EA's E3 Conference Liveblog: And So It Begins

It wouldn't be E3 without press conferences, and press conferences wouldn't be the same without some early morning liveblogging.

If you'd like to watch the conference, you can do so via this link. I've gone and saved everyone the trouble of embedding the Twitch chat, for your sanity and mine. It's too early in the morning. Anyway, same rules apply as last year: keep refreshing every few minutes, and I'll have something up for you.

07:08: So final takeaways: one of the better EA conferences in years, although less because of what was shown and more because they kept it fast and tight.

There wasn't any news about follow-ups to Mirror's Edge. There was very little said about Visceral's Star Wars game. And Mass Effect: Andromeda still feels a long, long way away.

But the sports section of the conference was kept to a minimum. Esports wasn't turned into the new Hoop Gawd. We didn't have Battlefield 1 jammed down our throats for 20 minutes. Titanfall 2 looked good. And if you've been waiting for EA to do something with FIFA's single player for years, there's finally something.

I'm pretty happy, at the end of it. But I really would have liked one or two more indies, a bit more Mass Effect. Hell, even more news about what's happening to The Old Republic or Battlefront would have been sweet.

Can't win them all, though. But that's it for now. Just before noon we'll be doing it all over again for Bethesda. And let me know what you think in the comments!

07:04: And back to Peter Moore at London. He's wrapping the show up in London, and we're back to Los Angeles where Andrew Wilson gets to wrap the show.

An hour-long livestream of Battlefield 1 is about to kick off. But that's it for EA's E3 conference this year.

07:01: Dammit, Gyazo didn't save my picture. Anyway, it's a discussion about all-out war never feeling so epic. Battlefield 1 comes October 21, in case you didn't know. Open beta is later this winter, people.

Here's the official gameplay trailer.

07:00: Jamie Foxx and Zac Efron are here for the Battlefield 1 trailer.

This is more awkward than Mourinho already.

06:59: "You're going to get us all killed!" It's another Battlefield 1 teaser. Lots of metal sounding like it's being jammed in metal. Full version of the trailer to come.

DICE's GM Patrick Bach steps up.

06:58: Here's that video about EA's Star Wars games, by the way.

06:55: And the long video about inspired developers talking about games comes to an end. Lots of still shots, but nothing concrete.

Patrick Soderlund's back. It's Battlefield 1.

06:53: The God of War 3 creative director, Stig Asmussen, looks like he's working on the Star Wars project for Respawn.

Also, a wild Lando appears!

06:51: First up: next instalment of Battlefront. In 2018 is the new game from Visceral and Amy Henning, an original narrative with new characters.

Respawn is also exploring a third-person action-adventure in the Star Wars universe. No details beyond that.

06:50: Lovely music. And it's Star Wars time.

Jade Raymond takes the stage. First slide doesn't show off Visceral's game though.

06:47: It's a game without words that starts in a forest. You're a cub who learns songs, songs which unlock other parts of the forest.

It's pronounced 'Ph-ee'. First trailer plays. Looks really, really unusual.

06:46: The first EA Originals game: Fe.

The creator's nervous. He's already pronounced Fe differently twice.

06:45: Patrick Söderlund comes on stage hinting about another surprise.

He talks about working more with indies, basically. "Today we are very excited to announce EA Originals." It's a program about "first-time experiences that are unique, gorgeous" and memorable.

06:42: FIFA trailer. FIFA, with more polygons.

The net looks a lot more textured this year.

06:39: Mourinho does what you'd expect from this part of EA's conference — make things horribly awkward.

"There are 20 of us," he asks Wilson. "You choose only 3?"

And this comes after Wilson said he was a Liverpool fan live on stage. Oh my.

06:38: EA reminds everyone that it's 5 minutes until we get a Star Wars update.

Peter Moore manages to extract boos from the crowd.

And then Jose Mourinho walks onto the stage.

06:36: Oh god. FIFA has basically done what NBA 2K15 did with its career mode with a narrative that carries on throughout.

06:34: Alex Hunter talks about his dreams playing football growing up.

This is starting to feel like a FIFA poetry slam.

06:33: It's FIFA time ... which means it's time for Peter Moore to joke about England choking in the most recent friendly.

Did not go down well.

06:31: EA announces in-game challenges with charitable donations: Play To Give.

There's five challenges across EA's games on mobile, PC and consoles that will result in them donating $USD1 million to those five charities. Pretty interesting thing to drop during E3.

06:30: Andrew Wilson asks if people are loving what we've seen so far.

We haven't seen much, in fairness.

It's now time for a "practical discussion about EA Play". This week is supposedly EA's biggest collection of content updates — this must be the Origin part of the conference.

06:28: It's an in-progress trailer, where you see a character being animated on a developer's screen and then that animation being rendered.

It looks neat. And the environments look nice and lush. But there's very little shown — EA are saving that for the autumn.

06:26: EA into the $USD1 million prize pools now for Madden. More news about more events for non-Madden games soon, Peter Moore says.

MASS EFFECT TIME WOO

06:23: Despite only having an hour for their conference replacement, EA is dedicating a good chunk to this Madden pre-roll.

I'd rather have Hoop Gawd 2.0, and I've been following esports for around 13 years. One of the two champions in the pre-roll video is now standing on stage with a broken collarbone. Is he going to play with his arm in a sling?

06:20: And it's going to EA's esports strategy with their sports games now.

Peter Moore talks about a "new approach" to competitive gaming. "Weekly online contests in our biggest franchises." Announces three series of events:

06:18: I hadn't seen the SP footage yet.

This looks good. And ... it's time for half the audience to tune out, because it's Sports Ball Time! Madden's first up.

06:17: Here's the single player trailer, which was officially released earlier this morning.

06:16: 6 new titans, new combat abilities, expanded pilot gameplay, deep progression system. Multiplayer beta prior to launch to "test features" of the game. Sign up at the main website.

Best part: Zampella jokes about the single player leak. "For the 4 people who didn't see this this morning." Well played.

Titanfall 2 is coming October 28th to PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

06:15: Here's the link, but it's not officially available right now (although will be by the end of this conference).

06:13: Vince Zampella comes out ... and mentions being near E3. Someone laughs ironically in the crowd.

Multiplayer trailer!

06:11: Wilson says "we'll take a look into the future of EA Star Wars games". Mass Effect and Bioware. First ever 64 player Battlefield 1 match. Rhetorical question about shovels and trenches being in the same World War 1 game.

But we're starting with Titanfall 2.

06:10: Andrew Wilson, EA CEO, is kicking things off. "It's a brand new type of show," he says to the sound of a million internet memes being created.

Then talks about EA Play having hundreds of play stations. It's EA's version of Blizzcon, but in the middle of the year.

06:08: WE'RE STARTING

06:06: Well, I got beat to the joke.

06:03: (mechanical keyboards 1, sleep minus eleventy million)

So yeah ... no conference yet. Hmm. Guess that's the advantage of running your own event?

05:59: "Hey cute, we nearly at conference time?"

Yes, yes we are. We're all in. One minute people.

05:56: And I should mention, if you're not at PAX, I have no idea what I'll do. But I'll work it out! Fire away, people.

I meant to mention as well that the adoption of Frostbite for EA's sports games should be pretty interesting. I wonder if it'll mean NBA Live is back on track. It'll be more interesting to the FIFA and Madden crowd, though.

05:50: Oh boy it's cold. Fortunately I'm doing this conference from home, where I can throw as much honey (and coffee) into my yoghurt as possible. And I can mainline cough syrup, which is handy because I haven't been the healthiest over the last few days.

But I genuinely get a buzz from E3. I could barely sleep last night, even though some of the most exciting games from EA's conference won't come until 2017: Titanfall 2, the new Star Wars game, and Mass Effect: Andromeda. There's also slated to be a new IP from EA, although I do like Battlefield's return to the more traditional warfare.

My partner's also promised me she can "sleep through anything" and will quietly nap while I liveblog on a mechanical keyboard. If you're going to PAX, free drink if you can guess if and when that situation changes.


Comments

    Andromeda is what I'm interested in. Can't say I care too much about anything relating to Titanfall or Battlefront. A surprise Star Wars announcement like a single player RPG/KoTOR 3 would be cool though. I just hope this conference isn't packed down with sports games like last years was. There's so many of them EA Sports could almost have their own seperate conference.

    I hope Pele shows up again and we spend 20 minutes watching a guy gush over Soccer!

    *yawn* It's too late now to go make some coffee or I might miss something... Hoping for a KOTOR3 surprise. That would be amazing.

    titanfall looked awesome again but that mass effect trailer was disappointing

    That was pure garbage. EA deserves to watch this conference because I can't think of a worse punishment.

    So I guess every two years we're going to be subjected to shots of people at their desks fiddling with graphics engines talking about how they're inspired by nature or George Lucas or something!

    I'm glad it was the first one because apart from Titanfall and BF1 it was pointless

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