2014 is a very peculiar year for Need For Speed fans. For one, it marks the first time in over a decade that EA hasn’t launched at least one new high-octane entry in the franchise — in fact, 2011 served up two new iterations in Shift 2 and the rather underwhelming NFS: The Run. So, to appease the racing community, the publisher has announced plans to add the latest title, Need for Speed Rivals, onto its subscription-based Access service.
This announcement means Rivals will join a select roster of EA titles on the digital storefront, including FIFA 14, Battlefield 4, Peggle 2 and Madden NFL 25, all of which can be downloaded instantly for those who have already bought into the incentive.
Revealed amid the post-E3 lull, EA Access is a essentially a Netflix-like system that is exclusive to Xbox One. Carrying a price tag of $4.99/£3.99 a month (or, $29.99/£19.99 for the year), the service grants users free reign over the aforementioned gaming library — aptly dubbed “The Vault” by EA — as well as having the opportunity to dip their toes in demo versions of upcoming releases.
Speaking of which, the company confirmed that during the month of September, users who subscribe to EA Access will be able to test out a six-hour trial of NHL 15 — which just went live this week — along with a similar trial for FIFA 15 a little closer to release. (EA Sports’ footie simulator is pegged for September 26th).
With the NHL 15 demo already up and running, the company spoke of the influx of fan support for incentive and how the business model is informing future releases.
“We were incredibly excited to see so many gamers jump in to the recent Madden NFL 15 trial,” EA stated. “Together, EA Access members put in a total of 245,000 total hours playing Madden NFL 15 before the game was even released.”
Need for Speed Rivals is currently available for EA Access subscribers on Xbox One.