There are few bigger releases set to hit in 2015 than Star Wars Battlefront — it’s the de facto tie-in video game for The Force Awakens, and looks set to be a top-tier FPS to boot. Now, EA has confirmed that Xbox One owners will have the chance to dip into the game seven days before its release.
First launched last year, EA Access is a subscription service that lends players a selection of the publisher’s biggest and best games for a monthly fee. The ever-growing library contains a host of past entries in popular sports series like FIFA and Madden, as well as picks from EA’s output in other genres.
The games in the Vault can be played as if the user owned them outright, so long as they have an active subscription. However, EA Access has another feature that’s become rather attractive in recent months — a ten-hour trial for new releases that becomes available a few days before the title’s launch at retail.
The trial in of itself is an intriguing proposition for players, as it gives full access to the game without the normal limitations of a demo. The fact that the game is available several days early is just an added bonus, but certainly something that’s particularly useful for a competitive multiplayer title like Star Wars Battlefront.
Players will be battling across familiar locales like Hoth and Endor, and even stepping into the shoes of iconic characters like Luke Skywalker — and they’ll be doing it a week ahead of schedule. It’s great news for EA Access subscribers looking forward to the game, but less exciting for PlayStation owners.
Back when EA Access was first announced, there was some discussion among the PlayStation faithful as to why the service wasn’t available on their console of choice. Sony reportedly passed on EA’s offer, unwilling to offer a subscription that would cut into the profits of PlayStation Plus.
As such, PlayStation owners will have no method of gaining early access to Star Wars Battlefront. EA Access subscribers with an Xbox One can anticipate playing the game on November 12, with a trial of the hotly anticipated Need For Speed reboot hitting the service two weeks earlier on October 29.
Rumours are circulating that EA has plans for a ‘Netflix of video games’, and EA Access is surely the blueprint for such a service. If that strategy does come to pass, it would seem likely that Sony might rethink its stance on EA offering subscriptions to PlayStation users.
At present, Xbox One owners can gain access to some of the most popular releases ahead of their launch on PlayStation 4, and that’s very difficult for Sony to counteract. As big winter releases start to hit, the company’s spurning of EA might prove to be a major mis-step.
Star Wars Battlefront will release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on November 17, 2015.