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EA Access Won't Require Xbox Live Gold, But You'll Need It for Multiplayer

Subscription not required to earn perks like discounts and early access to games, but is necessary to play games online.

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When Mass Effect and Battlefield publisher Electronic Arts' upcoming EA Access program launches on Xbox One this month, you won't need an Xbox Live Gold subscription ($60/year) to use the service. However, if you want to participate in multiplayer, you will need a subscription, EA has confirmed.

"Any Xbox One gamer can join EA Access and take advantage of the benefits of membership," EA said in a statement on the EA Access website. "In order to connect to multiplayer gameplay on the Xbox One platform you will need a subscription to Xbox Gold."

EA Access will cost $5/month or $30/year. A subscription gives you unlimited access to a game library called The Vault, as well as a 10% discount on all EA digital games and content. By paying for the service, you will also get to download games five days ahead of everyone else.

The announcement of EA Access last week caused quite a stir. It sent GameStop shares tumbling (they have since rebounded), and Sony dismissed the merit of the service, saying it does not believe EA Access is a good value for PlayStation fans.

EA Access is currently in beta on Xbox One, with a public release scheduled for sometime this month. The first four games available in The Vault are FIFA 14, Madden NFL 25, Peggle 2, and Battlefield 4. These games are downloaded, not streamed. In addition, your game progress will be saved, even if your membership expires.

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