It’s the best time of the year: E3!
The fact that I’m not attending makes me sad, but on the other hand, I’m able to enjoy it as a gamer/fan, and it’s truly cool. (Positive thinking 101)
I am not going to speak about how frustrating/counter-productive the leaks are, but well… Part of the game, I guess?
I’ll do multiple write-ups about the conferences and what I liked the most on those I watched. EA is the first!
As most of you know, last year EA pulled out of the Conference Center in L.A and hosts its own event: EA Play. That was a bold, but necessary move. On top of the crazy high costs of being in the Convention Center, EA understood that they needed to be closer to their consumers, so they offered a place for them to gather and try the games. For those who couldn’t attend? Live streaming of activities.
My favorite thing about their conference was when Andrew Wilson announced that EA was making a commitment to inclusive gaming with a donation of 1 million to anti-bullying groups. Our industry needs more of these actions. Bravo EA.
Anthem: For months, the gaming community was talking about a certain Project Dylan, which was confirmed by the IR Reports. This project is the new baby of BioWare (Dragon Age, Mass Effect) and goes by the official name of Anthem. My first thought when seeing the reveal: “Ah, TitanFall/Mass Effect/Destiny are having a baby!”. Of course, that’s not a negative thing! The gameplay was finally shown during the Microsoft conference, and it looks gorgeous. After the problems BioWare went through with ME:A, we can see that they have solved some of the problems with the Frostbite engine and that’s a good news. Let’s see the future reveals and the final quality.
Release date: Fall 2018 (According to IR Reports)
Star Wars Battlefront 2: Awesome. That’s pretty much my only thought. I’m not a “massive/worshipper’ Star Wars fan and I was kind of let down by the first game, but I have to admit that EA took the high road with this one. They have admitted their shortcomings, on stage, and shown that they listened to feedback. They are also dropping the season pass and will give out free DLCs but… there will be microtransactions. Of course, people got angry that the game will have microtransactions to unlock some content faster. Shifting towards this model isn’t surprising at all, seeing how successful and profitable are Rainbow 6, Destiny and other “Games as a Service”.
Release date: November 17, 2017
Battlefield 1: 20 million players. That’s the number EA have reached. With such a massive success and community, EA keeps on delivering content to sustain it. “In the Name of the Tsar” is the upcoming DLC and adds a hefty amount of maps for all the fans.
Release date: September 2017
Need For Speed Payback: the introduction of this was a bit… cringeworthy/weird. EA decided to use an influencer for this game, and the guy messed up slightly (apparently some problems with the prompter screen?). Of course, this introduction/mishap stirred a lot of comments on Twitter, but we could have expected it, even without the accident (no bad pun intended).
Aside from this small mistake, the game looks good. Cool cars, a lot of action, looks beautiful. NFS Payback could easily be an official Fast & Furious game (not that I like those movies, but still).
Release date: November 10, 2017
A Way Out: After Brothers A Tale of Two Sons, Hazelight Studios brings A Way Out to the industry. Josef Fares, the director was super energetic, ecstatic on stage and managed to share his enthusiasm with the crowd. Yes, he stuttered at one point, but who cares? The game seems to be very well received by fans and press so far. It’s a co-op game, allowing multiple scenarios. Let’s see the upcoming months
Release Date: Early 2018
EA Sports: New gameplay for FIFA 18 Master Race Edition (Read: not on Switch/PS3/X360), Alex Hunter is back for FIFA18 (apparently he plays for Chelsea now, goodbye Diego Costa) new mode for MADDEN 18, a new mode for NBA Live 18. It’s interesting and cool to see “The Journey” mode from FIFA17 making its way to FIFA18 and have an equivalent in Madden/NBA Live. I’d love to see data about this mode… :). Oh, and they revealed the Switch version. Also, a lot of esports.
Last but not least, EA revealed an interesting venture they are working on: SEED. “According to Wilson, EA is researching the application of neural networks and machine learning in the way games are developed. A computer can now be fed every Emily Dickinson poem ever written, and then produce a poem close enough in form and tone to convince, as Wilson put it, “a layman like me.” The same is possible with Monet’s painting style, he continued, and EA wants to apply that to start applying that to its franchises within the next five years.”
Some data regarding the conference:
That’s it for EA, next stop: Microsoft!