There are very few games out there these days that can get away with having a subscription fee, turns out The Elder Scrolls Online isn’t one of them…
From March onwards, the flailing online RPG will drop its subscription fees, meaning anyone who owns the game will be able to jump online and play whenever they want.
A release date for the console version of the game has finally been given too. After being delayed last year, X1/PS4 owners will finally be able to pick up a copy in June. Not long to wait now.
Dave – NGXN
Following in the footsteps of PlayStation Plus and Games With Gold, EA has announced their own take on subscription based gaming with EA Access.
Essentially, for £20 a year (or £4 a month) players will be granted access to “The Vault”, a series of big name EA titles that players can download to their hard drives and play as much as they like. At launch, Madden 25, Fifa 14, Battlefield 4 and Peggle 2 will be your choices, but more titles will be added over time.
As well as this, EA Access members will be able to download trials of new games 5 days before release, where they can play for a couple of hours to see what they think – essentially a “try before you buy” scheme, something which could be very handy when deciding whether to cough up £55 for the latest Fifa game for example.
Finally, Access members will get 10% off all digital games on the X1 marketplace. While its still arguably cheaper to go out and buy the games physically, this discount would soften the blow for people intent on going digital this gen – plus there are plenty of websites that sell XBL credit for a reduced price these days anyway.
Overall, providing you are happy to wait 6-12 months to play the newer releases, I have to say EA Access is coming across as great value to me – assuming new content is added frequently of course. As someone who doesn’t get a huge amount of time to play his games these days, paying £20 a year for an almost Netflix-like gaming experience is very appealing indeed.
Dave – NGXN
Netflix and Hulu may soon be available via Xbox Live to all users – even if they don’t have an Xbox Live Gold subscription.
Sources within Microsoft are claiming that the Xbox Live Gold option will be removed for streaming media apps on both Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
Sources also say that other Xbox Live services may be added to the Gold offering to balance the change, but could not confirm whether this refers to existing services or upcoming content like Microsoft’s original programming.
The decision to make the change is not yet finalised, apparently, and Microsoft is expected to make an announcement about the change at its June 9 E3 2014 briefing should it decide to follow through.
Game-creation sandbox Project Spark will not need an Xbox Live Gold subscription to access, Microsoft has clarified, a change from the company’s previous stance on free-to-play releases.
Xbox 360 free-to-play games such as Happy Wars and Ascend: Hand of Kul have required an Gold subscription – even to access offline modes.
“You will not need a Gold subscription to play Project Spark for free on any platform,” community manager Mike Lescault explained via Reddit.
Project Spark will launch first on Xbox One, with versions also headed to Windows 8 PCs and Xbox 360.
An Xbox One beta is due in January 2014 and is expected to be nearly complete by that time. Features exclusive to the Xbox One version will include Kinect-enabled performance capture, body animations, facial expressions and voice acting.