EA has secretly made some its most popular games more expensive on Steam, it has been revealed. The decision to increase prices comes less than a week after a briefing with investors revealed that EA made $1.59 billion in Q4 of 2019.
Gamers who try to buy EA games on Steam today may get a shock as several games have nearly doubled in price overnight. A Reddit user named MCJunior9 was the first to put together data that compared the price of these games before February 5 and after. Using Steam Database, it seems that every region that has regional pricing now has to pay more for EA games.
The Mass Effect Collection now costs £29.99 compared to £22.99, Dragon Age: Origins Ultimate Edition costs £24.99 compared to £19.99, and Mirror’s Edge costs £17.99 compared to £9.99. The only game that doesn’t seem to be affected by the price changes is Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order. That game has sold incredibly well and it didn’t have regional pricing when it launched which may be why EA hasn’t changed anything.
One likely reason why EA has changed the prices of these games is so that fewer gamers will buy the games through Steam. Steam takes a huge cut of revenue from each game sold and this is one reason why Epic Games created the Epic Games Store. EA also sells its own games at far cheaper prices. Mirror’s Edge costs £4.25 from EA. It may be hoping that this is where gamers will go now.
The change in prices could also be part of a plan to get more people to sign up to its EA Origins subscription service. The cheaper version of the subscription costs £3.99 a month and provides access to 238 games and would save gamers money compared to just buying the same games from EA or Steam.
Getting players to subscribe means that EA will keep making money from them compared to the money it makes when they buy a game once. Subscribers may also be less likely to subscribe for services such as Xbox Game Pass or PlayStation Now.
Subscription services are also a good way for EA to make money as it faces growing criticism about the microtransactions and loot boxes in its games. The controversy around Star Wars Battlefront 2‘s loot boxes and the anti-loot box laws that followed has threatened EA’s revenue, but making games more expensive and offering a subscription service helps to protect it.
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Source: Reddit, PCGamesN, Steam Database
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