Each year our editors sit down and make wild and crazy predictions about what we expect to at all of the press conferences at E3 2017. Although most of them are just flat out wrong, every once in a while we can nail them. So sit back, enjoy a nice libation, and join our editors as we discuss our predictions for each of the big conferences this year. Today we're starting with Electronic Arts, who will kick off the slew of press conferences on Saturday June 10th.
Visceral Games Steals the Show
There are a lot of big licenses and games that EA can trot out to make headlines. Star Wars is clearly going to be a big focus of their lineup but I’m really hoping that Visceral Games, the makers of Dead Space, steal the spotlight from any Star Wars Battlefront 2 announcements. Their Star Wars game looks like the type of game I want to play. There are rumors running wild about this game and I just want some more concrete details. Plus, the makers of Dead Space have the pedigree to make a killer Star Wars third-person shooter, which I’d be totally up for.
Battlefront 2’s Debuts With a Clarity of Purpose
The teaser trailer for EA’s Battlefront 2 made a strong point to suggest that it will include a proper single player campaign on top of its online play. The first game debuted to a rather cynical audience, EA is going to pull out the stops to ensure that people buy into a sequel scheduled not that long after the release of the original game. What remains to be seen is how online content will be doled out. While a season pass hasn’t been discussed, I’m predicting that they’ll roll out a Overwatch method of content by making it (mostly) free to keep everyone on the same playing field while at the same time, relegating aesthetic content to the newest industry trend: loot boxes
Let’s Talk About Need for Speed, Let’s Talk About You and Me!
What the heck happened to arcade racing games? Where did they go? What happened that everyone decided to just completely give up on them and only put out simulation style games? Even though they’ve all but killed off the Burnout franchise, EA is still holding it out as the last bastion for arcade-style drive fast, drift hard, swing that camera around like WHOA type racing games. Need for Speed took some needed time off, and hopefully the reveal for this new one will be a return to form that recaptures everything we loved about the series. I’m predicting it’s going to be more akin to the Criterion developed Most Wanted - a city, a load of events, and no story, just the driverlog giving you all the challenge you need amongst your friends. Long shot? They announce Burnout as well and we have our cake and eat it too!
EA Seeks to Restore Confidence
Still reeling from the mixed, if not actively hostile reactions to Mass Effect Andromeda, EA will seek to restore confidence in its brand. At present, I don’t see EA pursuing any risky new IPs during a time when an adored series was poorly received – not because it had grown stale, but because the quality failed to meet expectations.
While EA has taken chances in the past with new IPs such as Dead Space and Mirror’s Edge, I expect them to fall back on a previously established name. I’m predicting a teaser for a new Dragon Age game. This gives EA the opportunity to prove that they can still provide a true AAA experience that fans expect. By using another well-known series, it’s a relatively safe move in terms of sales, and they certainly won’t be releasing it in a questionable state.
Return of The Kyle Katarn
There’s nothing I’d like to see more than a revitalization of the Dark Forces/Jedi Knight series from EA. Kyle Katarn is easily my favorite Star Wars character in the expanded universe outside of Revan, so it would be nice to see him return (they did it with Thrawn!). I don’t know how they need to rework it (since Katarn is no longer the one that stole the Death Star plans) but I would love to see a return of Jedi Knight’s mixture of shooting and light saber fighting. The closest thing we have to this right now is… Shadow Warrior? Anyway, throw in the ability to be good or evil and some kicking Force powers and it just sounds like a recipe for success.
Oh, I would also take Knights of the Old Republic III. If that’s an option.
Or both. Let’s go with both.
All Quiet on the Bioware Front
Bioware has an excellent, enduring legacy, responsible for some of the most classic RPGs to ever grace gaming. Games such as Knights of the Old Republic and the Mass Effect trilogy managed to define their respective console generations just as much as Baldur’s Gate defined classic, CRPG goodness. I do not believe at all that it is a stretch to say that Bioware is one of the largest, most important development studios that Electronic Arts has ever acquired. That being said, I don’t believe we’ll be hearing anything from Bioware this year. Following the relatively negative reactions to Mass Effect: Andromeda, it might even behoove both EA and Bioware to hold whatever the main team has been working on in the oven just a bit longer. Expect Star Wars, Star Wars, and more Star Wars, just maybe don’t expect an RPG to turn up alongside those announcements.
A Dead Space Soft Reboot Gets Announced
Once a veritable god in the triple-A market, the Dead Space franchise left off on a flat note when its third entry disappointed in quality and sales. But those first two games are just too well-regarded not to expand upon. While I'm less sure that we’ll get any plot details, I’m confident that it will star new characters in a scenario similar to that of Dead Space 2. The whole concept of taking a beloved franchise and giving a years-later sequel to its last great entry has certainly paid off in Hollywood. Expect to see it in the gaming industry. And of course, the announcement will coincide with that of a “Dead Space Trilogy, coming soon to PS4 and Xbox One!”
It Truly is an Age of Dragons
With Mass Effect: Andromeda’s wild eyed launch now behind us, and the series placed on the back burner until someone can come up with a decent idea to carry the once hallowed series forward, the time has come for Bioware’s true king to return. Almost two years out from Darkstation’s 2015 Game of the Year, it’s about time for Bioware to announce a sequel to Dragon Age: Inquisition. I don’t expect a release date, and honestly, nothing really more than a teaser for something coming in 2018/2019, but I think it’s more then time to find out what’s in store for the land of Thedas after the Inquisition. We’ve been without our beloved Iron Bull for far too long.
Indie Games and New IPs Galore
Electronic Arts has been making an attempt at becoming a place for indie developers to bring their content to a publisher so that they can get proper funding for their games. This has been seen specifically in the case of Unravel, which was met with very positive reception. I expect more new indie games to be announced this year similar to the E3 2015 show. Perhaps there will also be some small-time Star Wars games that will be revealed, but I hope to see some brand new IPs that can truly revitalize EA as a company. It may be unlikely, but we can always hope for a charming new development team to help fill the holes in our hearts where Maxis has gone missing. The indie game initiative is a very big opportunity for at least one of these things to happen, and it would be a shame not to see it happen.
This is the Year for Grand Slam Tennis 3
Ever year I put out this prediction more as a hope then an expectation. Back in 2012, Electronic Arts released a decent tennis game Grand Slam Tennis 2 for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. It wasn't great but it showed some serious promise. Since then we haven't heard anything. Not only from EA, but really from anyone in regards to a tennis video game. E3 2017 seems like the perfect opportunity to announce a new entry in the Grand Slam Tennis series.
I'm the Owner & Editor in Chief of Darkstation.com. After spending seven years as the reviews editor I took over the site in 2010. The rest is history. Now I work with our amazing staff to bring you the best possible video game coverage. Oh and I really like sports games.