EA to Host “EA PLAY” E3 Press Conference This Weekend
At the beginning of each summer, video gaming sets its sights on the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). E3 is a multi-day event that hosts press conferences for big name publishers like EA, Bethesda, and Ubisoft, as well as console manufacturers like Sony and Microsoft. In the past, Nintendo would also be joining E3, but this year they have opted out and have instead decided to just show off their new Legend of Zelda game on the show floor. These press conferences tend to have the biggest video game announcements of the year, and fans of sports video games should pay attention.
EA, the company that publishes the Madden, FIFA, and NHL yearly video game franchises, will be hosting their own “EA PLAY” event during E3, instead of participating at the traditional venue. The event will take place from Sunday June 12 to Tuesday June 14, and the first two days will be open to consumers, with the last day being open to industry partners and media outlets. Most of EA Play will take place in Los Angeles, California, but on the first day there will be a simultaneous event taking place in London, England.
For those looking to attend the event, EA states that “tickets for EA PLAY are no longer available, but due to the overwhelming demand limited standby tickets will be available for EA PLAY LA in-person at The Novo for fans hoping to attend the event.” Along with experiencing the new iterations of Madden, FIFA, and NHL, sports fans can also play Madden NFL Mobile, watch the Madden Championship, and get an autograph from Los Angeles Rams running back, Todd Gurley.
FIFA 17 to Use New Frostbite Engine
EA has developed their latest game engine, known as Frostbite, and has been slowly transitioning so all of their franchises can take advantage of it. FIFA 17 is the most recent title to transition to the acclaimed engine, and it seems that soon enough, Madden will switch over as well.
David Rutter, the Vice President and Executive Producer of FIFA 17, had the following to say regarding the new Frostbite engine.
Frostbite unlocks a whole new world of possibilities for the FIFA franchise and its fans. We have never been as excited as we are today about the future of football and the experiences we are going to deliver in FIFA 17.
We will learn more about how this affects the gameplay and mechanics of FIFA 17 this Sunday, June 12 at the EA PLAY press conference, which will take place at 4:00 PM EDT/1:00 PM PDT. FIFA 17 will release on Playstation 4, Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC on September 27. EA Access and Origin Access member can play the game early with “Play First Trials.”
NHL 17 Brings Three New Modes and the ECHL Roster
Since sports games are released yearly, it gives developers a short window to add new content while also increasing the quality of gameplay. The development team at EA Vancouver has managed to add three new modes to the annual hockey franchise, as well as 27 teams from the ECHL.
The most familiar game mode coming to NHL 17 is Draft Champions. Madden players will recognize this mode, where the entire mode is based on playing with a fantasy drafted roster. The twist is that in each round of drafting, there are only three options to choose from.
Two more modes, the World Cup of Hockey and Be a GM modes have been announced, but there is not much said about them other than the following statement from EA’s press release:
The World Cup of Hockey game mode lets you take to the ice on a global stage and compete with your national hockey heroes. The next generation of Be a GM introduces Franchise Mode where you answer directly to the owner and take total control of the team and the business, from fan concessions to promotional nights to the arena and city you compete in.
Along with the new game modes, EA has improved gameplay mechanics near the crease, a new Player Rank progression system, a team editor mode, and tools to help you get better on the ice. EA has also announced that the cover athlete will be revealed on June 22 at the 2016 NHL awards, which will be hosted by Will Arnett.
NHL 17 is coming to Playstation 4 and Xbox One this fall, and like FIFA 17, EA Access members will be able to play it early with Play First Trials.
Madden 17 to Debut New Commentary Team
For the last several iterations of the Madden franchise, Jim Nantz and Phil Simms have been doing commentary. This year, EA Tiburon looks to shape things up with two relatively unknown voices: Brandon Gaudin and Charles Davis. Gaudin has been doing play-by-play commentary for NCAA football, and Davis has worked as an analyst on the NFL Network and FOX.
Along with their experience in sports broadcasting, Gaudin and Davis have the advantage of living close to EA Tiburon’s Orlando, Florida location. This means that there are more hands-on opportunities for the commentators to work directly with the developers than ever before. Also, EA states that “this year’s game also features the opportunity to add commentary updates throughout the NFL season on Xbox One and PlayStation 4.” This is incredible for fans who play Madden all year round (on current generation systems) and are tired of hearing about outdated statistics.
Madden NFL 17 will be released for Xbox One, Xbox 360, Playstation 4, and Playstation 3 on August 23.
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