We don’t usually like to focus on bad vibes here at Nerd Much, but this has to be said: EA needs to change its E3 conference strategy when E3 2017 comes around.
After EA’s 2016 conference, the majority of those who care about E3 were quick to point out the gaming giant’s flaws (we’ll get to those shortly), calling the EA E3 2016 conference the worst of the bunch. If you want to actually see all of the EA games that were shown, check out our round-up of all of the E3 2016 trailers. But, the order went something like this:
- Titanfall 2
- Fifa 17
- Titanfall 2 multiplayer
- Mass Effect: Andromeda
- Madden 17
- Vague Star Wars games montage
- Battlefield 1 trailer and gameplay
If you look at that line-up above, there’s no denying that at least the majority of those titles are great games. Yes, whether you like sports games or not, EA’s leading the way on soccer for a reason. Titanfall 2 impressed and appears to be a much more formidable offering than its predecessor, with EA delving into its six new titans, a deep progression system, and showcasing a grappling hook.
Mass Effect: Andromeda received no new details (unless you call ‘new planets, species and technologies’ spoken in a vague manner “details”) and EA only showed a very brief trailer. We all rolled our eyes during Madden 17‘s spiel, and EA made a big deal about incorporating Madden tournaments that no one cared about.
I’ll also quickly note that the “EA Play” theme just felt gimmicky, and it was as if EA was trying to excite the audience by saying that they’re all about playing games, except they forgot to bring any new and exciting games with them to the show. In fact, we’re surprised that EA is doing it yet again in 2017, because it was cringeworthy, at best.
Fe was their only new game announcement, and admittedly, it looks good. However, it’s not one of those mega bomb announcements that’s going to generate a ton of buzz (which is important at E3). It looked cool enough, though, but we haven’t seen anything on it since.
Then, EA’s most frustrating moment of their entire conference was upon us: an extremely vague Star Wars game montage. It was basically just a refresher, with EA noting that they’re still working on some great Star Wars games. And that was it — no on-stage spiel, no new details, just a vague video.
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Basically, only Titanfall 2 and Battlefield 1 did anything to impress, and we already knew that both of those games were on the way. They both look great, but they weren’t buzzworthy, and pair that with the fact that EA brought in two celebrities, Jamie Foxx and Zac Efron — both of which were stoned out of their minds — to hype up their game, shows that EA doesn’t know their audience. Their conference lacked the “wow” factor, and at E3 — gaming’s biggest stage of the year — that’s a critical element to have.
Most importantly, though, is that EA didn’t announce ANY games that their fans have been clamoring for. For example, where was Skate 4? The need for a good skateboarding game for the PS4/Xbox One generation is abundantly clear, thanks to the miserable fail that was Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5. But, despite the gaping hole in the genre, EA hasn’t made any official announcements regarding the continuation of their beloved Skate series. Yes, I realize that EA Black Box went defunct in 2013, but that doesn’t mean that EA couldn’t easily hand it off to another studio.
Unfortunately, just before E3 2016, EA made an announcement on their Twitter that a “new game is not in development”, despite supposed leaked box art and the lack of previously promised Skate 3 backwards compatibility for Xbox One (people, including myself, believed that a Skate 4 was going to be bundled with a free copy of Skate 3 for Xbox One). We still didn’t believe it, and the lack of the Skate 4 announcement was extremely noticeable, thanks to EA’s terrible E3 2016 press conference. The fact that literally every EA post on their Instagram has numerous fans simply saying “Skate 4” in the comments, paired with the fact that EA is apparently just ignoring it, shows that EA doesn’t have the right vision for their brand.
There are numerous games that EA could have announced that would have created at least some excitement for their E3 presence last year. Skate 4 is chief among them, but a new Dragon Age (which we’ll likely get this year), Crysis 4, or Command & Conquer could have created some waves for EA. Hell, I think we’re even at a point now where Dead Space 4 could happen and people wouldn’t be mad. Instead, we were given the worst conference of the 2016 show.
It’s clear that EA will need to change its strategy for E3 2017. If so much as one single celebrity — including Pele — is on stage or playing their games, it’s already a massive failure. Instead of showing us the same sports games they release year after year, show us something new, even if it is a sequel to one of their games and not something entirely fresh. Fifa 18 and Madden 18 don’t need to be there, as they will sell themselves at this point. Give us something new, or stay home this time.
What did you think about EA’s E3 2016 presser? Sound off in the comments below.
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