EA’s ‘EA Play’ 2018 press conference was a dud. Boring. Dull. Uneventful. Predictable. The last 18 months have been incredible for video games, and for the first time in years, EA had nothing to do with it. Unfortunately, it seems they’ll continue to miss the party until next year.
Apart from a handful of touching moments from 2 indie-game developers, the 90 minute show was in desperate need of a surprise; a moment of awe. Instead we got sports games, e-sports stars, and quite a lot of talking around the point.
It’s safe to assume that host Andrea Rene was provided scripted questions to ask EA staffers throughout the show, but for some inexplicable reason, none of the questions were answered directly. The developers seemed to wander off into generic press-speak. As a result, there were many awkward moments. The likeable Rene did a commendable job though, in my opinion…
If you break down the conference, we only saw a couple of games targeted at core gamers: Battlefield V, Unravel 2, Sea of Solitude and Anthem. Of those four, only one made it to the show unannounced. Unravel 2 got close but was unfortunately leaked hours before the event. And no offence to Sea of Solitude, but it was hardly a game-changer for the conference.
It just breaks my heart knowing that whilst EA is home to some of the most treasured franchises in gaming’s short history, they can still turn up empty handed when it counts. A couple of months ago, we saw EA finally dabble in the ‘remastered market’ with Burnout Paradise Remastered, so I was personally hopefully for a remastered edition of the Mass Effect trilogy. When that didn’t arrive I frankly would have settled for any mention of a dormant series. EA is sitting on series like SSX, Skate, Dead Space, Need for Speed and many more; give something back to your fans!
Anthem still looks promising, but sadly I would say I am actually less enthused after seeing more of the game. There’s just no hiding the game’s inspiration. Apart from the addition of interesting traversal mechanics, Anthem looks like the love child of Destiny, Monster Hunter and The Division. If it does have a point of difference, then EA did a terrible job of highlighting it! Also, the announcement of a February release seems far fetched at this point.
The icing on the cake was the final nail in the Command & Conquer coffin, with Command & Conquer: Rivals – a new 1v1 strategy mobile game. It’s simply egregious. I have fond memories of C & C, but I just can’t. I just can’t abide this…
These are, as always, just my two bottle caps! Now, fingers crossed for Microsoft and Bethesda later today!
Best wishes y’all.
My Two Bottle Caps