EA Access members' early access to Madden NFL 15 will be limited to a total of "six gameplay hours," the company announced today.
This limit was revealed by the EA Access Twitter account, which states that Access members "will have six gameplay hours with the full Madden NFL 15 game." Exactly what "gameplay hours" constitutes is unclear, but we've followed up with EA to see if the trial distinguishes between time spent playing the game and time spent in its menus. We've also asked when the trial will go live--Access members are supposed to get it five days early; with Madden 15 launching next Tuesday, August 26, we should be seeing the trial later this week.
Since the EA Access program was first announced, the specifics of how one of its components--early access to upcoming EA games--would work remained vague. During a recent podcast, Microsoft's Jeff Rubenstein indicated EA Access would provide "at least two hours" of gameplay, but EA had yet to officially discuss time limits until today.
It's important to note that this aspect of EA Access is about providing what amounts to a trial of a game ahead of its release; this isn't a situation where Access members who are buying a game get their copy early. (You can, however, transfer your save from this trial to the full game.) In light of today's announcement, some fans are saying they are upset because they expected to be able to play the full game for the five days prior to launch.
EA Access has proven to be a contentious program so far. Due to EA deciding not to release a demo of Madden 15--and EA Access only being available on Xbox One--the only way to try the game is to own an Xbox One and subscribe to Access for $5/month or $30/year.
Along with early access to EA games, the other major component of Access is the ability to play games from a library of free games, which currently consists of FIFA 14, Madden NFL 25, Peggle 2, and Battlefield 4. EA has vowed not to remove games from the Vault, as it's being called, claiming it will only add to its selection over time. Sony apparently had the opportunity to bring EA Access to PlayStation platforms, but opted not to because "it does not bring the kind of value PlayStation customers have come to expect."
What do you make of this six-hour time limit--is it more or less than you expected? Let us know in the comments.
|Chris Pereira is a freelance writer for GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @TheSmokingManX|
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