EA Access Does Not Require Xbox Live Gold To Play Games, Is Needed For Online Multiplayer
EA Access--the publisher's new subscription program for Xbox One--will allow console owners access to a library of games for a monthly fee, but it won't require an Xbox Live Gold account to do so.
EA has clarified the situation in a statement to IGN, explaining that anyone with a subscription ($5 per month or $30 for a year) can play games on EA Access regardless of Xbox Live account type.
"When it launches, any Xbox One gamer can join EA Access and take advantage of the benefits of membership," EA stated. "In order to connect to multiplayer gameplay on the Xbox One platform you will need a subscription to Xbox Gold."
Microsoft originally put entertainment apps such as Netflix behind the Xbox Live Gold paywall, frustrating some who didn't want to play games online and already paid for a subscription to the service. The requirement was eventually dropped, and EA is following the same path here. You will still need Xbox Live Gold to play the games from EA Access online, but are free to play the singleplayer components if you're a subscriber.
EA Access also gets you a 10 percent discount on the Xbox games store (both for DLC and full titles) and early access to some upcoming games. The library mostly includes older games for the time being, but we'll have to see what EA adds going forward.
Sony opted out of the program for PS4, stating that it did not represent good value, but has recently fallen under fire for its own PlayStation Now pricing. EA Access is in a limited availability stage right now, with full release coming "soon".