EA is about to launch its upgraded software-as-a-service subscription, known as Origin Access Premier, tomorrow. With that, it's normal that some changes take place. However, nobody expected to see the popular On The House program disappear.
Wait... what's this On The House program?
Granted, it was not the most popular program in the world, but at the same time, it was a decent way for gamers to get some classic PC titles and DLCs for free. Dead Space, Dragon Age: Origins, Mass Effect 2, Battlefield 3, and the beloved Theme Hospital are only some of the 35 games that were offered over the past 4 years (you can see the complete game and DLC list here).
If you've already claimed these games, no worries - you can still play them to your heart's content. At least that's the official statement from an EA spokesman:
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.
Additionally, if you're already subscribed to Origin Access, you can play all the games that were part of the program. They are now included in "The Vault"; It's basically a catalogue of games subscribers get access to.
One more thing to note is that once the Origin Access Premier subscription goes live, all existing subscribers will be assigned a "Basic" level. Of course, should you decide to go for Premier, you can expect to gain access to even more (newer) games and extras. For example, you'll be able to play the latest EA games five days before their official release date, which is definitely cool.
So, are you ready to make the jump to Premier? Or the only reason you have an Origin account is the now retired On The House program? Either way, we'll see what EA has in store for Origin Access Premier in the upcoming period.