In a bid to find something akin to PlayStation Plus on Xbox One, perhaps I was looking in all the wrong places hoping Microsoft’s Games With Gold would fill the gap. Instead the newly announced EA Access service from Electronic Arts could be exactly what I was looking for all along. Announced today, EA Access is a subscription-based service exclusive to the Xbox One. The service itself will cost $4.99 per month and those willing to take out a full years subscription it will be $30, saving around 50% over the monthly plan.
EA Access' main reward is that it provides users access to what EA is calling "The Vault." This Vault contains a selection of EA’s Xbox One titles for subscribers to download and play at their leisure. Initially the service will launch today as a closed beta that contains four games: FIFA 14, Madden NFL 25, Peggle 2 and Battlefield 4. That’s a strong initial beta line-up and there is also the promise that more games will follow in the future. One of the major strengths of this new EA service is that unlike Games With Gold there is little negotiating needed to get newer or better games onto the service, as they are all EA developed and published games.
There’s more to EA Access than the just "The Vault" games to play. EA Access also comes with additional incentives such as the ability to trial upcoming EA games for a limited time (said to be just two hours), up to five days prior to release. Purchasing the game then allows any saves and progress made to be carried forward into the full version of the game. The first games available as part of this early access demo feature will be Madden NFL 15, NHL 15, FIFA 15, NBA Live 15, and the upcoming EA release I’m most excited for, Dragon Age: Inquisition.
All subscribers to EA Access will also gain a 10% discount across all EA digital content on the Xbox One Games Store. This applies to a wide range of content such as FIFA Ultimate Team points and any full games bought digitally.
Ultimately EA Access will no doubt live or die depending on the selection of games that the service can provide but so far, with its low price point, it's perhaps worth checking out for Xbox One owners. The fear is that it will take too long to get big releases onto the service. If EA is able to offer a steady stream of quality games then with the extras provided then it could certainly be worth it. For now though it seems like a service that will live on potential until EA proves the longstanding value of it.
Currently there is no clear date for the full release of EA Access. With the beta beginning today, and early access supposedly up and running by the time Dragon Age Inquisition drops in November, it shouldn’t be too long before it’s fully available. Subscriptions will be purchasable through Xbox Live or from GameStop for US customers. Amazon will be the place to go in Europe and it’s EB Games for the Canadians out there.