Madden NFL 16 Primer: Why 'Draft Champions' Matters

Madden 15 Early Access Limited To Just 6 Hours

Early Access restrictions for Madden NFL 15 have emerged.
Early Access restrictions for Madden NFL 15 have emerged.

Madden 15 will not be available in demo form this year, which is why many fans flocked to the new EA Access subscription program on Xbox One, which promises five days of early access to the game. That access, however, will be severely limited as we learned today.

The news of Madden NFL 15’s limitations during EA’s early access period were revealed on Twitter, and they didn’t mince words: “EA Access members will have six gameplay hours with the full Madden NFL 15 game.”

While many fans were certainly holding out hope that a time restriction wouldn’t be involved, this is something that we cautioned about quite heavily, although I, like I imagine many consumers, expected EA to “do right” by subscribers on this subject in light there being no demo this year.

Madden 15 Time Limits Make Little Sense

It’s interesting that EA elected to put a time restriction on its Madden 15 trial, mostly because it doesn’t make a ton of sense. Yes, some sort of time or feature barrier is probably needed for those that are merely subscribed to EA Access in general, however there doesn’t seem to be any good reason to limit those that intend on buying the game already.

A more appropriate system that we would like to see would be one that is two-tiered for early access. In one tier, you can access full games early as trials with time restrictions in place, just as they have now, and in a second tier you should be able to play without those barriers provided you pre-ordered.

What, exactly, is the point of putting a time restriction on my early access to Madden NFL 15 if I already intend on buying it, or more specifically, if I’ve already pre-ordered it from EA? It seems to me that removing the restrictions for pre-orders wouldn’t cost EA a dime (the game is already bought), would raise the value of EA Access (you need EA Access to do this), and would encourage more pre-orders directly through EA’s service (less affiliates in the way to take cuts).

Season Ticket Was a Better Choice For Some

A $5/month, EA Access is certainly a reasonable value for what it provides, however many fans with particular interests are quickly realizing that they would much rather have the soo-to-be-defunct Season Ticket subscription from EA, rather than EA Access.

The promise of EA Access is that of early playtime with games before their release, as well as access to “The Vault,” which includes select full EA titles from the past. As intriguing as the latter is, there are plenty of people that considered it an afterthought in the value of their purchase, and wanted the subscription service simply for early access to their favorite yearly sports games (in this case, Madden NFL).

And that’s where the problem is.

With EA Early Access, you can get Madden NFL 15 five days early, but only with six hours of gameplay. With the previous Season Ticket offering, players could get the game three days early with unlimited access. Frankly, if I am a consumer with a primary interest in playing the game early, then Season Ticket is a no-brainer selection for me over Early Access, albeit at a much more premium price.

Do Consumers Feel Misled About EA Access?

While time or feature restrictions are something that were certainly mentioned in the initial announcement of EA Access, it was a topic that was a bit muddled considering a lack of details, as well as the claim that every game would be treated differently. This lack of information probably lead to underreporting on the limitations of the new subscription program.

It didn’t help, either, that EA wasn’t exactly clarifying the issue, particularly omitting the details related to Madden NFL 15 when the program was launched on the same day fans were told there would be no demo. This bait-and-switch tactic left a sour taste in the mouths of many, although EA says the two issues were not related.

In the very least I can say that we, as well as a few other key sites in the community cautioned about a possible time restriction at every turn, however I can certainly see why consumers might feel misled, especially those that are more on the casual side and don’t have the time, energy, or interest to read up on every little detail on this subject.

I set up a quick poll below to try and get a better feeling of how people feel in light of the recent news of Madden 15’s trial restrictions, however if you’re already adamant about getting a refund on the service, Pastapadre has heard of people doing so successfully through Microsoft.

Do you feel misled by EA Access?

View Results

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  • RRRR4444

    Full game for 6 hours and you are complaining.

    • GoMadden

      EA Access is a paid-for subscription service. People paid for EA Access under certain assumptions. Five day early access is one of those assumptions. The question is simply whether or not those who purchased or were considering purchasing EA Access felt/feel fully informed about the time restrictions.

      • RRRR4444

        You get unlimited access to games in the vault, 10% discount and early access to games all for $5/month or $30/year and you are complaining.

        • GoMadden

          Once again. People buy services for different things. You might want EA Access for the Vault portion of it. Others might not have any interest in the Vault at all (either because they already own many of the games, or have no interest in them in particular).

          Not only do I have EA Access, but I have no intention on canceling it because I personally do see the Vault and other features of the service valuable. If, however, you purchased it solely for the early-access portion of the service, then you might understandably be disappointed by the time limitations.

          This isn’t an overly complicated concept: People are advertised X. When people pay, they find out X isn’t quite what they expected.

          This has nothing to do with whether or not EA Access is a good value or not. It has to do with whether early adopters feel misled or not by what is frankly a primary part of the service marketed to them.

  • trae

    so what day will it start?in will it be on the ps4?

    • GoMadden

      Five days early, which I think is this Thursday if my math is correct. And no, EA Access subscription is only available on Xbox One. Sony turned down the program when EA offered it to them. They might re-consider next year if it does well on Xbox One.

  • trae

    what day will the season ticket come out

    • GoMadden

      Season Ticket is the soon-to-be-defunct program. I don’t think it is available on next-gen? I think it’s just on past gen systems, but not sure. Should already “be out,” you just won’t get Madden access until 3-days away from release, and I think that’s assuming you buy the game as well.

  • Marques Moore

    pretty much a 1.20 per hour, not that bad once broken down, but six hours over the course of a sport less weekend is pittance.

  • trae

    so we will b able to play madden 15 at 12 am Thursday? and how will the 6 hour thing work?

  • Brandon Ragland

    Whats the point of a 6 hour demo? I’ve spent that amount looking over all the playbooks in 15 lol.

  • trae

    so will it start tonite at 12:00?

    • GoMadden

      Just got word that it will start on Thursday at 9am PST (12pm EST). So basically not even five days, four and a half days.