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Sunday, June 11, 2017

E3 2017: EA Play Press Conference Recap


News by Lindsay M.

Hello everyone, and welcome to the first of this year's E3 recaps! Today's only show was EA's, which began at 12 p.m. PST on Saturday, June 10 in Los Angeles where the annual conference is held. I don't expect much of the unexpected with this one, likely some FIFA, Madden, Battlefield, and Battlefront. But maybe some awesome IPs? Let's see what happens...

Related reading: Take a look back at EA's press conference from E3 2016.

EA is sticking with the slogan of "Let's play." Since everybody loves a montage, here's a lot of Star Wars, Madden, Battlefield – I didn't see anything terribly exciting in there.


Madden 18: Long Shot



The live show begins with drummers wearing American football jersey... don't know much about football, American or otherwise, but maybe its a Patriots jersey I spy? EA seems to be aiming to make a football game seem like a football movie with a plot, cinematic scenes, etc. The next Madden will be Madden 18: Long Shot.

CEO Andrew Wilson takes the stage. He claims Madden 18 is the "most innovative Madden we've done in over a decade." Wilson then switches gears to EA's functionality, stating, "last year we went out on a limb" when it comes to changing how products launch and get games into the hands of players sooner.


But First...


Eight new experiences are promised, each with new reveals and stories to pull you in. Perhaps I'm old and jaded, but I'm doubting that. Still, let's see what happens!

EA got a lot of positive and "constructive" feedback Battlefront Bringing 30 minutes of Star Wars Battlefront 2... seriously? Don't make me sit through 30 minutes for one game, EA. Please. Please. Yep, that's the planned finale.

Games "connect us like nothing else" and "ignite the fires of competition." "Games ables us to be our most creative selves." Players make each game a unique expression of their passion.


Battlefield 1: In The Name of the Tsar


Andrew Gulotta, Producer at Dice is onstage to talk about the game that somehow has 20 million players worldwide. My boyfriend is one, but I love him regardless. A player feedback video airs, talking about how the shooty-shooty bang-bang community is "passionate" and "makes the game the best it can be." There is another shooty montage with talk about how Battlefield has changed people's lives. How? Nobody had given an explanation I find believable.


Okay, here's at least an upcoming update. Night Maps are coming with Niville Nights and Prise de Tahure. The biggest news, however, is that In The Name Of The Tsar DLC will bring the battle to the frigid east with six new maps, Russian army, new vehicles and weapons, iconic Women's Batallion of Death, and the ability to tailor playstyle. It will be released in September.


FIFA 18


The executive VP of something take the stage – his name flashes way too quickly because why let us give him proper credit? There's a video played about FIFA and Madden players (of the digital variety) experiencing the eSport circuit, and then an awkward cut to soccer/football. This is FIFA 18. Fuelled by the data of Reynaldo, whatever that means (turns out he's a motion capture guy). Players have unique movements, and as always it seems as though EA has tried to push the location graphics as far as they can go.


Here are the Men in Blazers? With this weird jingle? WTH is this? And now there are... OH, literally just Men in Blazers. Apparently they're the hosts of one of the top three football shows, so that's pretty impressive. They're talking about the differing player personalities and referencing specific players. Most importantly, what is next for Alex Hunter??! FIFA 18 The Journey: Hunter Returns.


Need For Speed: Payback


Jesse Wellens, a YouTube Creator, is here to talk about Need For Speed: Payback. Is this guy stoned? Or does he just get jittery? Regardless, I don't think he's the guy. Oh, here's the game's producer – much better! Payback will put the player "behind the wheel of an action fantasy." There are three characters with different play styles. Diverse open world, because everything is open world now right?


The above trailer starts up. Apparently Need For Speed is now Grand Theft Auto, and stealing cars is exactly what you're trying to do. How disappointing


EA Originals / A Way Out


EA Originals is about publishing, PR, and funding. The profits go back to the developers. Several new titles in development, next one being *drumroll please*


From the creator of Brothers and his new studio (Hazelight) comes A Way Out. The trailer is set in a prison, so I'm assuming it's a prison breakout game. There's my confirmation: it's a duo co-op game about breaking out. I trust the developer so let's see how this goes. Josef Fares, creator/writer/director is on the stage praising EA Originals. Fares wanted to play a co-op game with an emotional journey. The game is designed for split-screen co-op. I LOVE IT. I am always seeking new couch co-op games, and having one with depth actually does make me excited. He's pumped, I'm pumped, the audience doesn't seem to care as much as they did for sports. Sigh.

Regardless of the audience, I'm all the way in now. A gameplay trailer is available too. I love the idea of an immersive co-op opportunity, rather than the usual war/rhythm/casual games I seem to get stuck with. One person can have a cut scene going while the other is moving around. Everything you do is unique to that one scene.


SEED: Search for Extraordinary Experiences Division


Patrick Soderlund of EA is back onstage now talking about world-changing technology. I don't know if video games are quite world-changing right now, but let's go with it. There's a new division in EA called Seed (Search for Extraordinary Experiences Division) trying to blur reality and the digital world. Soderlund is praising Project Scorpio and how games look and feel on it. He claims it is a "powerful platform coming at the right time."



Anthem


There is a new IP that claims to push every boundary. Vast, dangerous, beautiful, and unexpected. Just a tease for now though, as more will be revealed at the Microsoft conference tomorrow. This is a new game by BioWare. Anthem. It's set in space.



NBA Live 2018


Sean O'Brien, the executive producer of NBA Live 2018, says the developers spent two years spent overhauling almost every aspect of gameplay. The replay tool looks like fun, although the two men demonstrating are clearly just using it to show off a variety of moves that all look the same to me. There will be a free demo coming this August; it will support solo, co-op, and multiplayer, all of which will carry over to the full game.



Like Madden, NBA Live seems like it's all about injecting individualism into each real-life basketball player. The game promises an "authentic NBA experience," but I'm wondering on an international level how many players truly care about that experience to begin with?


Star Wars Battlefront II...


I've lost track of who is speaking, but he's promising 30 minutes of Battlefront as a finale, but first! He wants to talk about EA Play To Give donating funds to support inclusivity and showing the world the positive force. And to spread the positivity, EA Access is free this week! Yep, totally related... (I bet you can sense my eye roll through the screen.)


No really, Star Wars Battlefront II!


Battlefront time. The screen is being inundated by fan questions. The death march begins. Storm Troppers arrive onstage with one of the actors from Battlefront II. The biggest question? When will fans get a full, offline story experience? A brand new story, with brand new perspectives? With characters new and old alike? Battlefront 2 will bridge the gap between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. The folks at EA "loved" Battlefront but promises that Battlefront 2 will be over three times the size of the first game with regards to amount of content. Couch co-op is back. Multiplayer has more everything: heroes, planets, progression, customization, content from all eras, and more... more.



Dice Stockholm flew in several of Battlefront's best players – "Gamechangers" – to play the game and give their feedback regarding what might need changing. The Gamechangers are also at E3 to showcase Battlefront II's three-stage multiplayer mode. There is now a class system, which effects how you support your team based on the chosen character. Gun replay has been redone. And here is the world premiere of the Star Wars Battlefront 2 multiplayer gameplay. It looks like a shooty-shooty skinned with Storm Troopers, all right. I can totally understand why Star Wars fans would be excited, but for me it's just another game with the same old gameplay fighting the same old good versus bad in space war. Finn and Captain Phasma are confirmed to be part of Battlefront 2 as free content. There will be themed seasons of content post launch, free for all players. Players who preorder get free access to the multiplayer beta this fall.



This first recap of the year has been fun! There were a few remaining tidbits afterwards, such as a trailer for Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes, but nothing really worth paying attention to.

I'll be back here tomorrow with the recap of the Microsoft conference, so keep your eyes peeled. In the meantime, use the comments to let us know what you're most excited for from the EA show!

- Lindsay M.
News Editor


E3 2017: EA Play Press Conference Recap
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