Thoughts On E3 2014: EA Press Conference
What follows are my personal thoughts on Electronic Arts at E3 2014. I welcome all thoughts and criticism regarding this year’s expo!
If I can say one thing about the Electronic Entertainment Expo, it’s that the opening conferences are usually lacking. However, the Electronic Arts press conference was lacking in every area. From previews that turned out to be nothing more than studio tours to the all sports, I can’t say that I’m surprised by this. EA has stuck to a simple pattern in the last few years in terms of what they present at E3, and E3 2014 was no different.
Keep in mind that I don’t think that Electronic Arts is evil like a lot of folks do. I realize that they are a company that’s made up of people that have to make decisions. However, those decisions have left me scratching my head over the years. Absorbing other companies only to shut them down later is one that can’t be forgotten, as well as making the majority of their money from sports titles while their other franchises fall flat (Buying companies only to ruin and then need to gut them to get their money back strikes me as the same plot as a lot of Sci-Fi flicks -Editor).
This breakdown will be a bit different because I think this press conference was the worst of the bunch. I’ll highlight the issues I had with what was shown and hopefully come to a logical conclusion of the conference as a whole.
If Electronic Arts put as much effort into making their other franchises as they do their sports titles, I would have more faith in what they are going to do with Battlefront. Needless to say, we got a behind-the-scenes look at the efforts of the development team. There was no gameplay or teaser trailer, but they assured the audience it would be great when it comes out.
This is not the reason I watch these press conferences, and I’m pretty sure that I speak for others when I say that they don’t want to see this type of thing either. If I wanted to see behind-the-scenes footage, I’d go to that developers’ You tube channel like I do for every other developer.
I can’t even decide about whether I want this game or not because they didn’t show me anything that matters when making a video game purchase. I have nothing to go on besides my fond memories of the first two Battlefront games, and that’s not a good sign.
I have no conclusions to make, but I predict that we won’t see actual gameplay for Battlefront until E3 2015. Maybe they’ll give us a tease at the VGAs… in December. Otherwise, this presentation was pointless, in my opinion.
I cannot say how disappointed I am. After the Mass Effect 3 fiasco over two years ago, Bioware decided to maintain radio silence. During that two-year period, they announced that they were working on a new Mass Effect title (Mass Effect Not 4, Maybe it’s 4, Mass Effect Something Something Dark Side -Editor), as well as a new IP. I was genuinely excited to see the Bioware team appear in the video, and I know what it was the moment I heard the music. As an aside, I was also relieved to see that Casey Hudson is alive and well.
However, this video turned out the same as the Star Wars: Battlefront video. It showed people working at computers, concept art, and some rendered, but faceless soldier. There was also a scene on some planet with a roaring monster, but that’s not the point. Bioware announced that they were working on a new Mass Effect title, as well as a new IP two years ago. At E3 2014, they announced the exact same thing.
And no, there was no gameplay or a trailer. They simple made a video to confirm what they announced two years ago. I am and annoyed, and if I weren’t watching the press conference with other people, I would have turned it off.
Did they think we forgot about Bioware or Mass Effect? I never forgot about them, but they did confirm something else for me. We won’t see either Mass Effect or their new IP until E3 2015. E3 press conferences is supposed to show us what you’ve got, and if you’ve got nothing, don’t bother showing up. That goes for EA, and doubly for Bioware.
The next few games involved Sims that vaguely resembled Barack Obama, and a bunch of sports titles. They managed to make golf look ridiculous in order to attract more customers. The Fifa 15 trailer is voiced by Idris Elba, so that’s something (I was disappointed that there wasn’t more Idris Elba -Editor). Hooray for more sports at E3 2014!
How many behind-the-scenes looks does Electronic Arts plan to show us before the audience gets a look at what we really care about? Where is the gameplay? Mirror’s Edge was announced last year as a reboot for the next-gen consoles, so this would have been a perfect time to show what it looks like. We already know what Faith looks like, and the unfinished gameplay could have been left at the studio.
Finally, some worthwhile gameplay! I appreciate that DICE is taking the franchise in another direction, but it still felt like a military shooter. It also didn’t help that their new direction was essentially extreme cops and robbers. They showed what looked like a multiplayer segment for the remainder of their conference. The Beta for this game is available now if you would like to sign-up.
While it looked decent enough, I have my reservations. It’s not that I don’t like the look of the game, but I was overloaded with Call of Duty/Battlefield shoot-erific action after Modern Warfare 3. Maybe this just isn’t the game for me any more, but I can’t help but feel like we need something new. This isn’t it.
Electronic Arts proved that they didn’t have much to show AT ALL. Aside from their sports titles, there was no gameplay, and it felt like they spent an awful lot of time on Sims 4 and Battlefield: Hardline. I am very interested in Star Wars: Battlefront and the new Mass Effect title, but they couldn’t scrounge up two minutes of gameplay footage for me to sink my teeth into.
I understand that the games aren’t ready, but there is a reason they chose to present these game, in particular. When you take a game to E3 you are trying to make me want to pre-order and eventually buy those games. Giving me a studio tour with a glimpse at concept art and some clearly unfinished levels are not the way to do that. I expected more of the same from EA at E3, but they tarred their chances to amaze me at E3 2014.
This was the worst press conference out of the five (I am not surprised, Ubisoft is partly owned by EA. The apple does not fall far from the tree -Editor), and the next one barely surpassed it. Stay tuned for my thoughts on the Ubisoft press conference!