EA Origin Quietly Scuttles Free "On The House" Game Giveaways
EA has launched its Origin Access Premier program, and alongside it the company is quietly ending its practice of regularly giving away free PC games through the Origin service. The "On the House" program has been tempting users into the Origin platform with free giveaways since 2014, but no more.
"Origin On the House will be retired and games will no longer be offered through the program," an EA spokesperson told Rock Paper Shotgun. "This change won't affect any games you downloaded from the service prior to that date--those are yours to keep forever."
Over the years EA has given away past heavy-hitters like Mass Effect 2 and Dead Space along with smaller puzzlers like Plants vs. Zombies and Peggle. Since it was so long-running, some games naturally cycled multiple times. Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault was an Origin freebie three times over the four years. The program seemed aimed at attracting adoption of Origin, since users would need to make a free account to claim their games.
As of today, the Origin Access service has been split into two tiers: Basic for $5 / £4 per month or $30 / £20 per year, and Premier for $15 / £15 per month or $100 / £90 per year. The Basic tier includes the "Vault" of 100+ games and a 10% discount on purchases. Premier, by comparison, also gives you access to new releases like the upcoming Madden NFL 19 and Battlefield V, and they're the collector's edition versions to boot. Origin is still operating as a storefront as well, so you can purchase games individually without membership in either tier.