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xbox one ea madden nfl 15 microsoft ea access

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#1 +Frank B.

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 16:52

Madden NFL 15 won't be playable early unless you pay for EA Access

 

You'll only be able to play Madden NFL 15 before its Aug. 26 launch if you own an Xbox One and subscribe to EA Access. There will be no publicly available demo, a representative for publisher Electronic Arts confirmed to Polygon today.

 

That bucks a trend nearly a decade long. EA has released a downloadable demo on consoles for every Madden title since Madden NFL 06 in 2005, although that game's trial came out shortly after the title itself launched alongside the Xbox 360. A playable Madden demo is traditionally available approximately two weeks prior to release.

 

Asked to provide details on why there won't be a Madden 15 demo, the EA spokesperson declined to clarify. But it's worth noting that last month, EA announced an Xbox One-exclusive subscription service called EA Access. The program, which costs $4.99 a month or $29.99 a year, includes up to five days of pre-release access to upcoming EA titles. The subscription's initial slate of early access games consists of Madden 15, NHL 15, FIFA 15, NBA Live 15 and Dragon Age: Inquisition.

 

Madden 15 will be released on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The lack of a demo means that potential customers on three of those four platforms won't be able to try the game before they buy it. This will likely be particularly frustrating for those who haven't yet upgraded to a PS4 or Xbox One. EA hasn't put out any screenshots or gameplay footage from the last-generation versions of Madden 15, so people on those platforms looking to buy the game at launch will literally have no idea what they're getting.

 

There's no word yet on whether EA's decision to forgo a Madden 15 demo will also extend to the other EA Sports titles set to be offered in EA Access' pre-release trial program — NHL, FIFA and NBA Live. But if it does, this could be the start of a sad new trend for sports fans who have come to expect free downloadable demos. For more on Madden 15, check out our recent preview.

 

Source: Polygon




#2 -Razorfold

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 16:54

I wish more games would offer demos nowadays, but it seems to have gone the way of the dodo.

At least Origin (not sure about the 360/One/PS3/PS4) will refund your purchase if you don't like the game, many other services don't.

#3 Andrew

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 21:40

:no:

 

Just one more service/product to add to the boycott list I guess.



#4 +Audien

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 21:53

Is the full game included in EA Access or is it only pre-play?



#5 SierraSonic

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 21:54

Ahh, so basically timed exclusive recurring monthly paid services are required to sample free demos now.

 

How is this an improvement? You save money upfront, but long term, unless you buy these games constantly, you will lose out.



#6 trooper11

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 22:18

Yeah this is a big no no.

EA had a decent deal going, but this does nothing but create bad pr and its simply bad customer service.

We need more demos, not less, and withholding demos behind a paywall indefinitely is not good for anyone. What they could do is simply offer early access to the demo. That is something that XBL Gold and PS+ offer and its pretty much an accepted practice. EA better wise up before this poisons the market.

Its bad enough that neither MS nor Sony require demos for every game on their platform.

#7 chrisj1968

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 22:38

:no:

 

Just one more service/product to add to the boycott list I guess.

 

exactly. I couldn't agree with you more.



#8 Audioboxer

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 01:30

Devs choosing not to release a demo as its not a requirement is one thing, a demo existing and having been made but being put behind a paywall is another...

I can be okay with subscribers accessing the demo early, as long as the public have it in their hands for release, but a demo existing and simply being paywalled is stupid.

#9 Anthony Tosie

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 09:47

Just IMO, but this seems to be a case of an overzealous reporter attempting to link something that may not necessarily be connected.

 

EA Access provides gamers with the full game in advance of its release -- what EA is providing through its service there is not a demo. It's unlikely there's any special development that has to go on beyond implementing some sort of DRM that stops the game from working after you've played it for X hours (but can then unlock the entire game once it's officially released if you purchase it).

 

Demos are not the same. Many developers and publishers have lamented for years that they're expensive to create, as they have to be worked into development schedules and take actual coding resources to create. It's not as simple as simply throwing a switch and freeing up one level of a game for a demo. This also wouldn't be the first time people have misunderstood EA's demo policy, as some people freaked out and claimed "Battlefield 1943" was the equivalent of paying for a demo, even though it was clearly a full, smaller game.

 

Given that no demo is coming to any platform -- including PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, etc. -- I'm going to wager that there's far less connection between EA Access and this decision than this report implies. Is it possible they're connected? Absolutely. But if the idea is that you want to provide incentives for users to go to your subscription service, then this decision makes no sense, as only Xbox One users can use it, which is a relatively small percentage of the overall amount of people who would be buying Madden.

 

TL;DR: Calm down. It's going to be OK.

 

Edit: EA released a statement in line with what I said (obviously they could be spinning it, but I don't think they are -- beyond the phrasing, that is).

"The difficult decision not to do a demo for Madden was strictly a result of the team's commitment to deliver the highest-quality game possible. We chose to put 100 percent of our development resources toward the full game."



#10 Audioboxer

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 10:16

This is EA, a 5 man indie team not having the time to branch off a demo, fine, EA have been creating demos for their games since most gamers were in diapers.

Fact remains a chunk of gameplay fit to be a demo* exists, it's going to be an EA access exclusive. Of course its not on PS4, they have no way to paywall it there (on their own terms, with PS+ Sony get a cut) meaning the internet would explode saying how unfair it was PS owners didn't need to pay for it.

*Early access is most likely going to be a timed amount of gameplay, aka a "demo".

#11 Anthony Tosie

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 11:36

You're right, this is EA, not an indie developer, hence the scope of a demo is going to be much larger. Regardless, it still takes away valuable development resources. Publishers and developers have literally been saying that for years -- these aren't the shareware days of your and my youth.

EA Access early games are timed full games, according to what they have said, not a demo. That's an absolutely massive difference. And, again, if you think this is some grand conspiracy, I'd ask you to think rationally for a second from EA's perspective. Why only offer a demo, if that's what you truly think it is, on a service that only a very small percentage of your user base can access? That's counterintuitive and doesn't help you lure customers to that service, as very few can use it. You'd potentially be losing money, as gamers who would base their opinion on a demo wouldn't have the chance to play it, and the extremely small revenue you'd make from luring Madden gamers to the service almost surely wouldn't make up for it.

#12 blerk

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 11:41

This is EA, a 5 man indie team not having the time to branch off a demo, fine, EA have been creating demos for their games since most gamers were in diapers.
 

 

With the level of incompetency that some of EA's developers have displayed recently, I personally would prefer that all their developers work on getting a polished game with no immediate post-release patches  :/

 

Though I doubt putting demos behind a paywall is going to do anything for quality...



#13 Showan

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 11:49

First I would like to say, this looks very bad on EA's part.  Perception/Context is everything.  

 

EA has stated that, these will be full parts of the game, and not demo builds.

 

But my mindset (and others) is, "If your only getting a slice of the pie, then it's a demo" although in context it's the actual full game, in which you can even save your progress.

 

And with EA's track record, I think they may want to very much EMPHASIZE this.  

 

Instead of fine print, they may want to Boldly state that it's actual real game play and any progress can be saved and resumed if the actual game is purchase.  And make sure that it's stamped into people's minds.



#14 Audioboxer

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 12:38

You're right, this is EA, not an indie developer, hence the scope of a demo is going to be much larger. Regardless, it still takes away valuable development resources. Publishers and developers have literally been saying that for years -- these aren't the shareware days of your and my youth.

EA Access early games are timed full games, according to what they have said, not a demo. That's an absolutely massive difference. And, again, if you think this is some grand conspiracy, I'd ask you to think rationally for a second from EA's perspective. Why only offer a demo, if that's what you truly think it is, on a service that only a very small percentage of your user base can access? That's counterintuitive and doesn't help you lure customers to that service, as very few can use it. You'd potentially be losing money, as gamers who would base their opinion on a demo wouldn't have the chance to play it, and the extremely small revenue you'd make from luring Madden gamers to the service almost surely wouldn't make up for it.


The industry has coped with demos under timed pressure to get them to magazines in time for demo discs, sorry for not believing in the age of digital distribution a demo can be cut out of a game by some of the programmers who've done the bulk of their work for a deadline of say a week before release.

Publishers and devs don't want to release demos these days as it can affect the blind pre-order culture they want us to adopt. Give them their money upfront without a demo, and these days sometimes without reviews as reviews can be embargoed till after your games already shipped (release day embargoes). With paywalling the "demo" at least if its a buggy POS they've already taken your monthly fee, you aren't getting a refund on that, where as if the games broken at launch or reviews poorly you can return your copy, sell it or trade it in.

EA won't be thinking this is a niche service for a small % of their users, they want "everyone" who plays EA games subscribed. If they had it their way this would be on the PS4 right now if Sony hadn't blocked them. You can bet if they could angle it at PC games they will, but PC gamers aren't as gullible and quick to buy into marketing speak as console gamers historically are.

#15 Anthony Tosie

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 13:05

The industry has coped with demos under timed pressure to get them to magazines in time for demo discs, sorry for not believing in the age of digital distribution a demo can be cut out of a game by some of the programmers who've done the bulk of their work for a deadline of say a week before release.

Publishers and devs don't want to release demos these days as it can affect the blind pre-order culture they want us to adopt. Give them their money upfront without a demo, and these days sometimes without reviews as reviews can be embargoed till after your games already shipped (release day embargoes). With paywalling the "demo" at least if its a buggy POS they've already taken your monthly fee, you aren't getting a refund on that, where as if the games broken at launch or reviews poorly you can return your copy, sell it or trade it in.

EA won't be thinking this is a niche service for a small % of their users, they want "everyone" who plays EA games subscribed. If they had it their way this would be on the PS4 right now if Sony hadn't blocked them. You can bet if they could angle it at PC games they will, but PC gamers aren't as gullible and quick to buy into marketing speak as console gamers historically are.

I'm not sure of the point you're making. Yes, demos have existed. That doesn't mean developers and publishers haven't complained about them before, as I already cited one example, and I'm sure a quick Google search will reveal hundreds more examples. You also seem to have a very poor opinion of developers in the first place -- none of the game developers I've ever met have been sitting on their hands after a game goes gold; they're typically working on day-one patches, DLC, etc.

 

And, again, this isn't the simple hatchet job you're claiming it is. You don't just say, "Oh, I want this level," and cut and paste some files. There are thousands of assets that have to be managed, and lots of code to oversee. It does take quite a deal of development resources, hence why developers and publishers have complained about it in the past. I don't know how much clearer I can explain that, so I apologize if my point isn't coming across properly.

 

Your argument seems to be 'this is what EA is doing because EA is evil.' That's not much of an argument. Yes, the service would be on the PlayStation 4 right now if Sony had wanted it, but they rebuked the offer. Yes, Sony would have taken a cut of the proceeds, just like Microsoft surely is. I'm not sure why this is a Microsoft versus Sony issue for you. This is one game not releasing a demo and Polygon and other websites have turned it into something else completely in an attempt to troll for hits, which is becoming commonplace in gaming media.

 

Let me be clear about this: Mentioning EA Access in the decision to stop offering Madden demos was a worthwhile inclusion in the article. Heck, if I were writing the article, I would have absolutely included it as well. What I wouldn't have done is made a misleading headline that implies EA Access is the cause for the decision when that's known, and I certainly wouldn't have made that the overall point of the story. It would have been a large chunk, yes, but what I mentioned before about developers using resources to make demos also would have been a significant chunk.

 

So what I'm saying is it's always a possibility. But I have absolutely no idea how the author or you seem to be so sure of it as the reason when it's an extremely complicated subject and all the rational explanations point to a different reason.