LOS ANGELES — Everything was going fine at Ubisoft’s E3 2019 press conference. I watched the trailers for Watchdogs Legion, Ghost Recon: Breakpoint and the Adventure Time/Brawlhalla mashup. I even enjoyed the Just Dance announcement, even when it was revealed the new entry would be available for the Nintendo Wii (Seriously, you guys, who’s still playing the Wii? And it says something that it was offered for the original Wii and not the Wii U).
Nevertheless, Ubisoft committed a party foul when it announced UPlay Plus, a $14.99-a-month subscription service that's set to launch September 3. I heard myself and the audience let out an audible groan. And that's when it happened — through a combination of overpricing and over-saturation, I hit subscription fatigue.‘
At its core, I don’t have a problem with UPlay Plus. In fact, it closely resembles Xbox Game Pass for PC, another game subscription service that I’m actually excited about. Both services offer over a library of more than 100 games, drawing from a solid mix of classics from several console generations. As an added bonus, you can get UPlay Plus with Google’s upcoming cloud gaming service Stadia.
But as cool as it would be to have most of the Rayman, Far Cry and Tom Clancy games available anytime I want, that monthly $14.99 price tag (or $179.88 a year) is too much to swallow. For that price, I can get Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which not only gives me Game Pass for Console and PC, but Xbox’s Live service as well. In fact, I’ve already signed up for Ultimate, adding it to my $29.99 yearly subscription to EA Access for Xbox, which brings my total subscription gaming price to $209.87 a year.
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I’ve been more hesitant to take the plunge on the PlayStation version of EA Access since it seems like I’ll have a more limited game category and paying another $29.99 for potentially less content is absurd. I’d be more likely to shell out that money for EA’s PC subscription service, Origin Access Basic, which gives me access to a wide swath of the company’s games on PC. If I want access to more premium games like Anthem, Battlefield 3 and Dragon Age: Inquisition, I’ll either have to buy them outright or upgrade to the $99.99 Premier tier, which is a bit too rich for my blood.
But back to UPlay Plus. The price is simply too much, especially with Xbox just giving gamers the whole kit and kaboodle for the same price. And when you throw in Stadia’s $9.99 monthly price, that brings the yearly total to $299.76. But with Stadia only launching with Destiny 2, UPlay Plus does bring a large library to the mix instead of having to pay for each title individually.
However, this all hinges on whether or not Google’s streaming claims for Stadia live up to the hype. If they don’t, it seems like a decent amount of money down the drain. Only time will tell on how well Stadia will perform. But for right now, my budget can’t take yet another subscription service.
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