The Average Gamer

Sony Station Access

So maybe the entire world knows about it but me. Anyway, I’ve recently discovered Sony Online Entertainment’s , which costs a fixed fee of $21.99 (about £14.60 inc VAT) and gives you access to the online components of their online games – EverQuest, PlanetSide, EverQuest Online Adventures for the PS2 , EverQuest Macintosh Edition, EverQuest II, Star Wars Galaxies, The Matrix Online and the Station Pass games Infantry, Cosmic Rift and Tanarus (whatever they are. I’m just copying this from their FAQ). Obviously you still need to buy the original installation discs but you no longer have to subscribe to each service separately.

Also according to the FAQ, Station Access is not valid for “SOE telephone games (e.g. Hero’s Call), subscription service for the EverQuest European Ubi Soft servers, Korean language EverQuest, Japanese language EverQuest and localized EverQuest within China, and subscription service for the versions of EverQuest Online Adventures published outside the USA” so if you’re not playing the US version and were hoping to use it for Everquest, you’re outta luck. Bit rubbish, really. Still, at $14.99 for Star Wars Galaxies and $12.99 for Planetside, (~£18.60 inc VAT) you only need to like two of their other games to be saving money.

My point is that this is a brilliant idea and more companies should do something like it. The reason I don’t play lots of online subscription games is that whenever I have a regular subscription to something, playing a different game feels like some kind of weird betrayal – like each minute I spend away is a paid-for minute where I should be wringing every drop out of that one online game instead. Ick! But if I just had a single unified subscription, I could play all sorts of games without the creepy pseudo-guilt. Yay! Looks like a bit of a market niche for someone with better negotiation skills than me as I suspect most MMO suppliers will be loathe to risk losing their subscription fees. Is there a service out there that already provides this for non-Sony games?