Electronic Arts announced today that it is expanding its Xbox One subscription program, EA Access, both in terms of content and reach. First off, the company announced that racing game Need for Speed Rivals will be added to The Vault, a collection of games you can play for free with a subscription, in the coming weeks.
When it arrives, Need for Speed Rivals will join existing titles Battlefield 4, FIFA 14, Peggle 2, and Madden NFL 25. As previously announced, you can play these games for as long as you want, provided your subscription ($5/month or $30/year) remains active.
The arrival of Need for Speed Rivals is not much of a surprise. After all, the game's box art has been featured in the actual EA Access logo since the program's announcement back in July. Others shown in the logo but not yet released into The Vault include EA Sports UFC and Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare.
EA also has announced that EA Access will soon expand to 19 new markets, including Brazil, Sweden, Poland, the United Arab Emirates, and Nordic countries. The full list of countries where EA Access is launching in September is available on the program's website.
Finally, EA released some data that speaks to just how popular EA Access has been since its public arrival in August. The company says EA Access members spent a total of 245,000 total hours playing Madden NFL 15 ahead of its release through the game's six-hour trial. Madden NFL 15 is the first EA Access title to offer a pre-release trial, but others are coming in the future for games like NHL 15 and FIFA 15.
As with Madden NFL 15, the trials for NHL 15 and FIFA 15 will let you play for six hours. And, as is the case for all EA Access trials, you'll get to play the games five days ahead of their scheduled release dates. For NHL 15, that means you'll get to lace up your skates and hit the virtual ice this Thursday.
EA Access is available only for Xbox One. For its part, Sony maintains that the service does not offer the kind of value PlayStation gamers have come to expect. That being said, the company has no ill will towards EA and has not ruled out EA Access for the PlayStation 4 some day.
Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch