E3/EA Play 2017 Preview

Posted June 8th, 2017 at 3:30 pm

Though its relevance on the ground has been fading E3 still represents a massive yearly event for the gaming industry. The press briefings that take place prior to E3 are main draw for observers while Electronic Arts has left E3 to hold their own overlapping event known as EA Play and other companies have begun to take similar approaches.

E3 and now also EA Play have traditionally delivered new insight into the upcoming crop of sports games slated for late summer and fall. Here’s the lineup for when everything is taking place, what to expect, and where to watch. 

Electronic Arts Press Briefing – Sat, June 10 at Noon PT

Madden NFL 18, FIFA 18, and NBA Live 18 will be appearing at the conference for feature and trailer reveals. For Madden it’s likely the new Story Mode and visual enhancements due to the transition to Frostbite will be the primary focus.

There are two games not yet specified by the company that will be part of the briefing. Odds are they won’t be sports related (though possibilities include a glimpse at next year’s UFC game or something with baseball) but they want to avoid making this an event that only appeals to sports fans. Mobile games like Madden, FIFA, and NBA Live could come up at some point briefly and EA Access seems to likely get at least a mention.

FIFA 18 – Powered by Frostbite, FIFA 18 blurs the line between the virtual and real worlds, bringing to life the heroes, teams, and atmospheres of the world’s game.

Madden NFL 18 – With Frostbite, the spectacle of NFL gameday comes alive delivering photorealistic players, crowds and stadiums, and introduces an all-new mode to the Madden NFL franchise.

NBA LIVE 18 – Delivering gameplay innovations and a brand-new way to play with ‘The One’, NBA LIVE returns with an experience completely centered around a player’s individual journey.

Need for Speed Payback – This explosive adventure is filled with intense heist missions, high stakes car battles, epic cop pursuits and jaw dropping set pieces. It’s blockbuster gameplay never before seen from the series, fueled by a gripping story of betrayal and revenge. With Need for Speed Payback, it’s about building the perfect ride, getting behind the wheel and playing out an action driving fantasy.

Watch: EA.comTwitch

Microsoft Press Briefing – Sun, June 11 at 2PM PT

The marketing partnership that MS had with EA may have shifted this year to Sony, so news tied to an EA Sports game wouldn’t appear to be likely. In the past those reveals have generally related to exclusive DLC. Instead, along with their own Xbox Game Pass, they could go about promoting the the EA Access subscription service. Mostly though all eyes will be on the full Scorpio reveal – where enhancements from the new hardware could be touted that relate to the upcoming slate of sports games – along with the upcoming Forza Motorsport 7.

Watch: Xbox.comTwitch

Sony Press Briefing – Mon, June 12 at 6PM PT

This is where NBA 2K has made appearances in the past though the series has been absent the last three years. There’s no indication that streak will end here. One thing to look for is VR sports games or features that tie into traditional sports games. We know EA is at least considering the idea of creating VR modes due to a survey they sent out about possible UFC 3 features.

Watch: PlayStation.com – Twitch – Live Events Viewer on Console

EA Play

For the second straight year EA won’t have floor space at E3’s LA Convention Center and instead are holding their own independent event. EA Play will run Saturday-Monday and will offer hands-on with Madden NFL 18, FIFA 18, and possibly also NBA Live 18. NHL 18 is completely absent from the event and it’s unclear if the Nintendo Switch version of FIFA will be present. Pictures or off-screen video from attendees may not be allowed but impressions are sure to come from those who get time with the games. EA will also be livestreaming from the floor with behind-the-scenes looks at Madden NFL 18, FIFA 18 and others.

E3 Show Floor

E3 runs from Tuesday-Thursday. This is the first year that the general public has been able to attend. Companies are shifting towards offering their own independent events however and quite a few reveals have already taken place to avoid being drowned out by the barrage to come. It appears there will be no traditional sports games found on the show floor this year.


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