Electronic Arts has been a major publisher in the gaming scene for decades now. They command near total control of the sports world, snagging exclusive licenses that ensure their titles are the most authentic professional sports experiences available. But the success doesn’t end there, as the company also thrives with some of the most popular shooters, racing titles, and action-RPGs. EA is also home to some of the most popular developers of this generation; having the teams at DICE, Visceral, and even BioWare all under the Electronic Arts umbrella. No stranger to any genre, E3 is one of the few times out of the year where EA can give the public a reason to be truly grateful: There’s simply no telling what type of original IP or long dead franchise they’ll bring into the spotlight.
With their seemingly endless resources, EA is capable of creating some of the biggest spectacles in gaming; the kinds of AAA titles that leave a packed theater in awe once the lights come back on after the presentation ends. At E3 2013, Electronic Arts is coming prepared with a number of high-profile projects, as well as a few surprises. The publishing giant has its eyes set on cornering both the console and casual markets, with games being developed for nearly every current platform available. Here’s a look at what to expect at this year’s Expo, as well as a couple left-field projects I’d most like to see. It’s time for another round of E3 Predictions.
What to expect: It’s no secret one of EA’s most popular brands is EA Sports. It should then also come as no surprise to know that a strong portion of the publisher’s press event will focus on the latest sports titles coming to both current and next-gen consoles. The EA Sports showcase will detail the all-new Ignite engine, hopefully showing actual footage of next-gen titles in action this time around (as opposed to the pre-rendered stuff they passed off at the Xbox One event.) All the usual suspects, Madden, Fifa, NHL, and NBA Live will be shown in some fashion, with the addition of the new UFC title that was revealed during the Xbox One announcement.
Aside from the sports titles, EA has a monster lineup in store for next-gen consoles. E3 will bring in-depth looks at anticipated titles such as Battlefield 4, Dragon Age 3: Inquisition, The Sims 4, and Need for Speed: Rivals. It’s also expected the new Mass Effect project will be announced with a brief teaser video. Additionally, we should hear an official announcement for one of the worst-kept secrets of the past few months, Mirror’s Edge 2. Keep an eye out for how EA plans to integrate popular next-gen features such as social connectivity and gesture support into their AAA titles. On the PC side, we should finally see some footage of the up-and-coming Command & Conquer title in development. The latest Sims 3 expansion will also be on display, alongside any near-future content planned for The Old Republic.
Speaking of Mass Effect, EA will also discuss the nature of their partnership with Popcap Games; which seems to include mashups of the two companies’ most popular stable of games. For now, all that’s been teased is a Plants vs. Zombies/Mass Effect game titled Grass Effect, and a Dead Space-themed crossover known as Dead Face.
On top of all that, some of the most anticipated news for many will concern EA’s recent partnership with Disney to exclusively develop Star Wars games. While it’s unlikely they’ll have any footage to show, we can expect some concepts and teases of titles being worked on by the folks at BioWare, Visceral Games, and DICE.
Wish list: With EA being the exclusive publisher of Star Wars titles for the foreseeable future, there’s a lot to hope for. Hearts across the world would simultaneously explode at the announcement of a next-gen Battlefront game, especially if it’s being handled by DICE and running on the Frostbite 3 engine. Personally, I’m hoping EA decides to revive Star Wars 1313, or at the very least, get behind the concept of an M-rated title from the perspective of a bounty hunter. I’m betting Visceral, the creators of the Dead Space franchise, will be a lock for developing a mature, third-person shooter set in the Star Wars universe. Similarly, it would be music to my ears to hear that BioWare is finally working on Knights of the Old Republic 3. After so many years, the original KOTOR is still a shining example of what an action-RPG should be; so giving BioWare the chance to revisit the single-player scene would hopefully encourage anyone deterred by the MMO genre (myself included) to get back into the Old Republic universe.
Back in 2005, EA published Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath for the original Xbox. One of my favorite shooters of all time because of a balanced mix of open adventuring and unique weapons (“live ammo” was a gimmick where Stranger picked up critters while exploring and used them as bullets. Each critter had a unique ability, such as causing a distraction or acting as a “heat seeking missile”,) it would be a dream come true to see a legitimate sequel to Stranger’s Wrath. Of course, series developer Oddworld Inhabitants has been quiet since the release of Stranger, unfortunately icing the standalone Oddworld title known as The Brutal Ballad of Fangus Klot until further notice. Still, the extreme unlikelihood of the possibility only makes me want to romp around as Stranger once more, so here’s hoping.
EA has plenty to show at this year’s E3, so even a single surprise would come as something of a shock. The publisher’s presentation helps kick off the Expo on June 10, beginning at 4:00 PM EST, so be sure to tune in and catch the action as it streams live. If you can’t make it, be sure to check back right here at IGXPro, as we’ll be covering plenty of E3 action all next week.
Who’s looking forward to EA’s presentation this year? Which announcement are you most excited about? What old, forgotten franchise would you love to see the publisher revive for next-generation consoles? Share your thoughts in the comments section, and don’t forget to like IGXPro on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or give us the ‘ol +1 on Google+.