Xbox Game Pass Adds EA Play Subscription for Free

Xbox and EA get additional visibility, while gaming subscribers get a great deal.

Xbox Game Pass subscribers got an added bonus from Microsoft last week. The company announced they would be adding EA Play, Electronic Arts’ gaming subscription, to the Xbox Game Pass gaming subscription at no additional cost. This change benefits 10 million Xbox Game Pass subscribers, and it helps get EA Play – a rebrand of the EA Access and Origin Access gaming subscriptions – exposure to a new audience of gamers.

This new addition comes on top of other changes to Xbox Pass which have occurred over the last year. In 2019, Xbox added Game Pass Ultimate subscriptions and Game Pass for PCs. Effective yesterday, Game Pass Ultimate members can play more than 100 games from the cloud on their Android phones and tablets, making Xbox gaming subscriptions more attractive to gamers.

Xbox Game Pass announcement

“Today, we’re excited to announce the next step in this journey. We are teaming up with Electronic Arts to provide Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and PC members with an EA Play membership at no additional cost starting this holiday. This means Ultimate members can enjoy EA Play on Xbox One, Xbox Series X and S, and Windows 10 PCs, and Xbox Game Pass for PC members get EA Play on Windows 10,” said Sarah Bond, CVP of gaming partnerships and ecosystem at Microsoft, in a September 9 news release.

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Starting August 18, game subscription service EA Access will become EA Play and join the Steam gaming platform.

Electronic Arts announced last month that they were rebranding EA Access and Origin Access as EA Play and the gaming subscription would get a new look. EA Play would also become available on the Steam platform, effective August 31.

“EA Play puts you at the center of the experience. Moving all the benefits to a single brand is an important step in streamlining our services to ensure that being an EA Play member is the best way to play,” EA said in a blog post.

EA Play will bring the following benefits to Xbox gaming subscribers:

  • More than 60 of EA’s most popular console and PC games including FIFA 20, Titanfall 2, Need for Speed Heat, Battlefield, Mass Effect, Skate and The Sims
  • Exclusive in-game challenges and rewards, member-only discounts, and discounts on EA digital purchases
  • Access to trials of games for up to 10 hours from popular titles like Madden NFL and FIFA
  • In addition to being available on the Xbox console and on PCs, some games will also be available on Android devices.

“Since we launched Xbox Game Pass, you’ve shared that it creates amazing experiences for you and your communities. Together, we have seen it amplify the power of gaming – to unlock discovery of new adventures, bring fun and enjoyment to a day, and make it possible to connect from afar,” Bond added.

Xbox said EA Play will becoming to Xbox Game Pass “this holiday.” We presume that means this holiday season, but the company did not reveal specific dates.

Xbox Game Pass subscription options

Xbox Game Pass offers three different gaming plans with different benefits and price points. All subscription plans renew automatically:

Insider Take

We don’t know the arrangement between Xbox and EA that made this subscription bundle possible, but it is likely a revenue share of some kind. Regardless, both companies will benefit by getting their games and gaming subscriptions in front of potentially new audiences. This gives Xbox and EA Play additional visibility which could increase recurring revenue significantly, improve retention and set them apart from competitors like Nintendo and PlayStation. Xbox gaming subscribers are getting a great deal. For the same price they are already paying, they’ll get access to more games. We can’t see any downside to this deal.