EA kicked off the E3 2018 festivities with its usual press conference, only this year’s happened to be on the most beautiful Saturday in recent memory. Not a great way to kick off or apology tour towards gamers.
Indeed, this seemed to be the theme this year at EA’s press conference. It’s sorry for messing up so many launches over the past few years, including Mass Effect, Star Wars Battlefront, Battlefield, etc., and it wants you to know that its listening to your feedback. Decisions, most noticeably the removal of loot boxes from Anthem and Battlefield V, will be met with great applause, and EA also stressed that those developing its titles are also gamers who just want to leave a positive impact on the industry.
And to a degree, the messaging worked. This year’s show felt far more human than previous years, when EA would just show a snippet of developers working on a computer and call it a day. The publisher only called up one-star athlete to the stage to patronize us all, and its host tried her darndest to keep the sarcasm in check.
Best of all, the press conference didn’t feature an overabundance of games. Two big titles, two indie titles, a surprise announcement or two, the usual sports lineup. Battlefield V should carry Battlefield 1’s momentum into the coming holiday season, Anthem looks competent enough to build on the smoldering ruins of Destiny 2, and both Unravel Two and Sea of Solitude deliver that indie credibility all major publishers are required to have now.
Releasing Unravel Two immediately after the reveal also played into the old school E3 days, where we were always kept guessing. Good job there, EA!
Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order will. no doubt, leave the Star Wars faithful guessing for over a year. You can’ have enough stories between Episode III and Episode IV it seems.
EA Sports is still doing its thing. Madden is even coming back to the PC for the first time in 10 years, another decision that plays into what the gaming crowd demands.
The only heartbreaking moment was the new Command & Conquer: Rivals. Not that that game looks awful, but more that the RTS has been devolved into a free-to-play genre that needs live commentary to look exciting on screen.
Keep pushing those eSports, EA. You’ll get there!
Dare I say, EA kept it real this year, and while its press conference might not have been that memorable, it was easy to swallow. It got the show started off nicely, and while EA didn’t inspire me to pull my PlayStation 4 out from hibernation or immediately pre-order any of its games, I wasn’t clicking away from the streaming, hoping beyond hope that a soulless montage of expensive CG would just come to an end.
Thanks for that, EA. Don’t worry, I still kinda like you.