Gaming giant Electronic Arts has announced it is expanding its Origin Access service with a new membership tier, Premier, which will give subscribers access to new-release titles before they officially hit shelves.

Launched in early 2016, Origin Access was positioned as a means of accessing a selection of titles from Electronic Arts' hefty back catalogue. For £3.99 (inc. VAT) subscribers can access The Vault, a trove of titles which at launch included Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4, Dragon Age: Inquisition, all three Dead Space games, and This War of Mine. As well as these full-fat titles, subscribers also receive trial access to newer games alongside a 10 percent discount should they choose to then purchase the title through Origin proper.

While EA has been adding to Origin Access, though, it has concentrated solely on its older titles. That, the company announced during the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) over the weekend, is where Origin Access Premier mixes things up: Subscribers to the new membership tier will, the company has promised, receive access not only to new-release titles like Battlefield V, FIFA 19, and Anthem, but will do so before their official street dates.

'Origin Access Premier is a new membership tier that gives you unlimited access to the latest and greatest EA games before anyone else,' the company explains in its promotional page. 'Imagine paying one low monthly or annual fee and getting to play new EA PC titles before launch. Not a Play First Trial, you get access to the full game – yours to play whenever you want for as long as you're a Premier member. No gates – no barriers. That’s the Premier experience.'

Subscribers on the Premier tier will receive access to The Vault, as with the existing Origin Access membership, and the same 10 percent discount on purchases, but will also get the promised full and unlimited access to new-release games starting five days before the official launch date. Normal subscribers, meanwhile, are given temporary access to titles for up to ten hours of play time, after which they are asked to purchase the game at a 10 percent discount.

This access, naturally, costs more: EA has confirmed that it will be charging £14.99 a month or £89.99 a year (both inc. VAT) for Origin Access Premier, some £11 a month more than the basic tier. A launch date has not yet been confirmed, beyond the promise of an appearance 'later this summer'.

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October 14 2021 | 15:04