E3 is upon us once again, and with it comes direct announcements from some of the biggest gaming companies.

The stage no longer just plays host to only Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony. Companies like EA, Ubisoft, and Bethesda, and the entire PC platform, are all joining in on the fun. This isn’t their first year to the rodeo, though, and EA has a lot to prove.

From a company that has lost gamers trust over the years, Peter O’Reilly came out in January saying that the company wants to “Regain the trust of the PC gamer”. This isn’t such a bad idea, and it looks like the conference held over pretty well.

EA had a lot of announcements to share, two surrounding their major sport franchises, FIFA and Madden. Of course, with every E3 conference there’s the best, the worst, and some surprise announcements. Let’s take a look at what EA got right, and what they got wrong.

Best Presentation

With the announcement of “Journey Mode” in FIFA 17, an all new tournament mode for Madden NFL 17, and EA Originals offering more support for small developers, EA had a lot going for them this year.

The best presentation though, oddly enough, was FIFA 17.

I’ve never been a soccer fan, and no where near a FIFA fan. But something was a little different about this year’s presentation, and it had a little something to do with Journey Mode.

Going absolutely over the top in regards to the presentation, EA brought an actor out to portray Alex Hunter, the main character in Journey Mode. And to be honest, until I researched it, I thought he was real. (In hindsight it was super cheesy and obvious that he wasn’t.) Followed up by charismatic presenters, we got to see all the FIFA 17 action that we could want.

It shows off the incredible Frostbite engine, and this may be the first FIFA game that I purchase. It’ll be interesting to see how Journey Mode is received critically.

Worst Presentation

A lot of hiccups can occur in a live stream, and thankfully EA didn’t have too many issues – besides running late. All that being said, one of the presentations has to be worse than the others, and for EA it was the introduction of Fe.

And that isn’t saying a lot, considering most of the announcements had concise information and presenters who didn’t stumble through their sentences.

Fe, however, was a bit of a “surprise” announcement from EA. We now know that they like to support indie games (Unravel was proof enough for that), and this won’t be the last one that they support. But information on the stage felt lacking, with no mention of the consoles the game will come to or a release window.

We got an introduction to the developer Zoink, and they showed off some stills and a trailer for the game, giving us a taste as to what we can expect. But that doesn’t account for the missing information, which we will hopefully get in the near future.

Surprising Presentation

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I’ll be the first to admit that E3 is starting to feel a bit more like Leak3. The companies often have information announced before the conference, or it somehow “slips out”. It’s hard to pick the most surprising presentation when you already know everything that is being talked about, but I think this one fits the bill in the sense that I didn’t expect EA to do it.

EA has announced the “Play to Give” campaign, their attempt at increasing awareness for charities involving gaming. Charities that they are choosing to support include Code.org, Code2040, HeForShe, SpecialEffect, and National Center for Woman and Information Technology. Up to $1 million USD will be donated.

How do you help raise the money? By completing in game challenges. Games included are Battlefield 4, Battlefield Hardline, Star Wars Battlefront, Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, EA Sports FIFA, and Madden NFL 16. Challenges vary based on the games, but if you manage to beat one they’ll donate some money to charity.

Besides the Best, Worst, and most Surprising presentations, EA had plenty else up their sleeve.

Battlefield 1

The highly anticipated addition to the Battlefield franchise had more details shown off, and confirmed some previously leaked information.

One of the biggest new features to the Battlefield franchise is intuitive destruction and dynamic weather, ensuring that “no battle is ever the same”. By strategically taking out buildings and destroying the terrain around you, transforming the battlefield is no longer just a dream of the past: it’s a reality.

Battlefield 1 is set to launch on October 21, 2016 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Star Wars Franchise

EA holds exclusive rights to the Star Wars franchise in the gaming world, and they are done playing around.

We were given a behind the scenes look at some of the development for the upcoming games, and while interesting, it didn’t really pay off in terms of information.

With only a few concrete details given regarding new titles for Star Wars, we did learn a bit more about the new third-person shooter from Dead Space studio Visceral and Uncharted creator Amy Hennig. The game will feature a story and characters new to George Lucas’s famous universe and it’s set to launch in 2018.

EA Originals

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EA seems to love supporting new developers, and they certainly aren’t shying away from it this year, either. With Fe being presented at their panel, EA has plans to support a few small developers each year.

Multiple projects will release, and it’s up to EA’s discretion to decide which “deserves” the attention in the end, I suppose.

EA Originals has a bit of an awkward title, considering they are based around helping smaller developers get attention.

Mass Effect: Andromeda

I’m going to bet Mass Effect fans were more than satisfied with their sneak peak into the next title.

It’s been a long time since Mass Effect 3 released, along with the controversy that the game created. Bioware certainly shared a considerable portion of the newest game, Mass Effect: Andromeda, hinting towards where the story could take us and the return of the Mako.

The stunning trailer also shows off well designed environments, and new threats in the alien worlds.

Titanfall 2

Although not real a “surprise” by any means, EA had a chance to show off a bit more of Titanfall 2. In fact, it was the first game to take the stage at this year’s E3 conference.

Titanfall 2 features all new weapons, and 6 new Titans for you to try out in the multiplayer focused game.

But that isn’t all that’s new, an announcement was made that the game will be coming to PlayStation 4 as well as the Xbox One and PC – and it’ll feature a single player campaign.

Titanfall 2 is falling to a retail store near you on October 28th. (Pun intended)

Madden NFL 17

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Madden’s presentation, like FIFA’s, was surprisingly entertaining.

With a heavy focus on eSports this year, EA is determined more then ever to turn Madden 17 into a main stream eSport. Their attempt to bring “eSports to everyone” may be a success, with a format allowing anyone to create a tournament at their leisure.

Challenger events allow you to host, and run, your own tournaments within the community. Premiere events are hosted by a third party, and are considered “large” events for the community. The third, and final format, is EA Majors. Any EA Major will be an official tournament with massive prizes to boot.

What did you think about EA’s press conference? What can they improve for next year? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter.

  • Wim de Gier

    Actual Gameplay footage, that what I want…. EA: “We are working on great games, but we have nothing to show….”

    • Alana Fearnall

      Ubisoft, EA, and Bethesda all sort of feel that way. I think 4 big conferences would be better in the long run, for PC, Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. Cut out everyone else, they can present at someone else’s conference.

  • Wim de Gier

    Actual Gameplay footage, that what I want…. EA: “We are working on great games, but we have nothing to show….”

    • Alana Fearnall

      Ubisoft, EA, and Bethesda all sort of feel that way. I think 4 big conferences would be better in the long run, for PC, Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. Cut out everyone else, they can present at someone else’s conference.

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