This story has been updated with additional details about the service.
- The first game available in an early trial version will be Madden 15 sometime ahead of its August launch.
- The program does not change EA's current plans for demo/beta access to games. An EA representative says, "Traditional demos and betas will still exist."
- Digital content (such as DLC and maps) will be sold separately, but at a 10% discount. An EA represnentative clarified, "Once you purchase any DLC, it is yours to own, even if your membership lapses. All of your progression is retained."
- Games will be downloaded, not streamed. Your game progress is also saved by the system, so the EA representative says, "Even if you lapse as a member, and then decide to come back, you'd be able to pick up where you left off."
The original story appears below:
Electronic Arts today announced a new subscription program for Xbox One called "EA Access." For $5/month (or $30/year), you get endless access to The Vault, a collection of digital EA games.
EA Access is available today in beta for some users, with a wider launch planned to arrive "soon." The current games included in The Vault are FIFA 14, Madden NFL 25, Peggle 2, and Battlefield 4. More titles will be added "soon," EA says, pointing out that you're getting access to more than $100 worth of games for $5/month.
According to EA, you will have "unlimited" access to the four games during the beta. It is unclear if the same "unlimited" nature of the service will apply when the service rolls out in full later on.
"At EA, we are always looking for new ways to make it easier for gamers to play more EA games across all platforms, and we are excited about what EA Access will offer to players on Xbox One," EA said in a statement on its website.
In addition to access to multiple games in The Vault, an EA Access subscription gets you 10% off on purchases of EA digital content for Xbox One games through the Xbox Games Store. This includes full games and memberships like Battlefield 4 Premium. However, EA cautions that, conditions, limitations, and exclusions apply.
Another component of EA Access is that with a subscription, you'll get to play trial versions of new EA titles "up to" five days before their official release date. This begins with upcoming sports games like Madden NFL 15, NHL 15, FIFA 15, and NBA Live 15, as well as Dragon Age: Inquisition.
If you decide to upgrade to the full version of a game, your progress will carry forward, allowing you to pick up right where you left off. EA Access subscriptions will also be sold in physical stores, including GameStop, as well as online retailers like Amazon.
It remains to be seen what kind of fine print there may be for EA Access. You can read more about EA Access as the program's just-launched website.
|Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch|
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