isn’t technically over until September, this all seems like perfect timing for EA Play and EA’s take on battle royale games to hit Steam all at once – though that could just be wishful thinking from me.