Let’s get semantics out of the way, technically EA is not part of E3. However as successful as EA has been it isn’t hard to imagine them as that one friend who always needs a couch to sleep on, even whilst wearing their really expensive sneakers. Riding off the wave of hype that E3 creates, EA instead chooses to host EA Play, the day before, down the street…because EA is just that guy.
Regardless of it not being part of the E3 extravaganza, it still comes from one of the big names in games publishing. This means that it comes with huge levels of hype, and if it’s anything like last year, a fair share of cringe. So the big question is what can we expect from Electronic Arts this year, and what do we wish upon wish to see.
What we can expect
While EA is certainly known for it’s menagerie of sports titles, it has become a name known for it’s connection to fantasy and sci fi thanks in large parts to a little developer known as Bioware, maybe you’ve heard of them. After dominating with the Dragon Age and Mass Effect titles the team has taken a slight lately after Dragon Age: Inquisition and Mass Effect Andromeda lefts fans a little dry in the mouth. Enter Anthem, sci fi with a pinch of fantasy. This online experience has been the Bioware team’s primary focus for some time now and the clock is ticking for it to win back some jaded fans.
One of the big ticket items that EA can always rely on is the Battlefield franchise. Battlefield V developer DICE has recently ruffled feathers by taking a hard stance against sexist backlash to the use of female characters. While the game was revealed in a live stream only a few weeks back you can be certain we’ll get further details. Worse you can guarantee we’ll be forced to watch an hour of semi recognisable streamers enjoying the game while the viewer numbers dwindle drastically. If we close our eyes and wish really hard maybe we’ll get another stilted proposal and every Marine shouting “Oorah” in response. God EA Play 2017 was wild.
Speaking of moments that made me want to crawl out of my skin during EA Play 2017. I hope you like sports celebrities talking about Sports Games cause boy do EA love it. There will be the usual line up of Madden 19, FIFA 19, NHL 19 and NBA Live 19. To be fair EA have really mastered this corner in gaming, yes each of these titles has competition but people know these names and they have the money to spend on their likeness. On top of that the addition of a story mode to add a little more depth went over really well with fans. So get ready for sports ball friends, and get ready to hear A LOT of buzz words about them—like you weren’t already going to buy these.
These are the big ticket items we can put money on, hopefully unlike last year EA will be presenting the majority of Anthem after it let Xbox take the lead on the reveal. With the major Battlefield V reveal out of the way, Anthem surely has to be the show stopper for 2018.
What we’re hoping for
This will be the third year that Electronic Arts head down to the The Palladium for their big show. The last two years EA has done something that we continue to be shocked about from a big publisher like them, support indie development. In 2016 we were introduced to Fe and just last year they wowed the audiences with A Way Out. Even when they were part of E3, EA showcased Unravel.
Fans have been pleasantly surprised as this publishing giant has given the stage to these smaller developers and it has worked in their favour. Hopefully what this means is that maybe instead of a single indie getting a chance to shine we can at least get a handful of titles from different developers with different artistic directions.
One of the biggest titles Electronic Arts got it’s hands on five years ago was the exclusive rights to Star Wars video games. After Disney gave EA a smack across the knuckles over the loot box fiasco last year, this would be the perfect opportunity to unveil something to win the fans back. One of the things that fans have been asking for is a game with a strong single player narrative, while it may not be the most “game as a service” direction it would certainly win face, and EA could always do with winning over more people.
The Sims 4 is now 4 years old, a few years ago Maxis revealed that The Sims 5 was being worked on and that they were aiming for a 2019 release. Big news folks 2019 is only six months away—don’t boo me, I’m right. With this in mind is it time to brush up on our Simlish for a big reveal? What new additions could we see in the next instalment that lets us all imagine owning a two story home with a pool in today’s housing climate. I for one want to be able to build my house in the inner city rather then an idealistic middle American town like it’s the backdrop of the latest season of Gilmore Girls.
Regardless we won’t have to wait long to hear what EA has in store for us. EA has had a rocky relationship with the gaming community and acted as the straw that broke the camel’s backs when it came to loot boxes in today’s market that saw them proudly announce that their next Battlefield entry was loot box free. EA is not in a dire situation but they certainly could use a win.
You’ll be able to watch EA Play 2018 Live on the EA Youtube channel at 4:00 AM AEST on Sunday the 10th of June. Be sure to keep your eyes on Checkpoint as we’ll be keeping you up to date with everything E3.