On the day of its intended launch, Microsoft have stated that EA Play’s induction into the Xbox Game Pass for PC game library has been delayed until sometime in 2021.
EA Play is still, however, a part of Xbox Game Pass for console, and has been since the launch of the Xbox Series X|S on 10th November.
Writing on the Xbox blog, they say:
When we originally set out to write this blog post, which would announce the availability of EA Play on PC with Xbox Game Pass, it looked a little bit different. Unfortunately, what had been a celebratory post is now one asking for a little more patience: We made the decision to delay until 2021 the release of EA Play on PC as part of the Xbox Game Pass for PC and Ultimate memberships.
We established this partnership with Electronic Arts because they are as passionate as we are about helping people and communities discover great games, and we knew we could provide a great experience for members by working together. In order to deliver on that, we need more time to provide the Xbox Game Pass experience.
It was on the cusp of that launch that Microsoft originally announced that the tightening of their partnership with EA would extend to Windows 10 as well. While Microsoft have not gone into the reasons why, there’s any number of background technical issues that could have led to this, from having to add a bunch of EA games to the Microsoft Store all in one go, to the ties back to EA’s own platform that the games have.
On Windows, EA Play is available through EA themselves, but also arrived on Steam back in August. The service debuted as EA Access on Xbox One back in 2014, the PC counterpart Origin Access arriving in 2016, before EA Access it belatedly spread to PlayStation 4 in 2019. Earlier this year they rebranded it all as EA Play. Much less confusing.