FIFA 14 will no longer be available in the EA Access Vault as of Wednesday, Oct. 18, making it the first game to be removed from the subscription service.
EA gave customers a lengthy heads-up, announcing the impending delisting back in mid-July. The publisher has still not given a specific reason for the decision, telling Polygon in a statement today that “FIFA 14 is being removed from the Vault due to a unique circumstance specific to the title.” When we asked for more information, a representative said they were “unable to disclose additional details at this time.”
It’s possible that the decision to delist FIFA 14 from EA Access is related to the server shutdown for the game, which is also taking place on Oct. 18. After that date, both online play and FIFA Ultimate Team will be unavailable in FIFA 14. EA Access customers will be able to continue playing the game if it’s currently on their Xbox One, but after Oct. 18, subscribers will no longer be able to download it if they haven’t already done so.
FIFA 14, which was released in September 2013, was part of the initial lineup for EA Access (along with Battlefield 4, Madden NFL 25 and Peggle 2) when the program launched in August 2014. The soccer game appears to be the first sports game in the EA Access Vault whose servers will be shut down, which raises a key question for the future of EA Access: Will EA remove online games from the service once it has ended network support for them?
EA said today that its decision to delist FIFA 14 “does not indicate a change in our priorities for the EA Access and Origin Access Vaults, which continues to be on providing a varied selection of great games for our players, with new titles added regularly.” But the removal of FIFA 14 does contradict a promise that Peter Moore, then EA’s chief operating officer, made before the debut of EA Access: He pledged that “once a game goes into the Vault it stays there.”
In its July announcement, the company said, “We’re sad to see any title leave the collection, and rest assured that we’ll do our best to limit removals in the future.” It remains to be seen if the FIFA 14 delisting is an unfortunate one-time backtracking of EA’s stated policy when it comes to the Vault, or if this will continue as EA shuts down the servers for other sports games on EA Access.