E3 2014: EA Predictions, Rumors & Expectations


Are you counting down to E3 2014? We are here at Gamesided! Every day this week, we’ll take a look at one of the five companies that holds a Monday press briefing (or Tuesday, in Nintendo’s case) to help kick off the event in the same order that you’ll see them from Los Angeles. Today, we enter Day 2 with EA.

EA may actually have the biggest show of any company at E3 this year. They have some huge confirmed titles you will definitely see at the show, along with a couple of titles they have been working on that may show up. There are a few more that some are really hoping to see, and there’s always the possibility of a brand new IP as well.

According to IGN’s E3 games list, we can expect to see the usual suspects like Madden & Fifa, and EA’s new stab at an MMA game with the imaginatively titled EA Sports UFC after acquiring the rights to make UFC games in 2012. Admittedly, as I am not a sports guy in the least, those don’t interest me much. Given the incremental improvements from year to year, I can’t really imagine even the sports games fans that would actually watch EA’s press conference would be that interested either. Especially since they will still be shackled to last gen, trying to provide a somewhat equivalent experience. I mean sure, if they announce some dynamic, sweeping changes to their approaches to sports games in general, even I’ll be impressed and forced to pay some attention, but I really don’t see that happening.

I don’t expect EA to spend a ton of time on Titanfall. E3 is a time to focus on upcoming games. But I’d be seriously surprised if they didn’t say something about it. Tout sales numbers in the most positive spin possible, give a little PR service to it, announce a map pack or two, and then probably move on. It’s way too early to talk about a sequel, so look for that next year.

I think EA’s biggest surprise may be that there will be a new Battlefield so soon. Battlefield 4 was nothing short of an unmitigated disaster that took long after launch to fix, and is still experiencing problems.  Granted, EA seems to be taking a page out of Activision’s book with a different team (Visceral) handling the majority of the work this time, and a new focus on urban police warfare rather than the more traditional stuff Battlefield is associated with, which will help differentiate it some from Call of Duty.

Thanks to an early leak, we’ve already seen in-depth trailer pointing out most of the new features. Assuming the showing goes smoothly, I’m sure there will be some actual gameplay on display, as this is probably their holiday tentpole title. I just really hope they learned their lesson from last year, because another disaster like the launch of Battlefield 4 could irreparably damage to franchise to the point where nobody really wants to touch it anymore.

I’m sure Dragon Age: Inquisition will be a huge part of EA’s presentation. We’ve really only seen glimpses and the game is due out in a few months. E3 will be a big opportunity for EA to really make a splash with it, showing some of this open world that Bioware keeps talking about. We also haven’t really seen much of the combat yet either. I personally enjoyed Dragon Age II, but I know a lot of gamers did not, so this could be make or break for this series. I would love for them to announce some quick and dirty remaster of the previous Dragon Age games for the PS4 & Xbox One to get me excited for October, but I think that would be announced already. It could still be announced and be out in like July or something though and I’d be pretty psyched.

Sadly, there is no way EA will just skip over the latest entry in their cash cow Sims franchise. They’ll spend time telling you how innovative and different this entry is despite the series basically being the same since it’s inception. I think fans will just be relieved that it won’t require a constant internet connection, which I’m sure was the plan before the latest version of Simcity went to hell. Doesn’t matter. We’ll all just spend time setting them on fire, drowning them, electrocuting them or just putting them in a room with no doors and driving them nuts. Because we’re horrible.

We were all very surprised to see that EA had thrown together anything Star Wars related last year at E3, as they had just recently gotten the game licensing rights from Disney. EA has confirmed that Battlefront will be present this year as well, which is no huge surprise. We’ll probably learn a lot more about Battlefront, but it will almost definitely be a late 2015 title at the earliest. Anyone expecting it this year is being pretty unrealistic. Even though EA supposedly has everybody working on a Star Wars title in some capacity, I really don’t expect to see any other Star Wars titles officially announced, as who knows what shape they are in, and it might take away focus from Battlefront, which will most likely be the first game out the gate from the licensing deal struck between EA &  Disney. I will probably lose my mind if we see an announcement for a new Star Wars rpg from Bioware, however. Even if it has no connection to the old Knights of the Old Republic games.

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So what about the unknowns that might possibly be there?  Mass Effect is probably the biggest question mark at this point. We know it’s being made, but how far along is it (“somewhere in the middle” is pretty vague)? Is it really ready to be shown in any capacity? If the Spring of 2015 rumors are true (and it’s certainly a possibility) I’d expect a first reveal here at E3 and maybe something more in-depth at a future show like Gamescom or the Spike VGAs. I’d give the new Mass Effect about a 70% chance of showing up and they’ll probably give us the full title as well with some basic story info like when it takes place.

If Mass Effect does show up, I think Mirror’s Edge 2 will most likely  not be at E3. We’ve heard nothing about it beyond the initial short reveal last year. It’s a title that has a dedicated fanbase, but pretty limited wide appeal and we are already looking at an extremely packed show. That’s something they can certainly save for a future showing when it’s closer to completion and has more of a chance to be in the spotlight. Even if Mass Effect is not shown, I’d give Mirror’s Edge 2 a 50/50 shot at best of being at E3 because as I mentioned, this is going to be an extremely packed show.

Of course, these are all known or at least sort of known properties that exist. We are in the dawn of a new generation of consoles, and that usually means new IP. EA has revealed that we will get a look at 6 “new” games at E3. Now what EA means by “new” is anybody’s guess, it could simply mean games that aren’t out on systems yet, in which case, we’re already pretty well covered there. I seriously doubt it’ll mean 6 brand new IPs, even if they are spread throughout the whole span of the E3 conference, as that just seems like way too many games being shown at once.

I do think we’ll see at least new IP though, quite possibly two. They might even just be mentioned at the conference and shown later at some special reveal on Spike or something. Last generation EA gave us games like Mirror’s Edge and Dead Space in terms of new IP, I’d expect for them to come up with something equally exciting and ground-breaking to get us talking and excited for. In fact, one will probably be a sprawling open-world action game, because that seems to be what everyone is doing these days and EA is hardly one to buck trends.

What do you think, GameSided readers? Will EA’s E3 press conference be one to remember? Will it be predictable and boring? Give us your thoughts in comments!