Xbox One owners already enjoy titles from Electronic Arts for the console through the EA Access Vault such as the just added Dragon Age: Inquisition. The subscription service has a chance to expand its library greatly though, through the addition of backwards compatibility with Xbox 360 games, and Electronic Arts confirmed Friday it is looking at just that.
One EA Access subscriber asked about the possibility of seeing Xbox 360 games on the service via Twitter. The official account responded.
@metalgamerpops We’re investigating adding backwards compatible EA games to EA Access in the future. Stay tuned.
— EA Access (@EAAccess) August 7, 2015
Xbox One backwards compatibility with Xbox 360 titles is currently undergoing testing through the Xbox Preview Program. The goal is to release it this November with more than 100 older titles supported and more added as publishers approve. The approval is the important part as Microsoft has to sign contracts for the right to play the older games through the Xbox 360 emulator on the new console.
In addition to first party games, Microsoft’s promotional banner for backwards compatibility reveals support from 2K Games, Ubisoft, Sega, and Electronic Arts among others. However, adding backwards compatible games to the EA Access makes the $30 a year subscription program that much more valuable.
There is a catch though, and that is online server support for these older EA games. The publisher regularly takes servers offline for titles that no longer see many players online.
“The decisions to retire older EA games are never easy,” the EA support page, which lists all the games taken down opens. “The development teams and operational staff pour their hearts into these games almost as much as the customers playing them and it is hard to see one retired. But as games get replaced with newer titles, the number of players still enjoying the older games dwindles to a level — typically fewer than 1% of all peak online players across all EA titles — where it’s no longer feasible to continue the behind-the-scenes work involved with keeping these games up and running.”
While the yearly EA Sports titles are primarily impacted by this decision, other games and franchises are affected as well. Various releases of Burnout, Need for Speed, SKATE, The Lord of the Rings, Battlefield, and Army of Two have all been affected. Still, BioWare franchises such as Mass Effect and Dragon Age still have huge followings that would probably be happy to see them added to the Vault.
It will be interesting if supporting backwards compatibility will change how Electronic Arts handles bringing servers down in the future and if there will be any demand to bring some games back.
What do you think about the possibility of Xbox 360 titles being added to the EA Access Vault to be playable on the Xbox One? Sound off in the comments below.