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PC Gaming Industry To Get Big Boost From Electronic Arts Subs Decision

The PC gaming industry which is already on a roll is set to get a big boost after highly popular gaming Company Electronic Arts said that they will for the first time will let people subscribe to play its newest PC game.

The move could be a major blow to Sony and their PS4 and Microsoft with their Xbox.

Electronic Arts will offer a subscription that gives early and full access to its latest PC games, such as “Battlefield V” and “FIFA 19,” which typically cost about $60 each. The company, known as EA, plans to charge $15 a month, or $100 annually, for access to more than 100 of its games as well some titles from other publishers. The service is slated to launch this summer.

Analysts believe the decision could eventually alter how people access and select which games to play, they also claim that it will boost the fortunes of brands such as Acer, MSI, Lenovo, Alienware and Hewlett Packard. The radical move could let publishers test new games played via streams powered by remote computers, which observers believe will be the next big industry leap for PC hardware Companies.

The concept will mimic the way consumers buy movies from Netflix, but instead of movies PC gamers will get access to the latest Electronic Art games directly a move that could be a blow to retailers such as EB Games and JB Hi Fi as well as specialist PC gaming resellers.

In the videogame industry, where downloads have started to unseat disc sales, publishers such as Sony and Microsoft are testing subscriptions for older games.

EA, the second-biggest U.S. videogame publisher by market capitalization after Activision Blizzard announced its new subscription offering ahead of E3, the giant annual videogame expo in Las Vegas.

With subscriptions, Electronic Arts can trade the hit-or-miss scramble that comes with launching new games for steadier revenue, which Wall Street loves claims the Wall Street Journal.

“Ultimately [subscription is] the model the publishers are striving for,” Piper Jaffray analyst Mike Olson said. “They want recurring revenue streams, and that would make for a more predictable revenue picture.”

A big question is whether EA will extend such subscription access to games played on Sony’s PlayStation and Microsoft’s Xbox. Consoles generate about five times more revenue for EA than PC game sales, according to the company’s earnings.

EA declined to say if it would offer a subscription to new console games. It already has a subscription plan called EA Access with a limited number of older console games.

“We’re moving away from units sold to long-term relationships,” EA Chief Executive Andrew Wilson said in an interview. Subscription and streaming will “be a big part of how people consume our content.”

Last year, Microsoft launched a $10 monthly PC and console gaming service called Game Pass with older games. In March, Microsoft began adding new releases from its first-party game studios.

With a subscription plan, publishers could expose players to more of their games, said Morgan Stanley analyst Keith Weiss.

Whereas consumers may have once skipped past pricey new games they were uncertain about, a subscription allows for guilt-free trial and error, which can lead to spending on microtransactions and other add-on content.

“You garner more shelf-life for the content you put out there,” he said.

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