E3 2018 – EA Press Conference Thoughts

So, the yearly E3 event has started, eh? Let’s see what EA brought to the table this time.

Interestingly they did NOT bring much for Battlefield V, mainly some footage that was a mix of cutscene and gameplay. They did officially announce “Royale” (a Battle Royale mode, how unsurprising), but more on that will only come “later this year”. They describe the game as “their portrayal” of the second World War, which is an interesting choice of words, makes me wonder what they’ll actually do in the single player campaign. They said they’ll show more on that at the Xbox Press Conference, so I’ll be keeping an eye out for that. Given how focused the material so far has been on “diversity” with regards to the characters and how they worded it in this press conference, I would guess that will carry over to the single player campaign as well.

During the press conference, obviously the usual sports titles were shown as well (FIFA, NHL, NBA…), though nothing special and not my field of interest anyway.

EA seems to be working on a streaming service like Playstation Now, but it’s not ready yet. Their Origin Access subscription gets a more costly “Premier” version that gives you additional instant unlimited access to new EA games starting 5 days before they officially release. The planned price has been revealed on the Origin website since then: 14,99 per month or 99,99 per year, compared to the 4,99 per month / 29,99 per year for the basic subscription. Still a decent price for what you get, to be honest, though I wonder how long new games will take to go into the Basic subscription now with this change (previously it didn’t take all that long for some titles, for example Need for Speed Payback, that released in November last year, is included in the basic subscription already).

The Star Wars game that’s in the works by Respawn only gets a short bit where they talk about it, nothing is shown. They do reveal that they target to release in “Holiday 2019” though and that the game is set between Episode 3 and 4, called “Jedi Fallen Order”. Battlefront 2 in contrast got more content revealed, they do seem to be doubling down on that after the loot box controversy, which is a step in the right direction at least, I would say.

The EA Originals are by far the best thing EA has done in recent times and they continued to bring interesting things after the big success of “A Way Out”. Unravel Two was revealed and released right there. Additionally, they announced “Sea of Solitude”, made by a studio from Berlin, also looks very interesting. Though I think the representative on stage was about as nervous as the developer of the first Unravel when it was announced at the E3 in 2015, if not even more.

Pretty much the worst part of the conference was that Command & Conquer mobile game they announced and presented with a yawn-inducing match between 2 competitive players. No matter how epic they tried to make it by having shoutcasters talk over the match, that was entirely too much time on something this boring. I also suspect that the creation of that CG trailer they showed cost more than the actual game…

*skips over Play to Give drivel, a lot of empty words coming from a company with a track record like EA…*

The last part of the conference was of course taken up by Anthem, with cutscenes, some dev talk and a few minutes of gameplay shown. The planned release date is revealed to be February 22nd, 2019. While the game does look good and they try to hype it as much as they can… call me cautious, but I’ll wait and see, not really caught up in the hype. I WOULD like it if the game turns out to be really good, I am really partial to the setting. Running, flying, swimming and fighting on a big alien world with mech suits is definitely my thing. But as some have mentioned in other reaction/summary videos, the gameplay portion did show some issues (quite a bit of placeholder stuff, like fonts and sound effects, not great sound mixing with the voiceovers, janky animations in parts…), so that relatively soon to come release either might not be that set in stone… or it means they’ll cut content to add it in later on (they did stress the “adding content for a long time to come after the release”).

One positive during the conference was that they mentioned “no loot boxes” with Battlefield and Anthem, but to be honest, they really didn’t have any other choice, did they?

So that was the first press conference off E3 this year… I hope the others will be better.

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