News & Updates
  • Madden NFL 15 EA Access Day One Live Stream
    Posted August 21st, 2014 at 1:30 pm 27 Comments »


    With Madden NFL 15 out now through EA Access on Xbox One I’ll be hosting a few live streams over the coming days. The six hour restriction on the trial however means each stream will only be an hour or two long. Check it out live below and after completion they will be archived for watching later. Feel free to drop any questions or just chat along throughout!

    [Update] The first two streams are archived below. #1 has an online game, brief simming in Franchise, and a CPU game. #2 is a week nine Franchise game. More over the next couple days. Only have about two hours left of the trial though!

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  • Madden NFL 15 Six Hour Trial Now Available Through EA Access
    Posted August 21st, 2014 at 8:30 am 29 Comments »


    Madden NFL 15 through EA Access on Xbox One is now available to download as a timed trial. Subscribers to the service will get six hours of play time, with the timer ticking down whenever the game is loaded regardless of whether a game is being played, menus are being navigated through, or if there is any activity taking place at all. So make sure to exit out and close the application from the Xbox One home screen when not in use.

    The trial will expire at the turn of Tuesday regardless of whether the six hours have been used when a full copy will be required to continue playing. Game saves are stored on the hard drive so progress in Connected Franchise, Ultimate Team or any other modes will carry over. The complete game is accessible during the trial period.

    EA Access was announced in late July and is exclusive to the Xbox One because Sony decided against offering it to PS4 consumers. It includes the “Vault” which offers unlimited play with some older games from the company’s catalog, 10% off all digital purchases, and the ability to play games up to five days before they release for a limited timed trial. EA Access is $30 for a full year or $5 month-to-month.

    [Update] The latest in the long line of mishaps by EA recently – you can download Madden through EA Access but you can’t actually play it. At 100% fully installed, the game won’t start because it says it’s not fully installed. So if this is happening to you know that it’s happening to everyone.

    [Update #2] 3 1/2 hours late but the Madden trial is now playable through EA Access.

  • Will The Recent NHL 15 News Alter Your Purchase Decision?
    Posted August 20th, 2014 at 3:30 pm 40 Comments »


    With the bad news about NHL 15 on XB1/PS4 finally being confirmed yesterday – make sure to read about it here and check out the lengthy hangout discussing the situation here – consumers can now begin to properly assess whether the product is worth buying this year.

    Fans of the series and EA Sports Hockey League in particular have gone through a roller coaster of emotions in the last week, with EA Sports turning what should have just been immense disappointment into anger based on their mistreatment of the passionate community and all those who simply deserved answers. Not having EASHL, GM Connected, and a number of other features severely damages the value of the product and the extra development time (which EA themselves played up over the last year) proved of little benefit despite earlier claims from the company that it allowed them more opportunity to focus on the feature set.

    Dropping EASHL and other modes will directly impact word of mouth and sales, and there is no guarantee that those consumers who walk away will ever come back even when (or “if” in the case of some of them) the features return. That’s a dangerous risk to take for a series that could be vulnerable if it doesn’t recover and show opportunity for growth in both sales and digital revenue. Vote in the poll below on whether NHL 15 not having these features will alter your decision to buy and leave any additional thoughts in the comments!

  • Press Row Hangout: Reacting to the News of No EASHL and GM Connected in Xbox One and PS4 NHL 15
    Posted August 19th, 2014 at 7:15 pm 8 Comments »


    A full panel was on hand to discuss the confirmation that there will be no EA Sports Hockey League or GM Connected modes in the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 version of NHL 15. It’s tremendously bad news for the game and some of its most hardcore fans who would never have even contemplated this as a possibility, and the way EA Sports has handled it could have even longer-lasting ramifications to the series than just a single year. The show is now archived to watch for those who couldn’t make it for the live airing.

    The goroup includes myself (@Pastapadre), Rich Grisham (@RichGrisham), T.J. Lauerman (@ThatSportsGamer), Chris Sanner (@ChrisSnr), Pete Dodd (@atPeteDodd), and Samit Sarkar (@SamitSarkar).

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  • EA Sports Confirms No EASHL or GM Connected for NHL 15 on Xbox One and PS4
    Posted August 19th, 2014 at 2:45 pm 23 Comments »


    After a week of speculation as circumstantial evidence continued to mount EA Sports has now finally confirmed that there will be no EA Sports Hockey League or GM Connected modes in the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 version of NHL 15. It’s another in a long line of major mishaps in recent years by EA – not just about losing the critical features but the way they alienated consumers in the process and damaged a brand.  Read more

  • Press Row Hangout: Madden NFL 15 EA Access Early Play Limited to Six Hours
    Posted August 19th, 2014 at 9:45 am 6 Comments »


    With the EA Access details for Madden NFL 15 finally being clarified yesterday a panel featuring myself (@Pastapadre), Rich Grisham (@RichGrisham), T.J. Lauerman (@ThatSportsGamer), and Pete Dodd (@atPeteDodd) got together for a discussion on the news.

    Madden will be limited to six hours in its early play period…something that was hidden until three days before it starts. EA however had no problem pushing consumers to subscribe for the three weeks beforehand. Is the six hour limitation reasonable, are those who are upset justified, or has EA’s actions made both fair reactions to have?

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  • The Golf Club Available Now on Xbox One
    Posted August 19th, 2014 at 8:45 am 4 Comments »


    The Golf Club is out now on Xbox One and can be purchased and queued up for download here. It has also left Early Access on Steam for PC where it has been out since mid-April.

    The Golf Club is unlicensed (no real golfers or courses) and features an extensive course creator and the ability to share courses with all regardless of platform, no loading times between holes, and online Tours and Tournaments. It’s a unique entry into the space for many reasons that include being self-published, all golfers possessing the same abilities and the complete lack of microtransactions. The company plans to update and evolve the game over time without charging more for the improvements or new content.

    The PlayStation 4 version is expected soon with August 26 the likely date there. The game runs at a higher resolution (1080p vs 720p) on the PS4 vs Xbox One. The Golf Club is only available as a digital download and is being sold for $35.

  • EASHL and GM Connected Left Out of NHL 15 Achievements on Xbox One and PS4
    Posted August 18th, 2014 at 6:44 pm 13 Comments »


    EA Sports still refuses to address the growing unrest regarding the presence of EA Sports Hockey League and GM Connected in NHL 15. It’s likely they plan at some point this week to attempt to bury the bad news, that the modes are not included in the game, with other feature information that they hope will deflect some of the attention away from the revelation.

    That’s not going to work though. The mode is too popular, the fans too passionate, that EASHL is all that matters right now. Even the gameplay videos did nothing to quiet the storm that has been building for a week as many have already begun cancelling pre-orders.

    The latest information that points at the lack of EASHL and GMC are achievements for the XB1/PS4 version of the game which until now had been hidden. The list for the 360/PS3, which is confirmed to still have EASHL and GMC, have several achievements for the modes but it can be seen that the XB1/PS4 has none. This follows on the heels of the box art displaying a maximum of two players online rather than the 12 that it has in the past and still does on 360/PS3. There’s a lot more to the story also as documented on the last Press Row Hangout.

    The way EA has treated their customers as of late has been deplorable. The deceptive nature advertising EA Access is one example but this situation with NHL 15 affects even more people and is doing long-term damage to both the NHL and company brand regardless of whatever the outcome may be.

  • CoachGlass Available on Both Xbox One and PS4 With Madden NFL 15
    Posted August 18th, 2014 at 3:45 pm 10 Comments »


    CoachGlass is returning for Madden NFL 15 but this year it won’t be exclusive to the Xbox One. The PlayStation 4 version will also be able to tap into the feature which provides statistics, tendencies, and play-calling suggestions on tablets and phones during games.

    In the first implementation of CoachGlass, users had the ability to call plays from the device but were limited to only having defensive playcall suggestions. We’ve now evened the playing field and made offensive suggestions available as well. Another small win was including the QB in the list of offensive players currently on the field.

    Seeing the quarterback (along with OVR ratings) can be really helpful in Ultimate Team since you may not recognize your opponent’s QB or know what version the opponent has of that player. We’ve also added the ability to call timeout from the device.

    CoachGlass is compatible with Play Now, Online Head to Head, Madden Ultimate Team, and Connected Franchise Mode and will be available for both Xbox One and Playstation 4!

    Not only did CoachGlass not work for the first month of Madden 25’s release but it caused the game to freeze up constantly. It’s still questionable how much value CoachGlass can offer when time is so limited between plays – and this requires putting down the controller to pick up and interact with a second device –  but it’s still a unique feature to consider utilizing.

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  • Madden NFL 15 Early Play Period in EA Access Limited to Six Hours
    Posted August 18th, 2014 at 9:30 am 68 Comments »


    When EA Access was announced the service appeared to offer significant value but there were some questionable terms laid out as well. The “Play First” period, which offers the ability to play games “up to five days” prior to release, could be limited to as few as two hours and have portions of the game blocked. The time restriction seemed more likely to apply to story-driven games than the sports games which are is pretty much the sole force behind EA Access in its early days – and Season Ticket was the full three+ days with no limitations – until the company refused to comment on what restrictions might apply to Madden.

    Meanwhile EA continued to collect money from subscribers who were not being given all the facts about the program. They proudly sent out messages on social media touting games being available to play five days early while refusing to respond to inquires about a time limit. Now today, with just three days until the Madden play period opens, they finally provided the details for Madden. EA Access subscribers will be able to play Madden for only six hours over that five day window with all of the modes available.

    “Play First” is being marketed as a third of what makes up EA Access. For some people it may not matter at all, for others it may be the primary reason they were interested in signing up. Unfortunately EA chose to mislead people for weeks rather than be upfront about the specifics.

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