Is EA Play on Steam Worth It in 2023? Yes, with Some Caveats

For most gamers, EA Play on Steam is worth getting thanks to its discounts, game vault access, and exclusive member rewards. However, the smaller game library compared to Origin and need for both platforms are drawbacks to consider.

At a Glance: Key Benefits and Drawbacks of EA Play on Steam

Pros Cons
– Access to "The Play List" vault of older EA games – Smaller catalog of only ~150 games vs. 300+ on Origin
– 10% discount on EA digital purchases – Still requires Origin running in background
– Exclusive member content and rewards – Lacks newer releases available on Origin
– Low monthly cost at $4.99/month – Separate subscription needed for console

Diving Deeper: Analyzing EA Play on Steam‘s Key Strengths

Expanding Library of Legacy Titles

EA Play on Steam grants access to a vault of legacy titles dubbed "The Play List" spanning popular franchises like Battlefield, Mass Effect, and The Sims.

According to EA, this vault currently contains over 150 games and continues growing. Having access to this back catalog of titles for a low monthly fee provides tremendous entertainment value, especially for new gamers looking to catch up on classic EA hits.

Substantial Savings from Member Discounts

The 10% discount EA Play members receive on EA digital purchases can quickly add up to major savings for regular gamers.

Let‘s assume an average EA Play subscriber spends $300 annually on EA games, DLC, and in-game transactions. The 10% discount would net them $30 in annual savings – effectively paying for the entire $29.99 yearly subscription cost.

Millions Are Signing Up to Access Benefits

EA has revealed that EA Play now has over 25 million registered users as of October 2022. This enormous membership base indicates that gamers are highly engaged with the service and finding value from the benefits.

The company also reported subscription revenue from EA Play and similar services topped $1.62 billion in its 2022 fiscal year, so it is becoming a larger portion of EA‘s overall business.

Insights from a Business Data Analyst

As a seasoned business data analyst, I believe services like EA Play are integral to EA‘s strategy for maximizing revenue while transitioning to digital distribution models. The subscriptions provide stable recurring income while attracting gamers into the EA ecosystem.

Once subscribed, users are incentivized to buy full EA games at a discount rather than just play the free vault titles. These bundled subscription + purchase offerings tend to have higher customer lifetime value for publishers like EA.

Evaluating the Downsides and Limitations

While EA Play on Steam certainly has appealing benefits, there are some inherent limitations to consider relative to just using Origin directly:

Smaller Game Selection

Redditors have estimated that the Steam version offers around 80% fewer games compared to EA Play for PC on Origin. The Steam library focuses primarily on back-catalog and vault titles rather than latest releases.

For example, FIFA 23 is playable on Origin but not the Steam version. So those hoping to access newer EA games may be disappointed with the Steam selection.

EA Play on Steam ~150 games
EA Play on Origin over 300 games

Still Requires Origin Running

Even with an EA Play subscription through Steam, nearly all EA titles require having Origin installed and running in the background to launch.

This means you have to manage memberships across two platforms rather than through Origin alone. An extra hassle for some gamers trying to consolidate libraries into Steam.

Lacks Premier Early Access

For newest releases not in The Play List, Steam EA Play subscribers can only access limited 10-hour trials. This pales in comparison to EA Play Pro on Origin which offers full unlimited early access to brand new titles.

No Crossplay Benefits

Your EA Play membership and benefits are restricted to the platform where you subscribed. So a Steam subscription does not confer discounts or Play List access when playing EA titles on Xbox, PlayStation, or Origin.

Tips for Managing Membership and Games

Here are some tips to streamline your experience if you do choose to subscribe to EA Play on Steam:

  • Review the Play List frequently for new additions to maximize your vault access
  • Link accounts so Steam can verify your active subscription status
  • Cancel renewal if taking a break to avoid being charged for unused periods
  • Create an Origin shortcut or launch it through Steam for convenience
  • Consider an Xbox Game Pass for PC subscription instead to obtain EA Play access at no added cost

The Verdict: EA Play on Steam Earns Its Spot for Most Gamers

Despite some limitations compared to Origin, EA Play on Steam is still very worthwhile for the vast majority of gamers thanks to its discounts, back catalog access, and additional content.

The value is especially clear for newer players looking to explore classic EA franchises or those interested mainly in older vault games rather than new releases.

For longtime EA fans hoping to access every new title, Origin may be preferable. But convenience and consolidating libraries into Steam makes EA Play an easy recommendation for most players. The savings and entertainment from the Play List alone are worth the entry price.

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