News & Updates
  • EA’s stock reaches all-time high off latest financial reporting and forecast
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    Posted January 31st, 2018 at 11:00 am 24 Comments

    All of the considerable losses from the Star Wars Battlefront II fiasco amounted to just a speed bump for Electronic Arts as the company’s stock hit an all-time high at market opening this morning following reporting on Q3 financials and increased projections for Q4. The rumors that Microsoft may be looking at acquiring the company have also helped to bump the stock performance in recent days.  Read more

  • NBA Live 18 gets its deep discount now for PlayStation 4
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    Posted January 30th, 2018 at 1:15 pm 17 Comments

    Earlier in January a deal on NBA Live 18 brought the game down to its lowest price point ever of just $7.49 but only on Xbox One. That same deal has now reached the PS4 and will be available for the next week to PSPlus subscribers.

    Given the turbulence of the series over the last decade there was never a chance that NBA Live 18 would sell many copies no matter how good the game would turn out to be. Skepticism from consumers was more than justified and its competitor too popular and well established. Instead the goal for EA Sports was always to regain some credibility and slowly bring more people on board through word-of-mouth and by playing with the price.

    A pre-order discount making the game $40 was the first strategy but, again, given Live’s history there was no reason anyone would take a risk at that point regardless of the price. The game was still required to “release” at the $60 which was just discouraging to anyone who might have decided the game sounded good later based on reviews or WOM. That meant the price would have to be dropped quickly and that did in fact happen.

    First it was bringing it back down to the $40 which occurred within weeks. But the price would quickly drop again and down to unprecedented levels – $15 in November, $10 in December and $7.49 now.

    Unlike on Xbox One, where the game will become part of the EA Access Vault possibly as soon as February, Live 18 won’t have that benefit present on PS4. That makes this deal one to jump on for anyone with even a fleeting interest in giving it a chance.

    NBA Live 18 offers a very good career mode which got strong support in the awards voting, enjoyable gameplay, and absence of pressure/necessity to spend more money on an in-game currency. Its Franchise Mode however is a mess and post-release support has left something to be desired. Check out the review from back in September here.

    Other PS4 deals on sports games this week include NHL 18 ($18), Disc Jam ($9) and Rory McIlroy PGA Tour ($5). The Super Bowl Edition of Madden NFL 18 also remains at the $18 price through the weekend.

  • Electronic Arts rumored to be acquisition target for Microsoft
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    Posted January 29th, 2018 at 3:15 pm 9 Comments

    A potential bombshell was dropped in an article from Polygon today centered on Microsoft’s struggles to produce first-party games for the Xbox One that compete in both number and quality with those found on the PlayStation 4. The company has been looking at making a big move to solve that problem through an acquisition of a major company or development studio.

    Some of the names being thrown around as possible acquisitions by Microsoft are, frankly, astounding, even unthinkable. But the fact that they are doing the rounds is instructive. The most recent one we heard (from a reliable source close to Microsoft) was, in fact, Electronic Arts. We also heard a whisper about Valve and about Korean outfit PUBG Corp., which Microsoft last year signed to a timed exclusive for its hit survival shooter, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.

    Electronic Arts is more than just sports games, but lets just concentrate on that part of it for now. The first question everyone will have is whether Microsoft would turn all of the EA Sports games into Xbox exclusives. The answer to that is no. Most league licensing deals require the games be released on the multiple platforms of at least PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, or in the case of FIFA the Nintendo Switch and PC as well. The leagues understandably want to reach the widest audiences possible and that’s done by avoiding console exclusivity.

    Where potential exclusives could come would be in the introduction of any new sports games, with the resurrection of MVP Baseball maybe being the most appealing option out of the gate. EA Access would likely remain as an Xbox One exclusive, either in its current form or with all the games folded into the Xbox Game Pass which already made waves recently.

    It’s also interesting that just a few weeks ago it was revealed that the original NBA Jam may be revived for its 25th anniversary this year. That, in itself, wouldn’t ring alarm bells except that it’s being done in partnership with Microsoft and would presumably be exclusive to the Xbox. Now one must ask whether that is simply a coincidence or a sign of what’s to come.

    When rumors of this nature leak out it often means a deal is closer to being completed than anyone would have ever anticipated – think how quickly Disney buying Marvel, Lucasfilm, and Fox properties all went from rumor to confirmation. That doesn’t always mean rumored deals always reach completion but where there is smoke there’s often fire. This is definitely something to keep a close eye on as the purchase of Electronic Arts by Microsoft would result in one of the biggest shakeups in the history of the gaming industry.

  • The Line Drive for January 28
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    Posted January 28th, 2018 at 11:15 am 1 Comment

    The Line Drive is a weekly collection of news, links, deal alerts, and updates that didn’t necessarily warrant their own postings.

    Ratings analysis and simulation results from NBA 2K18 with the ASG rosters.
    All-Star Game rosters and jerseys still not been added to either NBA game.
    Tuner has already made changes to stamina and submissions for EA Sports UFC 3.
    Snoop Dogg provides commentary for Knockout Mode in EA Sports UFC 3.
    Amazon now has UFC 3 copies (Champions EdStandard) w/20% Prime discount.
    The complete soundtrack has been revealed for EA Sports UFC 3.
    The Nike City Edition jersey for the Miami Heat has been added to NBA 2K18.
    Details on what to expect out of the February Combine for the NBA 2K League.
    Details on the roster update and final City Edition jerseys added to NBA Live 18.
    Details on the latest program in Madden NFL 18 Ultimate Team with TOTY Offense.
    Details on latest roster update for Madden 18 which also removes players from IR.
    RBI Baseball 18 will feature over 100 legends from the sport’s past.
    EA Sports has laid out the new eSports format for this year with FIFA 18.
    Details on the major new paid DLC that will be coming to NASCAR Heat 2.
    Details on a new competitive season and rewards for the last one in Rocket League.
    With the return of the XFL in 2020 comes a new opportunity for a licensed game.

  • Press Row Podcast: Most Anticipated Games of 2018 Countdown
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    Posted January 27th, 2018 at 9:00 am 2 Comments

    In a look forward to the year ahead, the panelists on this episode of the Press Row Podcast go through their top five most anticipated sports games of 2018. The criteria varied with the lists including some predictable selections, some surprising ones, and even a few hypotheticals. With @pastapadre @RichGrisham @ThatSportsGamer @danielbaesel @MillsGamingTV

    Check out the podcast through iTunes for iOS, on Android with the Stitcher app, or with Pocket Casts on iOS, Android, and Windows. The show can also now be found on the recently launched Google Play Music for podcasts. Subscribe and review to help support the show! You can also listen with the streaming player below.

  • Details on the release and features for Out of the Park Baseball 19
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    Posted January 26th, 2018 at 6:30 am 1 Comment

    The next edition in the highly esteemed Out of the Park Baseball series was announced today. Releasing on March 22 the game will feature improved 3D presentation, new tournament modes, new scouting system and updated rosters along with an addition of a mode coming in summer known as Perfect Team. It can be pre-ordered now with a 10% discount making it $36 and providing early access to the game beginning on March 19.  Read more

  • 10 hour trial for EA Sports UFC 3 now available through EA Access
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    Posted January 24th, 2018 at 4:15 pm 6 Comments

    EA Sports UFC 3 can now be downloaded as a timed trial with EA Access on Xbox One. Subscribers will get 10 hours of playtime with the trial. The timer is ticking down whenever the game is loaded regardless of whether it is being played, menus are being navigated through, or if there is any activity taking place at all. Because of that make sure to exit out and close the application completely when not in use.

    The 10 hours are there to play immediately but can continue to be used beyond its release. Saves are stored on the hard drive so progress in any of the modes and online records and stats carry over if a full copy is purchased. The complete game is available during the trial period.

    EA Access launched July 2014 and is available on Xbox One along with now Origin Access on PC. Sony has declined to offer the service through PlayStation 4 saying it doesn’t offer enough value – despite being arguably the best value in all of gaming. EA recently hinted the service may be expanding to the PS4 in 2018 however. EA Access includes the “Vault” which offers unlimited play with nearly every game from the company’s catalog this generation, 10% off all digital purchases, and the ability to play games up to five days before they release with a limited timed trial. EA Access is $30 for a full year or $5 month-to-month.

    EA Sports UFC 3 is putting emphasis on rivalries and fight promotions in its career mode. The full fighter roster and ratings are out to view. Considerable improvements have already been made for the game’s release thanks to the early beta. UFC 3 is out January 30 for those who buy the $80 special edition and February 2 for the standard edition.

  • Game Pass takes industry’s first step towards a true subscription-based future by including brand new titles
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    Posted January 23rd, 2018 at 2:30 pm 5 Comments

    Microsoft made a huge announcement today that is reflective of where the gaming industry is headed for the future. The Xbox Game Pass subscription service will soon also feature all Microsoft Studios games on their release dates.

    Members of Game Pass will be able to play the new games as though they actually own them. Upcoming Xbox One titles like Sea of Thieves, Crackdown 3, State of Decay 2, Forza Horizon 4, and entries in the Halo and Gears of War franchises will be among the games included on their respective first days of release where they’ll join the over 100 older games already available.

    Interestingly it doesn’t appear there will be a price increase that coincides with new releases becoming part of the package. A six month subscription is noted as being $60. The service has been $10 a month since it launched last May.

    Electronic Arts has already talked about their desire to move to a subscription-based approach that would see games have fewer traditional releases but be more actively updated with new content and improvements. That model is essentially what is found on mobile right now.

    EA Access has proven to be a big success and that only made it seem more inevitable that one day new EA titles would make it to the service and likely with an accompanying price increase. This move by Microsoft opens the door for EA to advance towards the same sooner rather than later, and it also cements the XB1 as the console to have right now for those looking for a big library of relevant games to play for a low monthly price. EA did hint that their service could be coming to the PlayStation 4 this year however and that will be the next step in the process of reaching the point where they can begin to offer new games as well.

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