I decided to start at the most boring part of E3 as EA is the one to officially begin E3 with EA Play. EA Play last year was boring, everything that EA happens to do at E3 is a bore because everytime they do a conference, it doesn’t feel like a conference meant for the players but instead for the investors and Wall Street pals. I don’t really expect that to change this year.
Right now, EA stands as one of the most hated companies in the gaming sphere because of their antics. Last year, EA was at the center of a great outcry involving lootcrates within Star Wars: Battlefront II and how the lootcrates had game-altering abilites and preferred those that had money over those who didn’t. It was strangely predatory and perverse but EA removed lootcrates in December and revamped the progression in March to make Battlefront II more friendly and less like EA trying to grab your money and last year, EA was at the center of even more controversy involving Mass Effect: Andromeda with EA rushing the game out just to meet their investor earnings in March 2017. Couple weeks ago, Patrick Söderlund was interviewed by the Verge and apologized for what occurred in 2017. I don’t believe him but we’ll see, this year at E3 can show that they actually mean it.
If EA is truly sorry for their actions last year ( which I doubt.) , they have to show it at this year’s conference so players can trust them once more and they can slowly turn into that publisher that made great games like Medal of Honor and Dead Space. If they want to show that they have learned from the mistakes of Battlefront II then I suggest that they show it with this year’s Battlefield installment.
For EA, Battlefield will be the one to steal the show and hopefully be the game that they can turn their perception around with. Strangely enough, Battlefield 2018 has been kept quiet and we don’t know much of the game outside that it exists, will launch in October ( Biggest mistake I think.) , and is rumored to be set within World War II for the first time in almost 16 years and is a direct followup to 2016’s Battlefield 1. I think this is the game to say sorry with by not messing with the progression and learning your mistakes from the lootboxes in Battlefront II by making them cosmetic-only and never adding a P2W aspect where it favors players with extra income than those without. To throw a prediction in here, I’ll predict that it’s “Battlefield 1944″ and will signal a new direction for EA. ( I hope.)
Battlefield 2018: Can it turn EA around?
Battlefield 2018 will be one of the Fall’s biggest games as it will drop somewhere in the middle of Black Ops IV and Red Dead Redemption II. DICE has been quiet with this year’s installment and have kept to the shadows with leaks and rumors stating that this year’s installment takes place in the confines of World War II and is a direct sequel and followup to Battlefield 1 as DICE continues to build up towards the present.
If the World War II setting is real and I think it is, I wouldn’t see it as a big surprise because Battlefield 1 was a massive success as it took place in World War I and to set the sequel within World War II would replicate that same success with this installment. Battlefield 1 moved the pendulum from the modern era and into the historical era as gamers were already fed up with the modern and futuristic era, Battlefield 1 even forced Call of Duty to go back to the historical area in 2017 with COD: WWII.
This would be the first time since 2002 that DICE will return to the setting if the leaks and rumors are true, but the question is, can it turn EA around? I think it can. If they play their cards right and don’t make the same mistakes as EA did with Battlefront II then they will slowly turn around to being that publisher from the ‘2000s that everyone liked.
Anthem: Can EA try to not fuck this up?
Last year was a complete shitshow for BioWare and for good reason, Mass Effect: Andromeda wasn’t at the standard at which Mass Effect fans wanted the game to be at and EA also has a hand in that by rushing the game to meet March investor earnings and short-sighting the entire game as a whole. Mass Effect and Dragon Age has changed the way videogames are thought of and change the way we play videogames, they had great influence on what followed in the RPG genre is obvious but last year was different for BioWare and EA.
2017 was a year full of controversy and most of them came from EA, the very company that owns them, even a good studio like BioWare is starting to concern me and their future is kind of concerning. For me personally, Anthem is BioWare’s last chance and if Anthem does not perform the way EA wants it do then I suspect the same fate that fell upon Visceral Games last year or by the time Anthem releases two years.
What have we seen so far from Anthem looks absolutely stunning and the world is compelling and interesting to be in on top of that an interesting game, however, Anthem seems like a bold shot in the dark and is a far cry from the games like Mass Effect and Dragon Age and will attempt to build upon the shared world concept that began with Destiny. For the sake of what’s good, I hope BioWare sees success with Anthem or else I fear the worst.
Star Wars: Can EA try not to use the franchise for their own gain?
My most anticipated Star Wars videogame was the one that Visceral Games had been working on before their shutdown by EA. EA Vancouver was handed the reigns to that project and it’s safe to say that whatever Visceral had will most likely be scrapped and revamped and will be a completely different game. In the aftermath of Visceral closing, the industry resparked the idea that the concept of SP only games are dying, I did two articles on that and my personal opinion is that SP isn’t dead but it will cease to exist in the years prior as games are going further and further into “Games as a Service.” where there’s constant updates, lootboxes, and offer much more then that a SP game can offer.
Anyways, several studios within EA like Respawn Entertainment and DICE are currently working on several Star Wars games for the next couple of years until the license runs out. Unfortunately, EA Vancouver’s and Respawn’s Star Wars titles live in the big gaping shadow of last year’s Star Wars: Battlefront II developed by DICE and will be confronted, unfortunely, with great skepticism.
Star Wars: Battlefront II had everything going for it, DICE SWEDEN basically listened to the fans and had everything that the fans wanted: A Singleplayer campaign, extensive and large scale Multiplayer until EA decided to dip their hands in the melting pot with lootboxes that felt perverse, unconsumer friendly, and reworked the progression system to tie itself into the lootboxes. Unwholly complicated, even myself didn’t understand the original progression system. It was clear to see that EA used the franchise for their own thing, it will be fun to see how they play this one off.
EA has alot to prove this year and has alot to apologize for, their actions from 2017 has really damaged their reputation even further. I would like to see EA change this year and turn around to becoming that publisher that was once good, that made excellent and iconic games like Mass Effect and Medal of Honor and pushed gaming further with those games instead of whatever EA has become in recent years, a publisher that’s only out for the money and screwing everyone over.
You might say I still have hope for EA and I still do but this could be the very last chance that I give them a pass. I don’t take their apology at face value because we have been here many times before, shame on me for falling for EA every single time and this time that won’t happen again. EA has a long way to go for me and I hope they actually take the first step in that road by actually looking out for the players and not looking out just for the money. I would like to see great change from them and I hope we get that.
Stay tuned for Part Two of The Road to E3 2018.