Yes, we know Electronic Arts isn't technically taking part in E3, but there's a reason why they choose to have their EA Play conference around the same time as the well-known expo. They know the world's eyes are on Los Angeles during these days, so there's no better time to present their upcoming games. This week is known for its game announcements, and many gamers consider it their highlight of the year. That's why we've decided to share our predictions of what will be shown. As EA will have the first conference, we share our expectations for them first.
The conference starts at 8pm BST / 9pm CEST on June 10, and it'll be interesting to see if EA can leave a great impression this year. Their last conferences have been criticised for focusing too much on developer diaries with little to no interesting details and gameplay. One of the reasons for this is that they've talked about games that have been in the very early stages of development, so there hasn't been much to actually show and tell. These games have come a lot further now, so we're hopeful that EA will deliver the goods this time around. Let's start with the obvious announcements.
We think EA, and many of you, consider Star Wars Battlefront II as the biggest highlight of the conference, so expect a lot of time dedicated to DICE's upcoming shooter. The time has finally come to get some actual gameplay, and we expect lots of it. EA has already said that they'll have a massive multiplayer livestream during the event. This will be a 40-player match set during the Assault on Theed, but with a few tweaks separating it from The Phantom Menace's version. Expect to see Darth Maul and Rey enter the battlefield while clones and droids are shooting at each other in the street of this city on Naboo.
As one of the original's biggest cons was the lack of a real single-player campaign, we're also very confident that we'll see Battlefront II's campaign shown off and detailed. Expect a gameplay presentation and/or trailer of Iden Versio doing what she does best.
DICE isn't just working on Battlefront II. Battlefield 1 is still very much alive, and the In The Name of the Tzar expansion is just around the corner. The Swedes have promised to talk more about that and the game's other expansions at the presser, so we're guessing this will get the slot right before or after the Battlefront II presentation.
Then we have the part that some consider the bathroom break, while for others it's the highlight: the sports games. FIFA, Madden, NHL, UFC and the other franchises will always be a part of EA's conference, and usually follows the same formula. FIFA 18 got its first trailer yesterday, but that was obviously just a taste of what's to come on Saturday. We'll learn more about improved animations, how The Journey: Hunter Returns will be more engrossing, and what stars we'll see as the new "Icons". This is pretty much what we'll see during the entire sports segment. Prettier, better, and more expansive are the keywords here.
As we're already in the sports section, let's talk about Need for Speed Payback. Last week we got a cinematic trailer and a few details, but now it's time for some gameplay and specifics. Ghost Games say they're focusing more on the story, so expect to see and learn more about the racing and set pieces that await, while also boasting that the game won't require an internet connection. Our guess: the presentation will end with a car flipping into the camera after an intense chase.
It's been close to three years since Hazelight revealed "Hazelight Game", but we haven't heard much about it since then. Josef Fares, co-founder of the studio, has been teasing that this is about to change, so we expect to see more than two guys on a train this time.
Those are the announcement we're very sure will come, but that's not enough to fill the hour EA has set aside. Time to speculate what else will be there.
Let's start with a light one. EA has given more and more attention to their so-called EA Originals the last couple of years, and we're fairly sure they won't stop on Saturday. Last year, they revealed Fe and Sea of Solitude, with both of them going underground after that. We know both of them are still in development, so the only question is how far they've come. Are they just waiting to have a release date before resurfacing, or are they not ready to be shown off again? We'll get our answers on Saturday.
One of the main reasons why EA continued to support these smaller games was probably the word of mouth Unravel got before and to some degree after it released two years ago. Yarnie has charmed people around the world, so we weren't caught completely off guard when Coldwood said they were working on a sequel. The question is, how far has the game come? Could it be that it's ready to be shown off already, or hasn't the man of yarn recovered yet?
Now, back to the game that costs millions to develop. EA spent quite a lot of money getting the rights to make Star Wars games, so they've aren't settling with the Battlefront series. Visceral and Motive have previously given us some very vague details and a few seconds of video from their untitled Star Wars game, so we're hoping to get something more noteworthy soon. Unfortunately, we hear that the game is still fairly early in its development and that they don't want to just give us more developer diaries. Still, we feel a disturbance in the Force.
Respawn, the developers of Titanfall, are also working on a game set in a Galaxy Far, Far Away. However, as this was announced after Visceral and Motive's, we doubt they'll say much about it on Saturday, but there's always hope for the tiniest of details. Who wouldn't want to learn more about what God of War developer Stig Asmussen and his crew can bring to the popular franchise?
Star Wars isn't the only sci-fi universe EA has in store for us. Bioware is known as the creators of some of the industry's most memorable universes, and we're hearing rumblings of more from some of these. Despite not having delivered the results EA wanted, Mass Effect: Andromeda might have an expansion in the pipeline. A message in one of the game's APEX missions indicated that the Quarians were closing in. A tease for a planned story expansion, new multiplayer characters, or just lore? Time will tell.
Bioware isn't a single studio, but has offices around the world. It's well-known that the core team at Edmonton is working on a new IP with the project name Dylan. When EA talked about it at the start of the year, it was slated to release before next April, so we expected to see it during EA Play. The game has now been delayed to fiscal year 2019, so has this led to the official reveal being delayed as well?
Then there's the new Dragon Age game we know they're working on. We hear that the game is still in pre-production, so chances of seeing gameplay are zero. However, a few thoughts and ideas of what they're planning might not be out of the question.
What about The Sims series? We usually have to wait four or five years between each numbered iteration, and it's been three years since The Sims 4 launched. The game is still getting expansions, but we're guessing this doesn't require all of Maxis' focus. The Sims 5 is definitely coming, but is it ready to be revealed? Doubtful, but never say never.
How about some dreams at the end? EA is still denying that they're working on Dead Space 4 and Skate 4, but we're hoping they just want to keep them a secret until their official reveals. Our hope might be small, but with E3 you never can tell.
These are the announcement we know, think and hope will be made during EA Play. What are yours? Let us know in the comments below.