EA announces that three of its highly anticipated titles will appear first on the Xbox One exclusive EA Access, but each title will only appear a mere five days before the game’s official release.
The term “console exclusivity” has become synonymous with sparking red faced, spit slinging arguments. While there are those that contend that console exclusive third party titles help foster competition between the various consoles, others argue that constraining third party titles to one console does nothing but drive potential players on other systems away and ultimately shrink sales.
While console exclusivity is nothing new, timed console exclusivity has become more prominent as of late, and it hasn’t sit well with fans (case in point, Square’s controversial choice to release the highly anticipated Rise of the Tomb Raider first for the Xbox One). Now former worst company in America winner EA is further pushing the bill of limited console exclusivity by releasing some of their most anticipated games exclusively for Xbox One… five days early.
EA has announced that EA Sports UFC 2, Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2, and Unravel will be available exclusively for EA Access users on Xbox One five days before the titles hit shelves. EA’s Netflix-esque subscription service has found itself the victim of mockery previously (with Sony dubbing EA Access “not a good value” before opting to completely pass on the service), and the decision to release anticipated titles to gamer’s utilizing the service a mere five days before launch will likely draw a few raised eyebrows.
Subscribers looking to play the upcoming games should take note on their EA Access release dates, with Unravel hitting the service February 4th (full release February 9th), Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2 dropping on February 18th (full release February 24th), and EA Sports UFC 2 rounding out the releases with a March 10th release (full release March 15th).
The decision to launch new titles through EA Access first is nothing new for the company, with the highly anticipated/decently reviewed Star Wars Battlefront appearing on the service before hitting shelves. However, previous “pre-releases” incorporated a timed play period mechanic that limited subscribers to 6-10 hours with the game. EA has yet to state whether this mechanic will continue for the latest batch of pre-release titles.
With EA Access featuring a paltry 14 free games for subscribers to play, it’s likely that the publisher is looking to beef up its library with big name releases in hopes of enticing more subscribers. But it remains to be seen if this five day early release will be enough to bring eager gamers to the service, or if fans will simply put on their patient pants and wait for the regular street release like everyone else.