is opening up a buffet restaurant of digital gaming that is
drawing comparisons to
. You don't even need to get past the headlines detailing last
week's rollout of the EA Access subscription service to see the
comparison to the leading premium video streamer.
- "EA Launches A $30 Per Year Netflix For Games On Xbox One":
- "EA Access May Be Netflix For Gaming On Xbox One":
- "EA's Netflix for Gaming Arrives As Xbox Beta":
It's easy to see why some are jumping to that conclusion. Just
as Netflix offers a growing catalog of content at a low
subscription price, EA Access will feature select titles from the
video game publisher's massive vault at a low subscription
Source: Electronic Arts.
There are differences, of course. Netflix has made its content
accessible across as many devices as possible. EA Access is
's Xbox One, which is a distant second place in this generation
of gaming consoles. In its current beta -- with gamers paying
$4.99 a month, or $30 a year -- EA Access is not available for
Microsoft's Xbox 360 with its larger installed base.
Selection of titles is another major limitation. During the
beta, EA is only offering up four of its more recent games:
. Can you imagine how Netflix would fare if it only offered four
movies on 5 million TVs?
To be fair, these are video games. Folks spend hours playing a
single title, and even more in this era of multiplayer
connectivity in which games have extended shelf lives. However,
it's not right to call something "the Netflix of" anything just
because it's a subscription model that is potentially disruptive
as media migrates from physical to digital.
Gamers will be the first to tell you that EA Access isn't even
close to being worthy of the Netflix tag. There are already
cloud-based platforms gaining traction. There's Steam for
PC-based gaming with thousands of titles. PlayStation Now is open
beta for the more popular PS4 platform.
This doesn't mean EA Access will be a flop. If the company
offers current versions of its soccer or football games shortly
after they come out, the service could be a great value
proposition to EA Sports fans who buy the annual installments.
Then again, it would also be hard to fathom EA sacrificing that
kind of customer, settling for the much lower streaming
We'll see how this all plays out through the beta test. It
will be a challenge. Media companies have struggled to push
company-specific content as subscription models. We've seen
record companies and movie studios fail in going this route. It's
still too early to write off EA's chances, especially given the
dedication of die-hard gamers. However, let's stop calling EA
Access the Netflix of gaming. It's not, and it never will be.
More from The Motley Fool:
Warren Buffett Tells You How to Turn $40 into
This Is Not the Netflix of Gaming
originally appeared on Fool.com.
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