E3Port Card: EA E3 2013 Media Briefing
Welcome to the E3Port Card, where I take a look back at last year Electronic Entertainment Expo to see which announcements came through as planned and which things we’re either still waiting on or never getting. For the next five weeks leading up the show, I’ll be analyzing every one of the five major media briefings from E3 2013 in the order they presented last year. Here’s what the schedule looks like:
MAY 12: Microsoft E3 2013 Media Briefing
MAY 16: EA E3 2013 Media Briefing
MAY 23: Ubisoft E3 2013 Media Briefing
MAY 30: Sony E3 2013 Media Briefing
JUNE 6: Nintendo E3 2013 Direct
Now we move to EA, who had a pretty decent showing last year with a lot of new and unexpected titles. Were they able to make good on their promises, or are we still waiting for the best parts to come true? Let’s take a look!
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Peter Moore begins the show teasing the surprises about to be unleashed, then transitions into the first trailer of the show: Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare. John Vechey from PopCap then comes out to talk more about the game, introducing Brian Lindley and Justin Wiebe to play a demo.
Everything mentioned about Garden Warfare came true, except for the “chewing the whole damn funny bone” thing. The demo is very close to how the game actually plays. +1. 1/1
John Vechey then finishes the PopCap segment with the most excited announcement of the whole show: Peggle 2, complete with jumping fist in the air.
It was also the shortest announcement of the show, but it totally did come out before the end of 2013. Nice work, Jumpin’ John. +1. 2/2
Vince Zampella from Respawn comes out to talk Titanfall, introducing a video called “Inside Titanfall,” highlighting some of the Titanfall development team members.
Again, everything talked about in the “Inside Titanfall” ended up coming true. Another point for EA. +1. 3/3
Frank Gibeau from EA Labels takes the stage to talk about the upcoming console generation. He mentions two EA-made game engines: Ignite for sports games, and Frostbite 3 for others. The first game mentioned using Frostbite 3 is from DICE, but it’s not BattleFIELD, it’s BattleFRONT: Star Wars: Battlefront, to be exact.
Unfortunately, that’s the last we heard about Battlefront until recently, when it was announced that it will be at this year’s E3. The point streak ends here. No dice. 3/4
The next trailer immediately plays, showcasing Need for Speed: Rivals. Marcus Nilsson, executive producer for Need for Speed, appears to introduce a game demo.
EA gets back on track, as everything we saw in this demo was playable at launch for both PS4 and Xbox One. The Need for Speed fans were quite happy. +1. 4/5
Aaron Paul, star of the upcoming ‘Need for Speed‘ movie, makes a surprise appearance to announce a new trailer, which then airs.
The movie did come out, and while Jesse Pinkman acted his heart out, the reviews weren’t so kind to him and the rest of the film. However, nothing said here was incorrect, so another point can be awarded. +1. 5/6
Aaryn Flynn of BioWare is next on the stage to talk about Dragon Age: Inquisition. A CGI trailer is shown, revealing fan favorite Morrigan’s return to the series.
Hooray Morrigan is back! However, the lack of actual gameplay at the time was disheartening, and we’ve barely seen anything since outside of a release date and screenshots. This E3 should change that. However, for now, nothing gained here. No dice. 5/7
The EA Sports section of the program starts, with Andrew Wilson taking the stage to talk about EA Sports Ignite’s three major upgrades: human intelligence, true player motion, and living worlds.
The engine is pretty impressive, and all of those things have been achieved to varying degrees. Can’t knock EA here. +1. 6/8
The first EA Sports game highlighted is the anticipated return of NBA Live 14, starting with an impressive freestyle and a demo of the improved dribbling mechanic. Kyrie Irving then takes the stage with Live Executive Producer Sean O’Brien to talk about the game.
NBA Live 14 happened. It wasn’t exactly the greatest sports game of all time, but it did happen. +1. 7/9
Cam Weber, VP and GM of EA Sports’ American Football division, appears to talk about Madden NFL 25. He mentions the True Step locomotion system, Player Sense features and much more.
Again Madden 25 definitely happened, though I’d argue that it was much more successful in what it tried to do than Live. +1. 8/10
A trailer for FIFA Soccer 14 immediately follows, featuring cover man Lionel Messi and other soccer stars talking about the game of soccer intertwined with gameplay. Recording artist Drake then follows the trailer, showing his appreciation for FIFA. He is then followed by Matt Bilbey, the group GM of EA FIFA, who introduces actual gameplay.
EA Sports is 3-for-3 so far. Annual releases really help during E3Port Card scoring, apparently. And hey, Drake, he started at the bottom, then he was at E3. +1. 9/11
Bruce Buffer, ring announcer for the UFC, uses his pre-match schtick to introduce Andrew Wilson, UFC President Dana White, current UFC Light Heavyweight champ Jon “Bones” Jones, and then-UFC Lightweight champion, Benson “Smooth” Henderson, who all talk about the upcoming EA Sports UFC. Wilson speaks about the new MMAi system in the game, then follows it with a trailer.
I say “the upcoming EA Sports UFC” because it’s still upcoming, and it will still be coming as of this E3, if only for a week. No dice. 9/12.
Patrick Bach and Karl-Magnus Troedsson from DICE then introduce Battlefield 4, revealing Commander Mode for tablets. They then transition to a gameplay demo called Siege of Shanghai, which ends with an impressive demolition of an entire skyscraper.
Yes, this demo was so impressive it made us all really excited to get our hands on Battlefield. Then the game came out and still is somewhat borked to this day. Connecting to online matches is a damn chore every time we try. However, when we can connect, it is very much like what was shown, so I can’t short them even though I want to. +1. 10/13
Karl-Magnus Troedsson remains on stage to announce a surprise title from DICE: the next installment in the Mirror’s Edge franchise. The first teaser trailer is shown.
I personally loved this announcement as soon as I saw it, but we’ve seen nothing else about the game since, which is a bit of a downer. Hopefully this year will change that, but for now I can’t award the point. No dice. 10/14
FINAL SCORE: 10 kept promises out of 14 announcements (71%)
I know Peter Moore said eleven games, but there were a few other things that they really harped on. The 71% seems low, but for one company to make 14 announcements, then come through on 10 of them in one year, that’s pretty damn impressive. Good work EA, let’s hope you can ride that momentum into this year’s show… just no more NBA Live 15 please. Make it NBA Jam instead.
NEXT WEEK: It’s Ubisoft’s turn to face the music!