The short answer is – no, It Takes Two is not free on EA Play. But let‘s take a deeper look at why this critically acclaimed co-op game isn‘t included with an EA Play subscription.
What is It Takes Two?
Released in March 2021, It Takes Two is a story-driven action-adventure platformer developed by Hazelight Studios and published by Electronic Arts. You play as May and Cody, a couple on the verge of divorce who are magically transformed into dolls. Forced to work together, they embark on a fantastical journey through metaphorical levels that represent the struggles in their crumbling relationship.
With its seamless drop-in/drop-out co-op, It Takes Two quickly became popular as a "friendship ruining" game thanks to its blend of hilarious moments and challenging gameplay. It won Game of the Year at The Game Awards 2021 and has sold over 5 million copies – making it Hazelight‘s most successful release so far.
Why Isn‘t It Takes Two Free with EA Play?
EA Play is EA‘s subscription service that gives you access to a library of EA games, discounts on purchases, and trials of new releases. It costs $4.99 per month or $29.99 per year.
When it launched in 2021, It Takes Two was a brand new AAA release. As such, it was never included for free with an EA Play subscription. Here‘s a quick breakdown:
Newer Games: EA adds games to the Play library 6-12 months after launch. So subscribers have to wait a substantial time before getting access.
10 Hour Trials: Some newer games offer a 10 hour trial through EA Play. But It Takes Two didn‘t even have this.
Discounts: EA Play members get a 10% discount on buying games like It Takes Two. But you still have to pay $35.99 instead of $39.99.
EA Play Pro: This upgraded subscription at $14.99 per month does provide full access to new releases. But It Takes Two was only available for 1 month before being removed again.
So in summary, It Takes Two never joined the standard EA Play library. And the only way subscribers got discounted or temporary access was through the higher Pro tier.
What About Xbox Game Pass?
Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscriptions include access to EA Play. But this doesn‘t change the situation for It Takes Two:
Xbox Game Pass does not give subscribers access to brand new EA releases like It Takes Two. Only the EA Play library.
Discounts on games like It Takes Two are only 10%, the same as a standalone EA Play subscription.
The Ultimate tier upgrades this to a 20% discount, but still requires a separate purchase.
So even with Game Pass, It Takes Two needed to be bought separately at launch. The game wasn‘t freely included or heavily discounted.
How Can You Play It Takes Two for Free?
Despite not being part of EA Play, It Takes Two does offer a Friends Pass so you can play for free under specific conditions:
Co-op Requirement: You need a friend who owns the full game. It Takes Two has no single player option.
Full Experience: Friends Pass gives unlimited access to the complete story mode, not a trial.
Multiplatform: Works across PlayStation, Xbox, and PC. You and your friend can be on different platforms.
The Friends Pass has proven incredibly popular, allowing gamers to experience It Takes Two even if they don‘t want to buy it themselves. But it still requires someone in your circle of friends to own a copy first.
Why Isn‘t a Top Seller Like It Takes Two on EA Play?
It may seem strange that such a highly rated and successful game isn‘t made free on a subscription service like EA Play. There‘s a few business reasons driving this:
Maximize Sales: EA sells far more copies at launch when a game isn‘t free via a subscription.
Delayed Access: EA Play is treated partly as a way to monetize older games that have already peaked in sales.
Upsell Subscriptions: Putting newer games on the higher Pro tier incentivizes upselling subscribers to the more expensive package.
Negotiations: Deals with developers like Hazelight may restrict a game joining EA Play until certain conditions are met.
Ultimately, EA sees more potential revenue in selling It Takes Two directly rather than offering it as part of a subscription. So despite EA Play having over 300 games, the latest hits will stay excluded for some time after launch.
Is EA Play Worth it Without New Games Like It Takes Two?
For many gamers, the lack of major new releases like It Takes Two makes a standard EA Play subscription harder to justify. But it can still be a good value depending on your preferences:
Back Catalog Access: Play a huge library of games from EA franchises like Battlefield, Mass Effect, The Sims, and more.
Discounted Purchases: Save 10-20% when you do want to buy a new release like It Takes Two.
Early Trials: Try out new games for up to 10 hours even if they aren‘t permanently included.
Multiplatform: Enjoy EA Play on Xbox, PlayStation, and PC without paying more.
No Commitment: Cancel anytime if you just want to subscribe 1-2 months per year to catch up on some EA games.
So while It Takes Two remains a full-priced purchase, EA Play gives you plenty of gaming content at a reasonable price. Evaluate if the catalog and discounts are worthwhile for your personal playstyle.
The Verdict: It Takes Two Isn‘t Free with EA Play
While many hoped It Takes Two would join EA Play shortly after launch, the co-op game is still a separate purchase 1.5 years later – even for Xbox Game Pass subscribers. EA holds back new titles to maximize sales revenue, providing just discounts and limited trials to EA Play members. So friends will need to either buy It Takes Two individually or make use of the Friends Pass option to play together for free.
But for the many multiplayer gambits, wacky characters, and heartfelt story moments It Takes Two offers, most gamers agree it‘s worth paying full price. Experiencing one of 2021‘s best games alongside a partner is a truly memorable co-op journey.