Only Way To Play New Madden NFL Before Release Date Is To Pay For EA Access On Xbox One

colinkaepFor a decade, fans of EA’s wildly popular Madden NFL video games have been able to try the game out for a couple of weeks before its release via demo versions made available on Xbox and Playstation consoles. But in an apparent effort to get people to sign up for its new $5/month EA Access service — currently only available on Xbox One — the video game publisher (and two-time Worst Company In America winner) doing away with the publicly available demo and instead dangling the carrot of being able to play the game fives days early through Access.

The folks at Polygon have confirmed with EA that, while the newest iteration of the football game will be available on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, and PS4, none of those consoles will get the traditional demo download two weeks ahead of the Aug. 26 release.

But EA Access, a subscription service that includes a playable library of games for either $5/month of $29/year, will offer pre-release access to Madden NFL 15.

Sony has said it currently doesn’t intend on adding EA Access to its available services, which makes sense as it preps to launch its own PlayStation Now library of games streamed from the cloud.

Every year, the Madden titles find themselves among the best-selling games. And the demos have been a good way for fans to test out and adapt to the changes that come with each new edition. The inability for many console users to try the demo beforehand will certainly rile some fans up, but given the sheer number of people who buy the game every year, it’s unlikely that the lack of a demo will have a dramatic impact on Madden 15’s sales.

The bigger question is whether the no-demo policy will have the effect of encouraging people to sign up for EA Access. If so, then expect EA to put as much new content behind that subscription wall as possible going forward.

Thanks to Jennifer for the tip!