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While having an early access system isn’t necessarily a bad thing, EA’s decision to keep the players that spent the most money on the game waiting is kind of cruel. They didn’t help things by massively overcomplicating the release schedule either.
If you’re on PC, purchasing EA Origin Access Premier ($19.99/month or $129.99/year) gets you the full game right now with all the add-ons and extras available. Being subscribed to EA Origin Access Basic ($6.99/month or $39.99/year) also means you get to play it, but it’s only a ten-hour trial. Should you then purchase the game, you get to keep your progress and get a 10% discount.
It’s pretty much the same deal on Xbox, except that there’s no Premier subscription model and the Basic model is renamed EA Access Play First Trial. There aren’t any subscription model options for the PlayStation, so you’ll have to buy the game outright and wait.
On all platforms, purchasing the Deluxe Edition for $79.99 will grant you access on the 15th and getting the Standard Edition for $59.99 means you can play on the 20th.
If you’re one of the many players who paid the full price of the game and are unhappy about having to wait, you can get a free trial of either of the subscription models and play the game today.
It’s good to have the option of a subscription model – but forcing it down players’ throats by favoring the players who subscribe is simply anti-consumer. Hopefully, this won’t become a long-term strategy of EA’s, but there’s a good chance it will be considering that it must be substantially more profitable to risk the backlash.