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What is EA Play? What you need to know about EA’s gaming subscription service

GamesRadar logo GamesRadar 5/4/2022 Joseph Yaden
The EA Play logo for EA's subscription service © Provided by GamesRadar The EA Play logo for EA's subscription service

What is EA Play? Well, it's EA's take on a gaming subscription service. The way we access media has changed drastically in the past decade. Sure, it’s still possible to buy physical games from a retail store, but many consumers have shifted to an all-digital format, ditching the need for consoles with disc drives. Beyond that, many game publishers have jumped head-first into gaming subscription services. Think of services like Xbox Game Pass and PlayStation Now. It seems many major gaming companies want to capitalize on this trend including Electronic Arts, which is known for franchises like Battlefield, Plants vs. Zombies, and many annualized sports series such as Madden NFL and FIFA. 

In 2014, EA launched its own gaming subscription service called EA Play (formerly called EA Access), giving players access to a wide variety of games, with other perks as well. But how exactly does this service work, on which platforms is it available, and how much does it cost? Here, we’ll dive into everything you need to know about EA Play. 

What is EA Play?

Much like Xbox Game Pass, EA Play is a gaming subscription service that gives you access to a wide variety of games. As you’d expect, the list of games is comprised of EA-published titles from series like Battlefield, Need for Speed, Madden, and Star Wars. Not every EA game ever released is available through the service, but the majority of the publisher’s heavy hitters – especially recent entries – are available through EA Play. Keep in mind, this is not a streaming service, but rather an offering of games that can be downloaded to your console or PC.

EA Play is available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC via Steam, Origin, or the EA App. Other memberships like PS Plus or Xbox Live Gold are not required to reap the benefits of EA Play (though, you do need to have PS Plus or Xbox Live Gold to enjoy EA Play games online).

If your membership expires, you won’t be able to play from the list of games until you reactivate your subscription, just like Xbox Game Pass.

Beyond being able to select from EA’s list of games, members also gain access to 10-hour trials, discounts on EA’s digital store, and in-game goodies. 

How much does EA Play cost?

There are two different versions of EA’s subscription service: EA Play and EA Play Pro. The standard EA Play membership is £3.99 / $4.99 per month or £19.99 / $29.99 per year, while EA Play Pro costs £14.99 / $14.99 monthly or £89.99 / $99.99 annually. Of course, purchasing a yearlong membership outright saves you money in the long run. However, it's worth noting that your EA Play subscription is limited to a single platform, so you won't be able to reap the benefits across multiple platforms. 

When compared to other similar services, EA’s pricing model is fair. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (which includes Xbox Live Gold, and access across Xbox and PC) costs £10.99 / $14.99 monthly, while PS Plus ranges from £6.99 / $9.99 to £13.49 / $17.99 monthly.

In addition, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers actually get an EA Play membership at no additional cost, which is a nice added bonus. Members will find all the EA Play offerings integrated into the full list of Game Pass titles. If you’re an Xbox player, you might already be subscribed to EA Play.

What are the EA Play benefits?

The most important EA Play benefit is the ability to enjoy a wide variety of EA games from The Play List (previously called The Vault). The list continues to grow as more titles are released, but depending on your platform, you’ll have access to around 50 to 60 games if you subscribe to the basic version of the membership.

On the flip side, you can also become an EA Play Pro member, which offers a wider selection of games, many of which are older (and may not necessarily be published by EA), such as Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, The Surge 2, and Limbo. 

Beyond the list of full playable titles, EA Play members can also take advantage of game trials, giving you 10-hour access to the latest releases. Thankfully, your progress carries over to the full version of the game–though, if it’s a newer entry, you’ll have to wait for it to be added to the Play List (or you can buy it directly from EA right away). Battlefield 2042, GRID Legends, NHL 22, and FIFA 22 are all available as trials right now. EA Play Pro members get the added benefit of deluxe edition trial access to EA’s latest releases. 

Speaking of buying games, EA Play members gain a 10% discount on digital EA purchases. So, you can use your membership to try out a new title for 10 hours, then buy it at a discounted rate from EA’s digital shop. This includes game add-ons like Ultimate Team content.

Finally, EA Play offers Member Rewards, which are digital items for the newest games. These are cosmetics like outfits, weapon skins, or charms, but also include XP tokens for FIFA 22 Ultimate Team. Considering many EA games feature some sort of cosmetic offerings or progression system, there’s no shortage of digital goodies available to EA Play members. EA Play Pro subscribers get “pro-level” rewards, which are often rarer or more useful in-game items. 

What games does the EA Play Play List include?

Of course, the most important aspect of EA Play is the list of games available for members. These games differ slightly depending on your platform, so you’ll want to take a look at the list before subscribing.

Notable Play List games include:

Unlike Xbox Game Pass, EA Play does not offer day-one titles, meaning you have to wait for the latest releases to be added to the list. Still, you can count on the newest EA games to be added several months after the initial launch. For instance, Madden NFL 22 launched in August of 2021 and was added to EA Play in February 2022.

In addition, EA Play Pro members can enjoy titles from The Play List, as well as a slew of extra games, many of which are not published by EA. These include:

  • Biomutant
  • Dead Cells
  • Gone Home
  • Inside
  • Into the Breach
  • Limbo
  • Star Wars Battlefront (2004)
  • Star Wars Battlefront 2 (2005)
  • Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince

Of course, the list of games continues to expand over time, so be sure to check frequently to see what’s available.  

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