Activision Won't Launch An EA Access-Style Program Anytime Soon

Executive Eric Hirshberg says Activision is always considering its options, but won't pursue such a program until the business model is proven.

Don't expect Call of Duty and Skylanders company Activision Publishing to launch its own version of the subscription-based EA Access program anytime soon, management for the company said today. Responding to a question during a post-earnings financial call today about whether or not the company might launch such an initiative, Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg outlined his company's plans.

"As you know, we have a very focused strategy as a company, and we tend to focus our resources and our people on the biggest and best creative and commercial opportunities," Hirshberg said. "And right now, I think we have our strongest slate ever and we're broadening that slate, so we have a lot to focus on and a lot to make sure we get right in the coming months to keep our tentpole franchises driving and establishing new ones as well. And we think everything we're working on has huge potential."

Activision Publishing's tentpole franchises are Call of Duty and Skylanders, with Destiny situated as the company's next major franchise. The company expects the Bungie-developed game to join those two as the company's third billion-dollar series.

Hirshberg made it clear that Activision is constantly examining the current business landscape for ways to better serve players (and shareholders), but he said the company--at least for now--will instead focus on its mantra of doing a few things and doing those things well.

"So of course we're always looking at new opportunities to better serve our players and our communities; and we're always evaluating new business models," Hirshberg said. "And once those models are proven, we'll pursue them if we think it makes sense for our players and for our business. But right now we're continuing to focus on the things we discussed on our call, which include a wide range of business and monetization models, all of which will deliver we think the best experience for our fans and a great return for our shareholders."

Battlefield and Mass Effect publisher Electronic Arts announced EA Access last week. For $5/month or $30/year, you receive unlimited access to The Vault, a collection of EA games, the first of which are Madden NFL 25, FIFA 14, Peggle 2, and Battlefield 4. You also get a 10% discount on digital EA games and content, as well as access to upcoming games five days before everyone else. The service is currently in beta on Xbox One, with a wider release scheduled for this month. Sony said no to the service for PlayStation 4 because the company thought it did not represent a good value for PlayStation fans.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

130 comments
Vodoo
Vodoo

Not that I'd want an Activision All Access program, but this just further illustrates Activisions refusal to step outside the box by trying new things.

straightcur
straightcur

SEE!!!  If EA makes this a viable business model, everyone will want their own.  So bad for gamers

Burriscold
Burriscold

Great deal! Turning in my bf4 to GS, so thats half of a years sub. Nice job MS. Keep it up

cboye18
cboye18

Don't they have the COD:elite program? 

sonyonly4
sonyonly4

You see people and Xtots, Other third parties will all jump on this bandwagon if you support this horrible casual practice. Remember when you bought the COD maps for COD 4 ? Everyone else started milking DLC. Remember when EA first started pushing those Microtransactions ? Everyone else did the same, If these Companies see you buy into bullsh!t they will all ram it down our throats to the point we will all b!tch and moan when we only have ourselves to blame.

And before you Xtots start cooking up your little theories about me saying this because of PS Now I don't care about that either and wish Sony never came up with it in the first place I buy my games I don't rent like a welfie and if I want to play Last Gen guess what I do ? I turn on the other console.

ncifuentes
ncifuentes

if more companies start doing this, then Sony's going to have to bite the bullet. I don't really care for the EA access as long as Sony keeps giving us free games with PS+ 

ewjiml
ewjiml

Activision will start using this "unproven" business model when the milk from the cows go dry. 

veryDERPY
veryDERPY

cod prices never drop so obviously this wont work for activision at all. i can grab bf4 new for the price of used blops 2 ffs.

gamefreak215jd
gamefreak215jd

Duh,they've got only one franchise that's profitable to them.

jenovaschilld
jenovaschilld

The EA DRM and online requirements for their 'free' games is too invasive and over reaching in privacy concerns. There is no way I would participate in EA Access as it currently is. If they would offer a $50 subscription, for both console and pc, with no DRM programs installed on either, no metadata collection, and no third party data sales, and no online checks and requirements. Just a straight, "here are some games that we will change up each month, and a few commercials about our new products. That you can play whenever, regardless if online, with no string attached"  .... I do not know - it is EA, I would still be hesitant. 

WolfgarTheQuiet
WolfgarTheQuiet

So every fu*king publisher will have their own DRM plus if its on Steam thats double DRM for you.

StHapns247
StHapns247

This doesn't surprise me considering Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 is still FORTY F*CKING DOLLARS new!

xOmniCloudx
xOmniCloudx

Activision: We are more dedicated to ripping off our consumers than EA is in this case. We'll pass as a result.

AyatollaofRnR
AyatollaofRnR

I guess an archive of COD titles has limited appeal.

kane6911
kane6911

this is service plan that ea has and sony passed on is going to great. the best thing about is not only the price but they are you letting you download the game instead streaming the games unlike sony. streaming sucks because of the lag that it creates and the fact that sony has limited servers are all the worst.  

sethschroeder07
sethschroeder07

@straightcur Why is it bad? As long as the price is right its CHEAPER! If it truly is $30 for a year (prepay) your getting 3 games with EA for 1/2 the cost of a new game. If you want to keep it supposedly there will be a buyout likely for less than a new game anyways.

Sw33tEscape
Sw33tEscape

@ncifuentes And that's why Sony didn't want to bring EA Access to the system, they don't want the competition.

gf61
gf61

@veryDERPY Plus most of their sports titles are a 1-2 dollars, with end a year of their release. Your better off just buying a hard copy.

sonyonly4
sonyonly4

@veryDERPY That is because Crap ops 2 is a full game Betafield 4 is still just a beta.

sonyonly4
sonyonly4

@kane6911 Do you ever Not talk about Sony? your little rant goes off subject completely and only makes you look bitter and jealous, Real Xbox Fans at least talk about Xbox you are talking about a Program from an entirely different company that does nothing but rip off and give its customer the finger being good for consumer just because it isn't on the PS4 but is on Xbox One ? get that d!ck out your ass son both services suck and are bad for gaming plus have you actually seen the EA titles ? that's right Fifa "14" when 15 is out next month, Madden when the next one again out next month, Betafield 4 the game they still haven't fixed with the new one round the corner, UFC a game that has been critically panned by nearly every reviewer that ever reviewed it and PVZ the only good game on the list which you can buy and own forever cheaper and second hand without giving any money to £A.


Sure Sony aren't saints but you ignore the fact that EA is shelling you off games which are dated and no longer profitable again for a rental and you act as though download them is a good thing ? On the Xbox One you have to be joking ? Not only does it eat up memory but everything Takes forever to download on the Xbox One hell a Game on Disc takes a few hours so good luck downloading all these Dated games of the Internet Dumb ass.

jenovaschilld
jenovaschilld

@kane6911 That is not what any of that means, that is not how any of that works. Lol sounds like that commercial. 

Stogin
Stogin

@kane6911 God why do you have to turn EVERYTHING into a fanboy comment??? I don't think you've ever posted something that doesn't include your fanboy garbage in it...

rjh_24
rjh_24

@kane6911 so downloading an obsolete game that no one plays is good?

dlCHIEF58
dlCHIEF58

@Stogin @kane6911

I saw nothing fanboyish in his statement, though I did see a lot of counter-arguements that were. How is stating facts fanboyish? Is it because you don't like the truth? 

kane6911
kane6911

@rjh_24 @kane6911 30 dollars per year. where as sony is saying here you go 4.99 for 2 hours of game time. 

kane6911
kane6911

@rjh_24 @kane6911 it's better than the option that sony has to offer. but you are looking at now i a years time the catalog will grow to over a thousand games are so.   

Stogin
Stogin

@dlCHIEF58 @Stogin @kane6911 Honestly, it doesn't hurt me one bit, I'm not planning on using PSNow if the prices are that high, and honestly I have too many new games to play to pay for EA Access either.  Seems like you're the one that's reaching here.  


Seriously, you see nothing fanboyish in this??? "this is service plan that ea has and sony passed on is going to great. the best thing about is not only the price but they are you letting you download the game instead streaming the games unlike sony. streaming sucks because of the lag that it creates and the fact that sony has limited servers are all the worst. "  


How about his other comments "why buy out a company that doesn't own any real property out side of gaming right now. besides in the future sony might have to sell the ps brand to save itself because it has nothing else to offer."  Open your eyes...

dlCHIEF58
dlCHIEF58

@rjh_24 @kane6911

So if EA Access sucks, what about PS Plus and the Games with Gold program? Since they are practically the same thing, they also must suck by your rationale. But we all know that is not the case, you are just projecting hate because it is EA and can't come up with a valid criticism of the program. 

kane6911
kane6911

@rjh_24 @kane6911 being that i like some of EA's old games not many as i have do not have the time to play alot games these days i think they will have a winner here 

TabularBeast
TabularBeast

@rjh_24 Wow. I understand that EA has made mistakes but this riding on the EA hate train is getting ridiculous. This service is not going to screw anybody over. You're paying $30 a year(half of the cost of 1 game) to get access to play 4 games with more coming in time. You also get discounts for other EA games, plus being able to play future EA games as a two hour trial, 5 days before the game comes out. And it's not even forced. It's a choice. 


If you can't see how good of a deal this is you are just blind and ignorant. 

kane6911
kane6911

@rjh_24 @kane6911 how are they screwing people over with this everyone is saying but they are not offering any information as to how our why  

rjh_24
rjh_24

@kane6911 @rjh_24 exactly me to so y do u keep talkin a multipurpose console when u cant even play it?

rjh_24
rjh_24

@kane6911 @rjh_24 no they are not but do u really think they are gonna give you good games for a cheaper price think about it

kane6911
kane6911

@rjh_24 @kane6911 sony is a failing company so why would i purchase anything from them. in the line of work i do we are trained to spot a bad investment. right now sony is one of the worst company in the world fiscally.    

kane6911
kane6911

@rjh_24 @kane6911 i may play 4-5 times a week i'm not game nut though i have things to do and money to make. 

TabularBeast
TabularBeast

@sonyonly4 @TabularBeast @rjh_24 Meh. I don't see the hate as justifiable. Mainly from people who hop on the bandwagon to seem cool. EA has published a lot of my favorite games. Like I have said before, they have made mistakes but in no way should they be considered the worst company in America. 

TabularBeast
TabularBeast

@rjh_24 Ha. Again, blind and ignorant. How is it a scam? I'll say it again. You pay half the cost of a game to play 4, with more coming. This pays for itself. 

sonyonly4
sonyonly4

@rjh_24 @kane6911 No gamer should have to think this is EA we are talking about maybe if Kane actually played games he would know every EA game ships incomplete and uses a pay to win method but off course he just talks about gaming but never actually does it.

kane6911
kane6911

@rjh_24 @kane6911 that thing with all of the x1 sold their profit will be triple of that of any game that they make. 

rjh_24
rjh_24

@kane6911 who cares about investment when ur buying a gaming console and the ps4 plays games better lol

rjh_24
rjh_24

@kane6911 @rjh_24 so y are you making fun of ps4 because it doesnt do tv when u have cable ne ways lol?

sonyonly4
sonyonly4

@TabularBeast @rjh_24 Those games are on their Death bed EA is about to bring out newer installments you can't seriously think those games have longevity the next Fifa is next month...... 

rjh_24
rjh_24

@TabularBeast @rjh_24 bf4 when the new game comes out madden 25 when madden 15 comes out fifa 13 when fifa 14 comes out lol come on man

kane6911
kane6911

@rjh_24 @kane6911 if you buy anything from a company it's called an investment because you are depending on that company to hold up it's end of the bargain. sony is in a lot of trouble and may not make it out of it current situation in take. even though the ps4 is selling the company is still sinking in debt   

dlCHIEF58
dlCHIEF58

@rjh_24 @TabularBeast

You're delusional if you think the population of a game drops to negligible amounts once the new iteration comes out. If this were the case, EA would be shutting down servers at a faster pace than they currently do. 

TabularBeast
TabularBeast

@rjh_24 Not really obsolete and I am sure plenty of people still play them. What about when Dragon Age comes out? Mass Effect? Those wont be "obsolete."

kane6911
kane6911

@rjh_24 @kane6911 you have over 5 million x1 sold, if they fill their downloading service the right way it will bring in billions of dollars more to the company 

rjh_24
rjh_24

@kane6911 @rjh_24 sony isnt in any trouble if they were another company would buy it and it would still strive think b4 u talk

kane6911
kane6911

@rjh_24 @kane6911 why buy out a company that doesn't own any real property out side of gaming right now. besides in the future sony might have to sell the ps brand to save itself because it has nothing else to offer.

TabularBeast
TabularBeast

@rjh_24 Obviously not right away. But do you know how much replay value those games have? Mass Effect is still constantly being played, years later. Do you see Mass Effect 1 as being obsolete even with Mass Effect 2 and 3 out? Because I don't. What about many of the other games EA makes and publishes? I don't believe any games in the Vault will ever be taken out so essentially, in time, you will be spending $30 for upwards of 100 games. I still don't see how this, in any way, is a scam. 

aeluron1989
aeluron1989

@TabularBeast @rjh_24 I can attest because recently this year I got into the series. So sometimes really good games that are old are played again. Ancedotal to be sure but I don't lie but not the point. It is possible. I am no fan of EA but I think people jump on the bandwagon too much.