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EA Announce New Gaming Subscription Service — Nintendo Should Do The Same

Published August 1, 2014 by |
Wii U eShop

EA announced a new subscription service Wednesday, giving those willing to pay a monthly fee unlimited access to a select library of games. Nintendo should do the same.

EA’s offer is this: pay £3.99 per month and you gain access to a handful of hit games to play, such as FIFA, Madden and Battlefield. The service goes by the name of ‘EA Access’ — you can think of it as a mix between Netflix and PlayStation Plus. If you stop paying, you stop playing.

Currently in beta, EA’s new service is open to Xbox One owners only for now. Those who sign up will find they  have access to just four games to start with — those are Battlefield 4, FIFA 14, Madden NFL 25, and Peggle 2.

Although the service is in its infancy, and some may have doubts about it, the basic idea is a sound one — I mean, the days of owning physical games are numbered anyway right? So what should Nintendo be doing?

Nintendo Should Do a Netflix

If Nintendo were to offer a similar service to EA Access what would that look like?

Wii U - Virtual Console

Any owner of the Wii U will tell you that Nintendo currently handles their vast, impressive 30-year back catalogue poorly . Be it the sparse library on offer, random feature issues, or odd pricing structures; these things along with seemingly sporadic releases mean the Virtual Console just isn’t anywhere near as compelling as it could be.

Animal Crossing - NES (Image via Games Asylum)NES titles such as Donkey Kong and Excitebike were once tossed into the Gamecube version of Animal Crossing as a simple free unlockable, yet now they demand a £3.49 price tag on the Wii U.

Instead of offering up little slices of nostalgia in seemingly random chunks, Nintendo should look to the likes of Spotify, Netflix and yes, even EA for inspiration. Nintendo, it’s time to embrace the binge culture.

Ask yourself, how much would you pay for unlimited access to, lets say, the entire 1,400+ back catalogue of both the Nintendo Entertainment System and the SNES? £2.99 per month? £4.99? £6.99 a month? More?

I’m willing to bet a large number of folks would be more than tempted.

Nintendo could really play on people’s nostalgia — especially to all of those without a Wii U, and all with an easy hook: Pay one fee and you get access to over 1,400 classic games (along with a few stinkers). It would be an easy pill to swallow too, considering there is currently no fee to play the Wii U online.

Of course as a pipe-dream service this ‘Nintendo Netflix’ could extend to the 3DS too – allowing you to log in with your Nintendo ID and get access to all the same NES and SNES hits. As a bonus cloud saves would keep your progress from one device to another — but perhaps I’m getting a little ahead of myself.

Like many others I couldn’t resist the urge to smash Toad with a shell in Mario Kart 8, so I’m already a Wii U owner, however if such a service was introduced and sold to customers in a similar style to Netflix it would no doubt get people talking, shift systems and see plenty of people sign up — without thinking twice. If it wasn’t for Mario Kart 8 it would have worked on me no doubt — hook, line and sinker.

So, would you pay for a Netflix-style subscription to Nintendo games?