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Found 113 results

  1. Electronic Arts has announced that they are in the process of acquiring Respawn Entertainment in exchange for $315 million in cash and stock, with a bonus of $140 million if Respawn meets certain conditions. To be more specific, Respawn agreed to a buyout of $151 million in cash, $164 million in long-term stock grants, and the incentive targets that could bring in an additional $140 million. That's almost half a billion dollars for an independent studio helmed by one of the creators of Call of Duty. This deal means that Titanfall would join the roster of EA tentpoles alongside the likes of Battlefield and the burgeoning Battlefront franchise. Also, since EA has been granted the rights to develop Star Wars titles by Disney, EA revealed that Respawn would be working on an original game set within the Star Wars universe - but beyond that, no details have been revealed as to what that game might contain. While the acquisition of Respawn might come as a bit of a shock to some, the deal merely solidifies the working relationship EA and Respawn had for the past several years. Talking with VentureBeat, Respawn cofounder and CEO Vince Zampella said, "[Respawn and EA] have worked together a long time from the inception of the studio. [An acquisition] has come up from time to time. The question was, where we are in the industry, how do we take the next step in making bigger, better games. We see the need for bigger resources to make bigger games.” In an effort to confirm Zampella's statement and allay fears about Respawn's future given the recent closure of EA's Visceral Games, EA executive vice president Patrick Soderlund offered this statement, "We want to have the best games. We have a good relationship. The creative freedom is still here: DICE, BioWare, our studios have creative freedom and creative integrity. That’s what gets those studios to make great games.” There has been some speculation that EA has been angled toward this studio purchase for quite some time. Titanfall sold relatively well, but Titanfall 2 underperformed despite receiving critical acclaim. One of the deciding factors in sales that many have pointed to was that EA, Titanfall 2's publisher, chose to release Titanfall 2 one week after the release of their other, heavily marketed title, Battlefield 1. That could certainly have put Respawn in a tough place, making it easier to bring the company into the fold. That tactic wouldn't be out of the question. Obtaining the creative powers of a studio led by devs who helped to create the most successful FPS shooter franchise of all time was a big win for Electronic Arts. Respawn was founded by Jason West and Vince Zampella after the duo were fired from Activision. Activision alleged that the two were planning to leave the company to create a new studio at EA. The ensuing lawsuit actually brought Activision and EA into a legal clash that resulted in a settlement for all parties in 2012. EA has since published all of Respawn's titles, with the exception of a Titanfall mobile game published by Nexon. Despite the bumps that come along with a studio changing hands and leadership, Respawn continues to work on a variety of projects. They are working on the next entry in the Titanfall series, their Star Wars title, and an untitled Oculus Rift VR game. Zampella encouraged Respawn fans not to worry too much about this shake up, saying, “For fans, my message is we are still Respawn and we are going to make things better. It doesn’t change the future of Titanfall. Only positives come from it, like more resources.” The deal should be finalized before the end of the year.
  2. Electronic Arts has announced that they are in the process of acquiring Respawn Entertainment in exchange for $315 million in cash and stock, with a bonus of $140 million if Respawn meets certain conditions. To be more specific, Respawn agreed to a buyout of $151 million in cash, $164 million in long-term stock grants, and the incentive targets that could bring in an additional $140 million. That's almost half a billion dollars for an independent studio helmed by one of the creators of Call of Duty. This deal means that Titanfall would join the roster of EA tentpoles alongside the likes of Battlefield and the burgeoning Battlefront franchise. Also, since EA has been granted the rights to develop Star Wars titles by Disney, EA revealed that Respawn would be working on an original game set within the Star Wars universe - but beyond that, no details have been revealed as to what that game might contain. While the acquisition of Respawn might come as a bit of a shock to some, the deal merely solidifies the working relationship EA and Respawn had for the past several years. Talking with VentureBeat, Respawn cofounder and CEO Vince Zampella said, "[Respawn and EA] have worked together a long time from the inception of the studio. [An acquisition] has come up from time to time. The question was, where we are in the industry, how do we take the next step in making bigger, better games. We see the need for bigger resources to make bigger games.” In an effort to confirm Zampella's statement and allay fears about Respawn's future given the recent closure of EA's Visceral Games, EA executive vice president Patrick Soderlund offered this statement, "We want to have the best games. We have a good relationship. The creative freedom is still here: DICE, BioWare, our studios have creative freedom and creative integrity. That’s what gets those studios to make great games.” There has been some speculation that EA has been angled toward this studio purchase for quite some time. Titanfall sold relatively well, but Titanfall 2 underperformed despite receiving critical acclaim. One of the deciding factors in sales that many have pointed to was that EA, Titanfall 2's publisher, chose to release Titanfall 2 one week after the release of their other, heavily marketed title, Battlefield 1. That could certainly have put Respawn in a tough place, making it easier to bring the company into the fold. That tactic wouldn't be out of the question. Obtaining the creative powers of a studio led by devs who helped to create the most successful FPS shooter franchise of all time was a big win for Electronic Arts. Respawn was founded by Jason West and Vince Zampella after the duo were fired from Activision. Activision alleged that the two were planning to leave the company to create a new studio at EA. The ensuing lawsuit actually brought Activision and EA into a legal clash that resulted in a settlement for all parties in 2012. EA has since published all of Respawn's titles, with the exception of a Titanfall mobile game published by Nexon. Despite the bumps that come along with a studio changing hands and leadership, Respawn continues to work on a variety of projects. They are working on the next entry in the Titanfall series, their Star Wars title, and an untitled Oculus Rift VR game. Zampella encouraged Respawn fans not to worry too much about this shake up, saying, “For fans, my message is we are still Respawn and we are going to make things better. It doesn’t change the future of Titanfall. Only positives come from it, like more resources.” The deal should be finalized before the end of the year. View full article
  3. Electronic Arts has hinted that they are looking for a way to transition away from yearly releases like Madden and FIFA to a single title that can receive updates and would operate as a subscription service. Andrew Wilson, EA's CEO, made an appearance on Bloomberg TV to talk about the angle that EA hopes to pursue in the near future. "There’s a world where it gets easier and easier to move that code around -- where we may not have to do an annual release,” Wilson said, “We can really think about those games as a 365-day, live service. [...] The greatest disruptor to the consumption of entertainment media in the last five years has been the combination of streaming plus subscription. It’s changed the way we watch television. It’s changed the way we listen to music. It’s changed the way I read books.” This proposed vision of EA's potential future in the games-as-service model of business falls in line with their overall business decisions in recent years. EA Access has been going strong for the past three years, allowing subscribers access to a library of EA games for $5 per month. Recent titles like Star Wars Battlefront have emphasized ongoing support and microtransactions as a way of continuing to pull in money beyond an individual title's initial release. It even falls in line with the general trend of game purchases slowly moving over from physical to digital. Perhaps the proof of concept in this idea can be found in the mobile Madden game that EA released three years ago. No new version of the game has reached mobile as of yet, but that hasn't affected its longevity. In fact, the user base for mobile Madden has only grown with the game itself receiving regular updates. Wilson seems to recognize that the mobile model doesn't directly translate to console or PC gaming, but the success of the mobile title certainly put EA on the track to try designing a Madden or a FIFA for the streaming age. In the not too distant future, we may simply have one game of each franchise that receives updates and requires an EA Access or possibly a completely separate subscription. What do you think? Would that be a positive move for the sports titans that dominate the industry? Let us know in the comments!
  4. Electronic Arts has hinted that they are looking for a way to transition away from yearly releases like Madden and FIFA to a single title that can receive updates and would operate as a subscription service. Andrew Wilson, EA's CEO, made an appearance on Bloomberg TV to talk about the angle that EA hopes to pursue in the near future. "There’s a world where it gets easier and easier to move that code around -- where we may not have to do an annual release,” Wilson said, “We can really think about those games as a 365-day, live service. [...] The greatest disruptor to the consumption of entertainment media in the last five years has been the combination of streaming plus subscription. It’s changed the way we watch television. It’s changed the way we listen to music. It’s changed the way I read books.” This proposed vision of EA's potential future in the games-as-service model of business falls in line with their overall business decisions in recent years. EA Access has been going strong for the past three years, allowing subscribers access to a library of EA games for $5 per month. Recent titles like Star Wars Battlefront have emphasized ongoing support and microtransactions as a way of continuing to pull in money beyond an individual title's initial release. It even falls in line with the general trend of game purchases slowly moving over from physical to digital. Perhaps the proof of concept in this idea can be found in the mobile Madden game that EA released three years ago. No new version of the game has reached mobile as of yet, but that hasn't affected its longevity. In fact, the user base for mobile Madden has only grown with the game itself receiving regular updates. Wilson seems to recognize that the mobile model doesn't directly translate to console or PC gaming, but the success of the mobile title certainly put EA on the track to try designing a Madden or a FIFA for the streaming age. In the not too distant future, we may simply have one game of each franchise that receives updates and requires an EA Access or possibly a completely separate subscription. What do you think? Would that be a positive move for the sports titans that dominate the industry? Let us know in the comments! View full article
  5. EA Shuts Down Creators of Dead Space

    Earlier today, EA sent out an update regarding the development of the unnamed Star Wars title. The title, codenamed Ragtag, has long been rumored to have internal development troubles, and the announcement all but confirms those rumors. Patrick Söderlund, EA Worldwide's executive vice president, penned the public message that attempted to clarify the company's decision to close Visceral Games, one of their most well-known subsidiary studios: Our Visceral studio has been developing an action-adventure title set in the Star Wars universe. In its current form, it was shaping up to be a story-based, linear adventure game. Throughout the development process, we have been testing the game concept with players, listening to the feedback about what and how they want to play, and closely tracking fundamental shifts in the marketplace. It has become clear that to deliver an experience that players will want to come back to and enjoy for a long time to come, we needed to pivot the design. We will maintain the stunning visuals, authenticity in the Star Wars universe, and focus on bringing a Star Wars story to life. Importantly, we are shifting the game to be a broader experience that allows for more variety and player agency, leaning into the capabilities of our Frostbite engine and reimagining central elements of the game to give players a Star Wars adventure of greater depth and breadth to explore. This move leads to a few other changes: A development team from across EA Worldwide Studios will take over development of this game, led by a team from EA Vancouver that has already been working on the project. Our Visceral studio will be ramping down and closing, and we’re in the midst of shifting as many of the team as possible to other projects and teams at EA. Lastly, while we had originally expected this game to launch late in our fiscal year 2019, we’re now looking at a new timeframe that we will announce in the future. This move seems to be coming from EA in an attempt to move the game away from being a linear, story-focused experience and toward a more long-term investment. Essentially, this is EA stepping in to make sure that project Ragtag can continue generating money post-launch, probably through microtransactions and/or DLC, both of which have become core parts of their business strategy in recent years. I suspect that it will also be shifting focus of the title from a linear, single-player story toward a multiplayer competitive title that can be milked for money via DLC and microtransactions for years after release. Kotaku was able to get some further clarification on Visceral's closure. Söderlund responded to their questions by saying that the EA Vancouver team that was already attached to the project would take the lead along with a team taken from across EA Worldwide Studios. EA executive producer Steve Anthony will lead the entire effort and much of the work done by Visceral will be used in the final game such as assets that have already been built. Amy Hennig, known for her work directing Uncharted 1-4, had been helming Visceral's Ragtag project. Her fate seems to be uncertain, although an EA spokesperson stated that, "We are in discussions with Amy about her next move." EA has said that they are trying to move as many devs as possible to other parts of EA, but many will be finding themselves without a job. Other studios across the industry, such as God of War developer Sony Santa Monica and 2K Games, have expressed their sympathy for the people affected and opened their doors to applicants who might not make it through the dissolution of Visceral.
  6. Earlier today, EA sent out an update regarding the development of the unnamed Star Wars title. The title, codenamed Ragtag, has long been rumored to have internal development troubles, and the announcement all but confirms those rumors. Patrick Söderlund, EA Worldwide's executive vice president, penned the public message that attempted to clarify the company's decision to close Visceral Games, one of their most well-known subsidiary studios: Our Visceral studio has been developing an action-adventure title set in the Star Wars universe. In its current form, it was shaping up to be a story-based, linear adventure game. Throughout the development process, we have been testing the game concept with players, listening to the feedback about what and how they want to play, and closely tracking fundamental shifts in the marketplace. It has become clear that to deliver an experience that players will want to come back to and enjoy for a long time to come, we needed to pivot the design. We will maintain the stunning visuals, authenticity in the Star Wars universe, and focus on bringing a Star Wars story to life. Importantly, we are shifting the game to be a broader experience that allows for more variety and player agency, leaning into the capabilities of our Frostbite engine and reimagining central elements of the game to give players a Star Wars adventure of greater depth and breadth to explore. This move leads to a few other changes: A development team from across EA Worldwide Studios will take over development of this game, led by a team from EA Vancouver that has already been working on the project. Our Visceral studio will be ramping down and closing, and we’re in the midst of shifting as many of the team as possible to other projects and teams at EA. Lastly, while we had originally expected this game to launch late in our fiscal year 2019, we’re now looking at a new timeframe that we will announce in the future. This move seems to be coming from EA in an attempt to move the game away from being a linear, story-focused experience and toward a more long-term investment. Essentially, this is EA stepping in to make sure that project Ragtag can continue generating money post-launch, probably through microtransactions and/or DLC, both of which have become core parts of their business strategy in recent years. I suspect that it will also be shifting focus of the title from a linear, single-player story toward a multiplayer competitive title that can be milked for money via DLC and microtransactions for years after release. Kotaku was able to get some further clarification on Visceral's closure. Söderlund responded to their questions by saying that the EA Vancouver team that was already attached to the project would take the lead along with a team taken from across EA Worldwide Studios. EA executive producer Steve Anthony will lead the entire effort and much of the work done by Visceral will be used in the final game such as assets that have already been built. Amy Hennig, known for her work directing Uncharted 1-4, had been helming Visceral's Ragtag project. Her fate seems to be uncertain, although an EA spokesperson stated that, "We are in discussions with Amy about her next move." EA has said that they are trying to move as many devs as possible to other parts of EA, but many will be finding themselves without a job. Other studios across the industry, such as God of War developer Sony Santa Monica and 2K Games, have expressed their sympathy for the people affected and opened their doors to applicants who might not make it through the dissolution of Visceral. View full article
  7. EA has once again opened up the Vaults of EA and Origin Access, subscription services that gives members access to "free" games from the publisher's portfolio, among other perks. Headlining the pack of newcomers is Mass Effect Andromeda, which launched earlier this year to a polarizing reception. Members will also be able to play EA's biggest holiday titles ahead of launch, including Star Wars Battlefront II. Beginning this month until December, the following titles will be added to the Vault. Mass Effect Andromeda Dead Space 3 The Sims 4 (Play First Trial) Star Wars Battlefront II (Play First Trial) Need For Speed Payback (Play First Trial) If you're an EA Access member, what do you think of the new additions? For non-members, is this line-up enough to convince you to give the service a shot.
  8. EA has once again opened up the Vaults of EA and Origin Access, subscription services that gives members access to "free" games from the publisher's portfolio, among other perks. Headlining the pack of newcomers is Mass Effect Andromeda, which launched earlier this year to a polarizing reception. Members will also be able to play EA's biggest holiday titles ahead of launch, including Star Wars Battlefront II. Beginning this month until December, the following titles will be added to the Vault. Mass Effect Andromeda Dead Space 3 The Sims 4 (Play First Trial) Star Wars Battlefront II (Play First Trial) Need For Speed Payback (Play First Trial) If you're an EA Access member, what do you think of the new additions? For non-members, is this line-up enough to convince you to give the service a shot. View full article
  9. EA announced that Fe, one of the upcoming indie titles from their EA Originals program, would be launching early next year. Fe tells the story of a small animal that awakens in a forest full of sounds and music. Over the course of the game, players learn to communicate with the world around them and learn to interpret the wordless story as they encounter friends and foes on their journeys. Fe has been developed by Zoink Games, the Swedish studio behind indie titles like Stick it to the Man and Flipping Death. Klaus Lyngeled, the CEO and creative lead at Zoink released a statement alongside the release window saying, “We wanted to create a game that gives the feeling of exploring something special. We would spend hours in the woods as kids, and while it felt scary at first, eventually the strange sounds became familiar -- you become part of nature and the forest feels like home. Players will realize similar feelings as they play through Fe. Wherever and however the game is played, we ensure it will be a unique experience of discovery, unlike anything played before.” “Through Fe, Zoink has reminded us that everything is connected. They have created a game where the magic and beauty of nature, and all its creatures, come alive,” said Patrick Soderlund, the EVP at EA Worldwide Studios. “This game and this studio embody the spirit of the EA Originals program that we started a little over a year ago – the freedom to create, and to bring uniquely innovative and memorable games to players all over the world." Fe will release worldwide in early 2018 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, and Nintendo Switch.
  10. EA announced that Fe, one of the upcoming indie titles from their EA Originals program, would be launching early next year. Fe tells the story of a small animal that awakens in a forest full of sounds and music. Over the course of the game, players learn to communicate with the world around them and learn to interpret the wordless story as they encounter friends and foes on their journeys. Fe has been developed by Zoink Games, the Swedish studio behind indie titles like Stick it to the Man and Flipping Death. Klaus Lyngeled, the CEO and creative lead at Zoink released a statement alongside the release window saying, “We wanted to create a game that gives the feeling of exploring something special. We would spend hours in the woods as kids, and while it felt scary at first, eventually the strange sounds became familiar -- you become part of nature and the forest feels like home. Players will realize similar feelings as they play through Fe. Wherever and however the game is played, we ensure it will be a unique experience of discovery, unlike anything played before.” “Through Fe, Zoink has reminded us that everything is connected. They have created a game where the magic and beauty of nature, and all its creatures, come alive,” said Patrick Soderlund, the EVP at EA Worldwide Studios. “This game and this studio embody the spirit of the EA Originals program that we started a little over a year ago – the freedom to create, and to bring uniquely innovative and memorable games to players all over the world." Fe will release worldwide in early 2018 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, and Nintendo Switch. View full article
  11. BioWare has created some of the most beloved moments in gaming history. The Mass Effect series stands as one of the greatest gaming trilogies of all time. However, many people point toward the conclusion of Mass Effect 3 as something that undid all of the goodwill the series had fostered up until that point. For all of their talent, BioWare also created one of the single most divisive and negatively received moments in gaming history. In Part One of our Mass Effect 3 discussion, we talked about the larger game leading up to the final minutes that threw the Mass Effect fan base into chaos. Part Two covers the ending and touches on some aspects of the DLC. Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Myst III: Exile 'American Wheels of Wonder' by Mazedude (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR01749) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is (sometimes) available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday View full article
  12. BioWare has created some of the most beloved moments in gaming history. The Mass Effect series stands as one of the greatest gaming trilogies of all time. However, many people point toward the conclusion of Mass Effect 3 as something that undid all of the goodwill the series had fostered up until that point. For all of their talent, BioWare also created one of the single most divisive and negatively received moments in gaming history. In Part One of our Mass Effect 3 discussion, we talked about the larger game leading up to the final minutes that threw the Mass Effect fan base into chaos. Part Two covers the ending and touches on some aspects of the DLC. Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Myst III: Exile 'American Wheels of Wonder' by Mazedude (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR01749) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is (sometimes) available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday
  13. This week our topic was a bit tricky - Mass Effect 3 released to critical praise in 2012 but also made a name for itself by being at the epicenter of one of the biggest fan backlashes in gaming history. In order to properly talk about the conclusion of the Mass Effect trilogy, we made the decision to split the podcast into two parts. In part one, we discuss everything but the DLCs and the ending. Next week we will return with another full episode dedicated to discussing the ending of Mass Effect 3 and the apocalyptic public response that it received. Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Mass Effect 'Nova Siberia' by Big Giant Circles (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR02036) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is (sometimes) available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday
  14. This week our topic was a bit tricky - Mass Effect 3 released to critical praise in 2012 but also made a name for itself by being at the epicenter of one of the biggest fan backlashes in gaming history. In order to properly talk about the conclusion of the Mass Effect trilogy, we made the decision to split the podcast into two parts. In part one, we discuss everything but the DLCs and the ending. Next week we will return with another full episode dedicated to discussing the ending of Mass Effect 3 and the apocalyptic public response that it received. Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Mass Effect 'Nova Siberia' by Big Giant Circles (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR02036) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is (sometimes) available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday View full article
  15. Since launching last fall, Titanfall 2 has been bolstered by a steady stream of content at no cost to its players. The latest freebie DLC pack, The War Games, brings even more goodies, the centerpiece of which is a remastered version of the War Games map from the first Titanfall. War Games takes place in a combat simulation scenario that combines virtual metropolitan elements with those of the real-life Pilot/Titan training center. Players battle across city streets and within towering buildings, using suspended virtual surfaces for wall-running. Other additions include the introduction of a third weapon slot, a slick "shadow boxing" Holo Pilot execution, Titan Brawl as a permanent game mode, and a new Live Fire map dubbed "Traffic." Check out the action-packed trailer below. Titanfall 2 released October 28 of last year. For Titanfall fans, are you looking forward to jetpacking around War Games once again? View full article
  16. Since launching last fall, Titanfall 2 has been bolstered by a steady stream of content at no cost to its players. The latest freebie DLC pack, The War Games, brings even more goodies, the centerpiece of which is a remastered version of the War Games map from the first Titanfall. War Games takes place in a combat simulation scenario that combines virtual metropolitan elements with those of the real-life Pilot/Titan training center. Players battle across city streets and within towering buildings, using suspended virtual surfaces for wall-running. Other additions include the introduction of a third weapon slot, a slick "shadow boxing" Holo Pilot execution, Titan Brawl as a permanent game mode, and a new Live Fire map dubbed "Traffic." Check out the action-packed trailer below. Titanfall 2 released October 28 of last year. For Titanfall fans, are you looking forward to jetpacking around War Games once again?
  17. I can’t say I wasn’t a bit excited to receive my EA Play pass. I’d heard the tickets to last year’s event flew quick, so the moment this year’s event was announced earlier this year, I signed up right away. My golden ticket to EA’s house of digital wonders arrived soon after. My spot at the show was confirmed. Or so I thought. Over a month later, EA emailed an updated version of my ticket. Confused, I inspected my new confirmation and noticed an additional disclaimer: Space is limited. Tickets do not guarantee entry due to capacity. Wait, what? That wasn’t what I was promised in my original confirmation. Why would my ticket not guarantee me a spot? Isn’t that the whole point? I made the effort to register early in order to avoid being bumped. Why was I still in danger of missing out? Subsequent emails would reiterate this caveat and attempt to explain it: Due to Fire Marshall capacity, tickets do not guarantee entry. Fair enough, but if you’re aware of the venue’s capacity, why not just offer the exact number of tickets and cease issuing them once the event has been filled? This message suggests EA was either still is handing out tickets beyond the roughly 2000 person capacity or found out later that they had less room than they originally planned. Neither explanation is all that great. Despite these red flags, I made the trip to EA Play with fingers and toes crossed that I’d make it in regardless. I was met with a rude awakening. My position about 40 mins or so into the wait. I originally started roughly a block behind. Upon reaching the venue, my jaw dropped at the serpentine line coiled around the building like a giant anaconda. I expected a large turnout, but this line seemingly trumped the mammoth Zelda line at E3 2016. It wasn’t a total surprise, though. The tickets were free. From my understanding, you could even sign-up at the event on the day off. Of course a ton of people turned up. Covering EA’s press conference kept me from arriving as early as I wanted, but I still beat the opening time by almost two hours to no avail. Not that it would have mattered anyway. After chatting with several of the folks in line, many of them shared that they had been waiting since around noon, shortly after the time that the morning session entered the event at 11 am. As I made the long trek to the line’s end, I cheered myself up. “I’ll get in”, I thought. I have a semi-valuable ticket! I shot the breeze with my line neighbors and made line friends. We chatted about the games we were looking forward to playing as a half hour turned into 45 minutes, then became an hour. The line moved steadily at first, fueling my confidence that I’d make the cut. After all, EA assured me they would try to get as many of us in there as possible: As a reminder, tickets do not guarantee entry, but every effort will be made to fulfill all ticket holders Then the bad news began raining down. When I was roughly half-way through the line, security personnel began informing us that the event was nearly filled up but that EA was letting new people in as previous attendees trickled out. This surprised me, as I expected EA to simply kick out the morning crowd en masse once their session expired, do a quick reset, then let in the afternoon crew. Were there still morning players inside? What if they took forever to get out – or worse, if EA is taking forever to get them out? We started to get nervous. This is the most I got to witness of life on the inside. Despite visiting EA Play for the sole purpose of covering it for work purposes, I was unable to secure a press pass prior. With nothing to lose and tired of the wait, I decided to try flexing my media muscles and head for the entrance to grovel for press entry. Unsurprisingly, I was denied. Understandable, as others outlets secured their spot in advance. I can live with that. Turns out, though, that the gate was filled with other forms of media fighting for entry and having a difficult go of it. One streamer I spoke with claimed to have been denied entry despite being invited by EA directly. To be fair, he had a contact inside he was having trouble reaching and EA wouldn’t let him in unless the contact came out to verify his presence. But he claimed that he was told he only needed to show his credentials to enter beforehand, not have his contact physically meet him at the entrance and the EA rep he was dealing with seemed confused. It may have just been me, but the entire vibe I got while hovering around the front gate was one of disorganization. But don’t worry. Even the folks in line will have fun and could walk away with cool branded items. My favorite quote from the confirmation emails. I can’t speak for every person waiting in line, but the people in my general radius definitely weren’t having the time of their lives. Nothing happened outside to entertain the line that I saw, outside of various independent gaming news outlets filming and interviewing crowds. However, at one point a backdoor to the event opened and I spied one of the Patriots drummers from the presentation hunched over eating a sandwich. I chalked that moment up as “fun” for me. Others weren’t so amused. Many I spoke to registered far in advance as I had and felt that, despite the disclaimer, should have had priority over those who signed up later. The initial atmosphere of enthusiastic optimism soon soured into disappointment, annoyance, and confusion. That last sentiment is especially true, as we were repeatedly told by EA that we probably weren't getting in but the line was still moving, albeit slowly. Those waiting were faced with a dilemma: should they walk away after investing so much time waiting or hold out since the event wasn’t officially closed off. It was only 5 pm around this time, so there were still a few hours to wait in hopes of getting in. As long as it was still open (and you had nothing better to do), why not stick around? The final blow came when EA’s swag crew arrived to pass out some “cool” EA-branded back sacks. Once most everyone sported a bright red bag, a rep informed us that the afternoon session was completely booked and no one else would be able to get in for the rest of the day. When I asked him to clarify if “done” truly meant done, he admitted that they were still funneling people in as others left but that the chances of me getting in at that point were, in his words, “0%”. Softening the blow, one sack at a time. The problem with that answer was that he left a sliver of hope. Was the event closed or not? Instead of just saying it was over outright, the rep implied it was still possible to get in, just highly unlikely. Unfortunately for EA, people caught onto this and were willing to wait as long as the answer wasn’t a final, definite “no”, even if it was probably meant it to be. And they seemed to, as the longer people stuck around, the more frequent the “come back tomorrows” got. One particular rep told us to return the next day in a snappy tone that rubbed everyone around me the wrong way. I felt like the hounds would be unleashed upon us before long. After waiting around for another 15 minutes, I tapped out. Although the event remains open for the next couple of days, I won’t be available to make them. The same could be true for others whose schedule only allowed them to attend Saturday’s session and are now out of luck until next year. And if you do try your luck on the other days, who’s to say you’ll get into those unless you’re willing to wait hours in advance? EA’s questionable approach to accommodating guests for its Play event needs some reworking, chiefly in determining the number of people they can handle in advance and immediately closing it off to anyone else once they’ve hit that number. Proceeding as they have, they left a lot of people - many of them EA’s most rabid fans - out in the cold and feeling more disgruntled about the publisher than excited. View full article
  18. I'm Not Mad AT EA Play. I'm Just Disappointed

    I can’t say I wasn’t a bit excited to receive my EA Play pass. I’d heard the tickets to last year’s event flew quick, so the moment this year’s event was announced earlier this year, I signed up right away. My golden ticket to EA’s house of digital wonders arrived soon after. My spot at the show was confirmed. Or so I thought. Over a month later, EA emailed an updated version of my ticket. Confused, I inspected my new confirmation and noticed an additional disclaimer: Space is limited. Tickets do not guarantee entry due to capacity. Wait, what? That wasn’t what I was promised in my original confirmation. Why would my ticket not guarantee me a spot? Isn’t that the whole point? I made the effort to register early in order to avoid being bumped. Why was I still in danger of missing out? Subsequent emails would reiterate this caveat and attempt to explain it: Due to Fire Marshall capacity, tickets do not guarantee entry. Fair enough, but if you’re aware of the venue’s capacity, why not just offer the exact number of tickets and cease issuing them once the event has been filled? This message suggests EA was either still is handing out tickets beyond the roughly 2000 person capacity or found out later that they had less room than they originally planned. Neither explanation is all that great. Despite these red flags, I made the trip to EA Play with fingers and toes crossed that I’d make it in regardless. I was met with a rude awakening. My position about 40 mins or so into the wait. I originally started roughly a block behind. Upon reaching the venue, my jaw dropped at the serpentine line coiled around the building like a giant anaconda. I expected a large turnout, but this line seemingly trumped the mammoth Zelda line at E3 2016. It wasn’t a total surprise, though. The tickets were free. From my understanding, you could even sign-up at the event on the day off. Of course a ton of people turned up. Covering EA’s press conference kept me from arriving as early as I wanted, but I still beat the opening time by almost two hours to no avail. Not that it would have mattered anyway. After chatting with several of the folks in line, many of them shared that they had been waiting since around noon, shortly after the time that the morning session entered the event at 11 am. As I made the long trek to the line’s end, I cheered myself up. “I’ll get in”, I thought. I have a semi-valuable ticket! I shot the breeze with my line neighbors and made line friends. We chatted about the games we were looking forward to playing as a half hour turned into 45 minutes, then became an hour. The line moved steadily at first, fueling my confidence that I’d make the cut. After all, EA assured me they would try to get as many of us in there as possible: As a reminder, tickets do not guarantee entry, but every effort will be made to fulfill all ticket holders Then the bad news began raining down. When I was roughly half-way through the line, security personnel began informing us that the event was nearly filled up but that EA was letting new people in as previous attendees trickled out. This surprised me, as I expected EA to simply kick out the morning crowd en masse once their session expired, do a quick reset, then let in the afternoon crew. Were there still morning players inside? What if they took forever to get out – or worse, if EA is taking forever to get them out? We started to get nervous. This is the most I got to witness of life on the inside. Despite visiting EA Play for the sole purpose of covering it for work purposes, I was unable to secure a press pass prior. With nothing to lose and tired of the wait, I decided to try flexing my media muscles and head for the entrance to grovel for press entry. Unsurprisingly, I was denied. Understandable, as others outlets secured their spot in advance. I can live with that. Turns out, though, that the gate was filled with other forms of media fighting for entry and having a difficult go of it. One streamer I spoke with claimed to have been denied entry despite being invited by EA directly. To be fair, he had a contact inside he was having trouble reaching and EA wouldn’t let him in unless the contact came out to verify his presence. But he claimed that he was told he only needed to show his credentials to enter beforehand, not have his contact physically meet him at the entrance and the EA rep he was dealing with seemed confused. It may have just been me, but the entire vibe I got while hovering around the front gate was one of disorganization. But don’t worry. Even the folks in line will have fun and could walk away with cool branded items. My favorite quote from the confirmation emails. I can’t speak for every person waiting in line, but the people in my general radius definitely weren’t having the time of their lives. Nothing happened outside to entertain the line that I saw, outside of various independent gaming news outlets filming and interviewing crowds. However, at one point a backdoor to the event opened and I spied one of the Patriots drummers from the presentation hunched over eating a sandwich. I chalked that moment up as “fun” for me. Others weren’t so amused. Many I spoke to registered far in advance as I had and felt that, despite the disclaimer, should have had priority over those who signed up later. The initial atmosphere of enthusiastic optimism soon soured into disappointment, annoyance, and confusion. That last sentiment is especially true, as we were repeatedly told by EA that we probably weren't getting in but the line was still moving, albeit slowly. Those waiting were faced with a dilemma: should they walk away after investing so much time waiting or hold out since the event wasn’t officially closed off. It was only 5 pm around this time, so there were still a few hours to wait in hopes of getting in. As long as it was still open (and you had nothing better to do), why not stick around? The final blow came when EA’s swag crew arrived to pass out some “cool” EA-branded back sacks. Once most everyone sported a bright red bag, a rep informed us that the afternoon session was completely booked and no one else would be able to get in for the rest of the day. When I asked him to clarify if “done” truly meant done, he admitted that they were still funneling people in as others left but that the chances of me getting in at that point were, in his words, “0%”. Softening the blow, one sack at a time. The problem with that answer was that he left a sliver of hope. Was the event closed or not? Instead of just saying it was over outright, the rep implied it was still possible to get in, just highly unlikely. Unfortunately for EA, people caught onto this and were willing to wait as long as the answer wasn’t a final, definite “no”, even if it was probably meant it to be. And they seemed to, as the longer people stuck around, the more frequent the “come back tomorrows” got. One particular rep told us to return the next day in a snappy tone that rubbed everyone around me the wrong way. I felt like the hounds would be unleashed upon us before long. After waiting around for another 15 minutes, I tapped out. Although the event remains open for the next couple of days, I won’t be available to make them. The same could be true for others whose schedule only allowed them to attend Saturday’s session and are now out of luck until next year. And if you do try your luck on the other days, who’s to say you’ll get into those unless you’re willing to wait hours in advance? EA’s questionable approach to accommodating guests for its Play event needs some reworking, chiefly in determining the number of people they can handle in advance and immediately closing it off to anyone else once they’ve hit that number. Proceeding as they have, they left a lot of people - many of them EA’s most rabid fans - out in the cold and feeling more disgruntled about the publisher than excited.
  19. Star Wars Battlefront II was undoubtedly EA’s centerpiece attraction this E3, with the company dedicating more than half an hour of their press event to the team shooter juggernaut. After a new trailer that featured never before seen maps, heroes, and vehicles, EA presented a long look at a single multiplayer match. Keep reading for a full rundown of everything we saw. EA’s live demo featured the new “Assault on Theed” map, set on the lush and architecturally luxurious planet of Naboo. The map seems to be taking a lot of inspiration from the final battle of Episode One: The Phantom Menace, where Separatist droids fought with the Naboo army in the streets and palace halls of Naboo’s royal city. Much like the Hoth map in the 2015 Battlefront, the assaulting team (Separatists instead of Emperial this time) must escort a siege tank to the front doors of the Naboo royal palace, tear down its defenses, and shut down enemy activity inside the palace. Players are able to take the form of your standard Star Wars prequel trilogy characters, including variants of battle droids and clone troopers. The live demo showcased players competing for every inch of a sprawling, dense, yet surprisingly spacious lane of activity. When players weren’t fighting building to building on either flank, they were sprinting across the large center roadway along the siege tank’s path. Clone troopers were able to make use of AT-RT “chicken walker” tanks, bite-sized prototypes of the original trilogy’s AT-ST’s. The AT-RTs are capable of sprinting long distances in mere seconds, although it seems their attack capabilities are withdrawn as a result. When they are firing lasers, droids are easily mowed down with ease, though the lackadaisical pace puts clone troopers in a vulnerable spot. Separatist droids have their classic battle tanks at hand, which can shells at a modest pace or lock themselves into siege mode, which provides greater power but zero mobility. Clone troopers won’t have to rely on just AT-RTs to get around though. Higher class troopers can spawn with the same jetpacks seen in 2015’s Battlefront. However, the droids might have air superiority in the skies above Naboo, with their numerous vulture droid starfighters dogfighting clone V-Wings. Players were able to zip around the city at daringly low altitudes, in between large stone arches, though any level of contact is of course instant death. Heroes and villains are sure to get their due as well. After the first stage of the battle is complete, and the palace doors blown to bits by the droid’s siege tank, Darth Maul made his debut by chopping up clones into itty bitty pieces. He’ll have some deadly moves, including a lightsaber toss and spiral lunge that can decimate tightly packed groups of enemies. Rey showed up, too, but her player couldn’t hold a candle to Maul’s malevolence, so it was a bit of wash. Evidently, Rey will be able to make use of her Jedi mind control powers she tapped into in “The Force Awakens” to momentarily stun enemies. The live demo ended with the droids taking the palace throne room, essentially walking all over the clones, and ensuring their victory by numbers. While the Frostbite engine will always impress, and while Naboo is certainly a colorful locale to do battle in, it remains to be seen if Battlefront II will be able to differentiate itself from its predecessor. Make sure to check out the gameplay trailer for a more varied look at where Battlefront II will take players later this year.
  20. Star Wars Battlefront II was undoubtedly EA’s centerpiece attraction this E3, with the company dedicating more than half an hour of their press event to the team shooter juggernaut. After a new trailer that featured never before seen maps, heroes, and vehicles, EA presented a long look at a single multiplayer match. Keep reading for a full rundown of everything we saw. EA’s live demo featured the new “Assault on Theed” map, set on the lush and architecturally luxurious planet of Naboo. The map seems to be taking a lot of inspiration from the final battle of Episode One: The Phantom Menace, where Separatist droids fought with the Naboo army in the streets and palace halls of Naboo’s royal city. Much like the Hoth map in the 2015 Battlefront, the assaulting team (Separatists instead of Emperial this time) must escort a siege tank to the front doors of the Naboo royal palace, tear down its defenses, and shut down enemy activity inside the palace. Players are able to take the form of your standard Star Wars prequel trilogy characters, including variants of battle droids and clone troopers. The live demo showcased players competing for every inch of a sprawling, dense, yet surprisingly spacious lane of activity. When players weren’t fighting building to building on either flank, they were sprinting across the large center roadway along the siege tank’s path. Clone troopers were able to make use of AT-RT “chicken walker” tanks, bite-sized prototypes of the original trilogy’s AT-ST’s. The AT-RTs are capable of sprinting long distances in mere seconds, although it seems their attack capabilities are withdrawn as a result. When they are firing lasers, droids are easily mowed down with ease, though the lackadaisical pace puts clone troopers in a vulnerable spot. Separatist droids have their classic battle tanks at hand, which can shells at a modest pace or lock themselves into siege mode, which provides greater power but zero mobility. Clone troopers won’t have to rely on just AT-RTs to get around though. Higher class troopers can spawn with the same jetpacks seen in 2015’s Battlefront. However, the droids might have air superiority in the skies above Naboo, with their numerous vulture droid starfighters dogfighting clone V-Wings. Players were able to zip around the city at daringly low altitudes, in between large stone arches, though any level of contact is of course instant death. Heroes and villains are sure to get their due as well. After the first stage of the battle is complete, and the palace doors blown to bits by the droid’s siege tank, Darth Maul made his debut by chopping up clones into itty bitty pieces. He’ll have some deadly moves, including a lightsaber toss and spiral lunge that can decimate tightly packed groups of enemies. Rey showed up, too, but her player couldn’t hold a candle to Maul’s malevolence, so it was a bit of wash. Evidently, Rey will be able to make use of her Jedi mind control powers she tapped into in “The Force Awakens” to momentarily stun enemies. The live demo ended with the droids taking the palace throne room, essentially walking all over the clones, and ensuring their victory by numbers. While the Frostbite engine will always impress, and while Naboo is certainly a colorful locale to do battle in, it remains to be seen if Battlefront II will be able to differentiate itself from its predecessor. Make sure to check out the gameplay trailer for a more varied look at where Battlefront II will take players later this year. View full article
  21. Everything at EA's E3 2017 Press Conference

    For a publisher as monolithic as Electronic Arts, it's no surprise that they had a ton of stuff (read: Sports...and not sports!) to digest at their E3 press conference. From basketball slam dunks to Star Wars Battlefronts, here's a rundown of everything we saw from EA. Star Wars Battlefront II Gameplay Trailer Reveal - Check out the new heroes, maps, and vehicles in this appropriately righteous trailer. Mass Effect Developer Teases New Franchise "Anthem" - Get a brief look at Bioware's newest world before the full trailer. Need for Speed Payback Channels Burnout and Fast & the Furious - The new Need for Speed trailer is channeling some serious Burnout influence, and if that doesn't sound exciting, we can't be friends. Battlefield 1 In the Name of the Tsar Expansion Takes it to the Eastern Front -- New maps, vehicles, weapons, and story are coming to Battlefield's Russia-centric add-on. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Developer Reveals 70's Crime Drama A Way Out - Escape prison with a buddy in this co-op adventure game. Madden 18 Taps Award Winning Actor Mahershala Ali - Live the dream of becoming a football legend with the guidance of Luke Cage's Mahershala Ali in "Long Shot" story mode. FIFA 18 is Coming to Switch, Details Announced - You'll be able to take FIFA on the go, complete with a ton of gameplay modes. NBA Live 18 Takes it to the Streets in The One - NBA Live's story mode lets you rise up the ranks from pick-up games to stardom Let us know what you're most excited for at E3, and don't forget to check back with us every day as more E3 news drops!
  22. For a publisher as monolithic as Electronic Arts, it's no surprise that they had a ton of stuff (read: Sports...and not sports!) to digest at their E3 press conference. From basketball slam dunks to Star Wars Battlefronts, here's a rundown of everything we saw from EA. Star Wars Battlefront II Gameplay Trailer Reveal - Check out the new heroes, maps, and vehicles in this appropriately righteous trailer. Mass Effect Developer Teases New Franchise "Anthem" - Get a brief look at Bioware's newest world before the full trailer. Need for Speed Payback Channels Burnout and Fast & the Furious - The new Need for Speed trailer is channeling some serious Burnout influence, and if that doesn't sound exciting, we can't be friends. Battlefield 1 In the Name of the Tsar Expansion Takes it to the Eastern Front -- New maps, vehicles, weapons, and story are coming to Battlefield's Russia-centric add-on. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Developer Reveals 70's Crime Drama A Way Out - Escape prison with a buddy in this co-op adventure game. Madden 18 Taps Award Winning Actor Mahershala Ali - Live the dream of becoming a football legend with the guidance of Luke Cage's Mahershala Ali in "Long Shot" story mode. FIFA 18 is Coming to Switch, Details Announced - You'll be able to take FIFA on the go, complete with a ton of gameplay modes. NBA Live 18 Takes it to the Streets in The One - NBA Live's story mode lets you rise up the ranks from pick-up games to stardom Let us know what you're most excited for at E3, and don't forget to check back with us every day as more E3 news drops! View full article
  23. EA announced details on the Nintendo Switch version of FIFA 18, which is sure to give football fanatics a reason to rejoice outside of home. As expected of the Switch’s unique portability, players can bring FIFA 18 wherever they want by disconnecting it from the home dock. The game reportedly outputs at 1080p when docked and 720p when mobile. Visual performance might take a hit if you prefer to game on the field, but at least it’s nowhere close to the downgrade cross-generation ports of previous sports games entailed. Players can participate in Local Seasons mode across two Switch consoles, in addition to Kick-Off mode, Career, Online Seasons, Tournaments, Women’s International Cup and Skill games. EA also debuted a new gameplay trailer for FIFA 18, although footage largely looks to be from the PlayStation 4 edition of the game, so take any visuals with a grain of salt if you're planning on getting the Switch edition. FIFA 18 is out on September 29 for all major consoles. Where do you plan on hitting the field?
  24. EA announced details on the Nintendo Switch version of FIFA 18, which is sure to give football fanatics a reason to rejoice outside of home. As expected of the Switch’s unique portability, players can bring FIFA 18 wherever they want by disconnecting it from the home dock. The game reportedly outputs at 1080p when docked and 720p when mobile. Visual performance might take a hit if you prefer to game on the field, but at least it’s nowhere close to the downgrade cross-generation ports of previous sports games entailed. Players can participate in Local Seasons mode across two Switch consoles, in addition to Kick-Off mode, Career, Online Seasons, Tournaments, Women’s International Cup and Skill games. EA also debuted a new gameplay trailer for FIFA 18, although footage largely looks to be from the PlayStation 4 edition of the game, so take any visuals with a grain of salt if you're planning on getting the Switch edition. FIFA 18 is out on September 29 for all major consoles. Where do you plan on hitting the field? View full article
  25. NBA Live 18 Takes to the Streets with The One

    NBA Live has had a rough go of it the last several years with a string of disappointing entries. EA hopes to ignite new interest with a new mode called The One. Like the title suggests, players invest in a single B-baller to help him rise through the ranks, both professionally in the NBA and on the new street courts. Street ball allows players and their friends to compete against NBA icons in 5-on-5 pick up games on famous courts around the country such as Venice Beach. The better players perform, the higher your their character’s hype level grows which unlocks new gear and improved skills. The best of the best can eventually enter the Pro-Am tour to continue building their skills and earn the right to challenge basketball’s greatest. Check out the trailer below for a full look at the courtside action. NBA Live 18 takes to the court this August.