Electronic Arts has stopped giving away free games through the Origin “On the House” program according to a statement from a company spokesperson. In the program’s heyday Electronic Arts would offer a game on Origin for free; players would claim the title and it would be added to their accounts. Unlike PlayStation Plus or Games with Gold, there was no subscription fee for On the House games. They were completely free and would remain accessible for the life of the account.
The timing of the closure is very close to the debut of EA Access Premier on Origin. The new program lets subscribers access new games from EA on launch day – it is kind of like Xbox Game Pass in that regard but EA Access Premier is limited to games from Electronic Arts. The new service is scheduled to go live on July 30th.
Over the years we saw nearly three dozen games given away for free through On the House and the final title was Peggle (which had been on the service previously). One odd aspect about the program was that we never really knew when the free game selection was going to be updated. I seem to recall that an old game called Theme Hospital was available for months before it was finally replaced. Another title, Nox was available for about five months. Another cool aspect about On the House was getting game DLC for free but this was underutilized – we only received DLC for Battlefield 4 and the season pass for Star Wars Battlefront.
You can read EA’s statement below:
Origin On the House has been retired and games will no longer be offered through the program. This change won’t affect any games players downloaded from the service prior to that date — those are theirs to keep forever.