In September 2020, Microsoft announced that EA Play, Electronic Arts' game subscription service, would be added to Xbox Game Pass for PC at no extra cost. The addition was initially supposed to happen in December, but when December arrived, the service did not: Instead, Microsoft pushed it into 2021, saying it needed more time to provide "a great experience."
Today, Microsoft revealed (opens in new tab)the updated EA Play rollout date, and it is very close—March 18, in fact, which is tomorrow. Beginning at 2 pm PT/5 pm ET, Xbox Game Pass for PC and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers will have access to more than 60 EA games offered through the service, including some of the publisher's latest and biggest releases:
- Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
- The Sims 4
- Madden NFL 21
- Need for Speed Heat
- Star Wars Battlefront 2
(You can check out the full list of EA Play games here (opens in new tab).)
Also on the table are monthly rewards such as an EA Play Celebration Pack for Madden 21 and a N7 Weapon Charm for Apex Legends, exclusive in-game challenges and rewards, and pre-release access to new EA games. It's EA Play, in other words, but you don't have to pay more for it if you're a Game Pass for PC subscriber.
You will have to install the EA Desktop app if you don't already have it installed, however, and then link your EA and Xbox accounts in order to access the service. You'll need to bounce back and forth a bit between the Xbox and EA Play apps during the initial setup, as shown in the video above, but once that's taken care of EA Play games will be accessible through the Game Pass app.
Also note that the free offering is EA Play's basic service, and not EA Play Pro, which offers unlimited access to all EA games offered through Origin: If you want the Pro tier subscription, you'll have to get that directly from EA. You can see the differences between the standard and Pro tiers here (opens in new tab), and full details on how the two services will work together in the EA Play with Xbox Game Pass FAQ (opens in new tab).
Xbox Game Pass for PC offers subscribers access to more than 100 games (opens in new tab) for $10 per month, which is a pretty fantastic deal as long as you're not too hung up on the idea of renting rather than owning your games—and that's without taking into account all the new stuff coming with EA Play. If you're curious but still not quite swayed, the introductory month remains available for just $1.