Electronic Arts were up first starting off the four-day E3 extravaganza. Unfortunately, it didn’t set the bar very high to stand up against. Given the rather harsh abuse EA has received over the past year, I can understand why they would play it safe. The biggest give away to their “don’t hurt me” showcase was the emphasis on no loot boxes for Battlefield V. You could easily imagine EA running for cover as they announced to cheers from the crowd. However, I personally see no reason to cheer. I only see a very weak showing from EA since no loot boxes are one of the major highlights. You can see their scrambling to be liked again when they announced Battlefield was going to have a Battle Royale mode. In my opinion, this inclusion of what is currently trendy speaks of desperation and a clear ignorance to understanding what EA’s fans want. A company who can’t even understand what their players want is doomed to fail over and over again.
Next, you had their cloud streaming service, Origin, on the agenda and it looks somewhat promising. The service does look to be reasonable and gives you access to a ton of games, but my biggest concern is ownership. I like having ownership over the things that I buy. A cloud service, while convenient, takes away the power of having a physical copy. I’m not completely against a cloud service, but I fear that EA is going to push this to the point of getting rid of physical copies of games and only have Origin. We’ll just have to see where they plan to take this service and hope it doesn’t become the only way to play EA games.
What EA showcase would it be without Star Wars news? We got plenty of it and it seems EA is trying to make up for their mistakes by doing an overhaul of Battlefield II’s progression system, adding a squad system, star fighting, adding clone wars content (with four new heroes/villains), and game modes. The biggest news was the announcement of a new Star Wars game called Jedi Fallen Order. The only things we know is that you will be playing a Jedi, and it’s set during the dark times(between Episode 3 and 4) when the Jedi are being hunted. I am hopeful to play a new modern Star Wars story and see more of the vast Star Wars lore we haven’t seen.
The two games I am actually really interested in that EA showcased are Unravel 2 and Sea of Solitude. Unravel 2 looks like a great co-op game. It’s a game you can sit down with a significant other (one that may not even play a lot of games) and have fun. I am always down to pick up a game that I can be able to do what I love and share that with experience with another person. Sea of Solitude is something I am very much interested in playing. I love the idea of exploring human emotions and how that affects a person on a deeper level through an interactive story. It’s an ambitious and unique game that I look forward to experiencing and will definitely pick up.
Overall I think EA had a sub-par showing this year. They played it safe after a very rough year and kept the announcements to a minimum. I do feel that even though they acted with caution they are trying to patch up their past wounds and move forward. I hope they have learned from their past mistakes. The biggest challenge ahead is for them to find their own unique voice again instead of just echoing what is popular within the industry.