EA Access started off sounding like a great deal for gamers with early access to the full version of Madden 15 and other games up to five days early, but now that we know all the details EA Access is not the great deal it looked like when the service launched on the Xbox One last week.
EA promised more than just a demo, and after taking money from many players it arrived with the rest of the details confirming that the $5 a month subscription only gets you six hours of gameplay.
Sure, that is the full game, but if EA planned to limit EA Access subscribers to this level they should have made this announcement when the service launched.
When you take a closer look at what EA Access promises, you’ll start to see the hints at limited game play, but as EA announced the feature they conveniently left out the specific limitations of the early access to games. The first announcement looked like this,
“Membership in EA Access lets you experience trials of new EA games up to five days before the release date.*”
The asterisk tells gamers to look for more conditions, limitations and exclusions on the main website. EA included additional language, but left the limits open.
“If you’re an EA Access member, you can download upcoming EA games five days before the release date to play for a limited time.”
The most common interpretation of this wording, and one that we believed, was that the early access to Madden 15 would only be good until the actual release. It wouldn’t make sense for EA to allow gamers to pay $5 and be able to play Madden 15 forever, but EA had a shorter limit in mind.
EA confirmed this morning that EA Access subscribers can only play Madden 15 early for six hours. They do point out that it doesn’t need to be in one sitting, but that’s little consolation for many gamers that already paid $5 or $30 specifically to play Madden 15 ahead of the release date.
As it turns out EA is generous with a six-hour Madden 15 early play period. Although it is not listed anywhere on the EA Access website, Major Nelson share the minimum time that an EA Access early access trial will offer, announcing,
“Starting 5 days before release, you’ll be able to try the game for at least two hours and then save your progress”
The limitation to six hours of Madden 15 early access does not sit will with many gamers, who took to Twitter to voice their frustration using the hashtag #cancelaccess and some users accuse EA of false advertising.
— Mahdi Masoud (@MahdiMasoud) August 19, 2014
#CancelAccess 6 hrs? Really?
— Fabio (@Pr3d1cTioN) August 19, 2014
— Colton Bice (@Colt45_870) August 18, 2014
Although EA did leave room to limit the trial to six hours the anger is understandable after all the build up to EA Access and to the Madden 15 release.
There should certainly be limits to the amount of time gamers can play an early version of Madden 15 on Early Access, but if you are offering something for five days, only allowing gamers six hours of play is disingenuous and it’s no surprise that gamers are upset.
I am glad I paid for a monthly subscription to EA Access instead of an annual subscription. My plan was to use the early access to help gamers decide if Madden 15 and other EA Sports games are worth buying, which is something that is achievable in five days, but not as easy with six hours of gameplay.