E3 2015: EA Expected to Bring the Franchises in their Keynote
While we’re all still digesting what went down at the Microsoft press conference (at least I assume something went down and I don’t have to completely overhaul this preview), we quickly move on to Electronic Arts conference. As you would expect from EA, they’ll have a lot of sequels and franchises on display. Still, they could have a surprise or two up their sleeve.
The big money for EA is expected to be thrown behind the new Star Wars: Battlefront. The game will be available to play on the floor of E3 but you know that we’ll get a “live” demo of the multiplayer during the presser with a visually impressive map getting the feature (maybe Endor since I bet that would look good). We’ll probably get some details on the co-op missions and starfighter battles too.
Keeping with Star Wars, everyone expects the first details on Visceral’s Star Wars game to be revealed. If I was to predict anything, I would base it on the fact that the game is being developed by Visceral and written by former Uncharted creative director Amy Hennig. I would hazard that this game will be a story-driven third-person shooter. Given Hennig’s track record and Disney’s desire to do origin stories, wouldn’t this crew be perfect for a Han Solo or Lando Calrissian game?
We’re also to expect more from Star Wars: The Old Republic. Given how much money EA has put into the Star Wars license, I don’t think they’re going to let TOR die without a fight. Perhaps a new expansion will be added or some other new trick will be revealed to get people back into TOR for a while.
While Mirror’s Edge received some fairly positive reviews, it wasn’t exactly a huge seller. Nearly eight years after the original dropped, the prequel to Mirror’s Edge will drop with Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst. The game will focus on Faith’s origin story. So far, all we know is that DICE is looking to refine and expand on the gameplay of the first Mirror’s Edge.
Also in the long-awaited sequel department, Need for Speed is back with a “reboot” after underwhelming Need for Speed: Rivals. Just called Need for Speed, it looks like the sequel to NFS: Underground but with police in the action this time.
As usual, EA Sports will get a chance to show off the 2016 branded games. This will include new Madden NFL, NBA Live, NHL and FIFA games. New for this year will be a revival of EA Sports’ golf game under the new Rory McIlroy PGA Tour name. While we’re only two years removed from the last PGA Tour golf game, EA Tiburon sounds like they’re overhauling the game and they’ve put it on the Frostbite 3 engine instead of EA Sports’ Ignite current-gen engine.
PopCap will also have a presence at E3. They’re expected to give a first look at the sequel to Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare which is scheduled for release in 2016.
When you look around the internet, the one game that you keep seeing mentioned without any official word either way is Titanfall. Between the old Medal of Honor franchise and Battlefield, EA was really looking to combat Call of Duty with their own annual FPS releases. With the addition of Battlefront, the cycle looks to be Battlefield, Titanfall and Battlefront.
Respawn says that they won’t be presenting anything this year. That very well may be true but that doesn’t mean that people won’t be talking about it. Keeping with the expected cycle, Titanfall 2 would be due in 2017 so it may not see the light of day until E3 2016 or 2017.
So if Battlefront comes out this year and a three-game cycle means a new Titanfall won’t be out until 2017, what’s missing for 2016? That would be a new Battlefield game developed by DICE. Whether it’s a Battlefield 5 or a Bad Company 3 or another game outside modern times is unknown as no one’s been talking about Battlefield. While DICE LA is working on Battlefront and DICE proper is doing Mirror’s Edge, you have to think a new Battlefield is in the works. Unless, of course, EA considers Mirror’s Edge the annual FPS release for 2016.
And since I’m writing this preview well before Monday’s press events, if the Microsoft presser doesn’t have details about upcoming deals for EA Access subscribers, EA will be willing to tell you what will be coming to access for the fall here.