Electronic Arts unofficially kick off E3 2018 with EA Play. Here’s every game and announcement from this year’s press conference.
EA is often cast as the evil empire of video games publishing, but for every iterative sequel and loot box controversy, the company is often more forward-thinking than it is given credit for.
This was evident once again at this year’s EA Play press conference. The event showed off the usual glut of sequels, but it also included new subscription services, more indie support, an unapologetic commitment to character diversity, and an impressive full reveal for Bioware’s Anthem.
Hosted by Andrea Rene, this year’s show was much improved. It did away with the excruciating influencer appearances that sullied 2017’s event, and got down to business with brevity and enthusiasm, even if it wasn’t matched by a largely lethargic audience
Here is the full list of announcements:
EA Play 2018 announcements
- Confirmed. Battlefield V will not include loot boxes.
- New traversal moves and moveable environmental weapons confirmed for multiplayer, as well as customisable soldiers, vehicles and weapons.
- Battlefield V will also be getting a battle royale mode that features environmental destruction and vehicles. More details will be revealed later this year.
- Nordlys confirmed as the first single player War Stories campaign.
- More single player details to be revealed at the Xbox E3 2018 Media Showcase.
- As rumoured, the UEFA Champion’s League is now exclusive to FIFA 19. It will feature in the game’s tournament mode, career mode, FUT, and the new instalment of The Journey.
- FIFA 19 release date is confirmed as September 28, 2018.
- The free World Cup 2018 content update is now available, and FIFA 18 is free to play for a limited time on Xbox One, PS4, and PC.
- EA CEO Andrew Wilson lifts the lid on EA’s new cloud streaming service. It works across an array of devices, and is now live to try – in a beta state – for a limited time.
- Taking a leaf from Xbox Game Pass is EA Origin Access Premier, a new premium subscription service. It will include all new EA games day and date – including Madden NFL 19, FIFA 19, Battlefield V, and Anthem – plus access to the Vault. It will launch later in the year.
- EA’s Play to Give initiative has donated $1 million dollars to three charities.
Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order
- Respawn Entertainment’s Vince Zampella reveals that the studio’s upcoming Star Wars game is named Jedi Fallen Order. It’s set between Star Wars episodes 3 and 4, and is due for release in late 2019.
Star Wars Battlefront II
- DICE’s Dennis Brännvall began, naturally, with an apology for the game’s loot box furore, and EA’s subsequent efforts to make good on the situation.
- Content based on Solo: A Star Wars Story launches next week, and includes the return of Extraction mode. There’s also a new squad system, plus a new star-fighter mode based on hero ships.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars content is coming this year, starting with a map based on Geonosis. Hero characters will include General Grievous – someone actually cheered at this announcement – plus General Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, and Count Dooku.
- Unravel Two features two yarn characters, and can be played single-player or in co-op. It looks like another beautiful, if essentially rudimentary, mix of action, puzzles, and platforming.
- Unravel Two is out right now. “Oh my god!” screams one excited audience member.
Sea of Solitude
- A new EA Originals game from Jo-Mei. It’s a game about loneliness set in a flooded world that evokes Rime and The Flame and the Flood.
- Sea of Solitude will be released in early 2019.
NBA Live 19
- A new trailer and September release window confirmed.
Madden NFL 19
- Madden NFL 19 is getting a PC release, the franchise’s first in over ten years.
- Release date is confirmed as August 10, 2018.
Command & Conquer Rivals
- A live match on stage reveals the return of Command & Conquer, on mobile. The slow-paced gameplay – and accompanying close up of iNcontroL’s thumbs – were perhaps the most boring thing I’ve ever seen at an E3 press conference.
- The game is coming to Android and iOS this year.
- Bioware’s Anthem gets an impressive full reveal trailer in which one character says “There’s a storm coming,” and another says “Something is out there.” And it’s all set to a moody cover of Muse’s Uprising. Text book.
- Bioware’s Casey Hudson, Mark Darrah, and Cathleen Rootsaert take to the stage to discuss Anthem’s shared online world.
- ‘Our world, my story’, is the game’s motto, says Mark Darrah.
- Anthem’s Javelin suit classes are called Ranger, Colossus, Interceptor, and Storm. Think Mario, Bowser, Luigi, and Peach.
- The game looks lovely. It’s detailed, colourful, vibrant, and teeming with life. Think Iron Man meets Avatar, but in a good way.
- Released February 22, 2019, on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.
‘We’ve heard you’ apology count: 2
- One mention for Battlefield V, and another for Star Wars Battlefront II.
Check back throughout the week for more E3 2018 coverage from Thumbsticks.