We don’t get a real Electronic Entertainment Expo this year. In its place, we’re getting a series of loosely affiliated “Not E3” events like the upcoming EA Play from publisher Electronic Arts. The Madden company is going to show off some of its upcoming and unannounced games during the presentation, which begins 4 p.m. Pacific time on Thursday, June 18.
But what can you expect from EA Play? Well, you can just wait to find out, or maybe we can take a look and make some educated guesses. Let’s get right into it.
Star Wars: Squadrons
EA revealed Star Wars: Squadrons on Monday. The publisher confirmed that it is a multiplayer space-combat game that also comes with a single-player campaign. But Squadrons’ $40 price should also tell you the scope that developer EA Motive is going for with this one.
On Thursday, EA will provide the first look at Star Wars: Squadrons gameplay. This should give fans an even better understanding of what to expect before the October 2 release date.
Apex Legends is still one of EA’s biggest games, and it should get some news at EA Play. Expect the battle royale shooter to get crossplay. This will come in time to ensure that the next-gen systems have plenty of players when they launch this fall. It’s also possible that developer Respawn will announce upgrades for Apex Legends for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.
What about EA on Nintendo Switch?
During a recent conference call with investors, EA noted that it was looking more seriously at supporting the Switch. That could take many forms. But at the very least, it should mean Apex Legends making the leap to the Nintendo hybrid home console/handheld.
I would like to see EA shadow-drop some older games on the Switch, but who knows how much work that entails. A game like Apex Legends could make money for years, though.
EA has already committed to dropping new versions of its three annual sports franchises. Expect the company to take some time to cover FIFA, Madden NFL, and NHL. It might not do that during the main EA Play show, but it’ll likely have a showcase at some point that day.
EA Sports has four releases coming this year, though. So, what is the mystery game?
It’s not Fight Night, and it’s not NBA Live. The company is working to bring that series back because it is getting tired of falling so far behind NBA 2K. And the NBA Live team may even try to mess around with different business models.
It’s also not an EA golf game — although that is also in development.
One major question mark is BioWare. That studio is working on Dragon Age 4. Another BioWare team is rebooting Anthem. And EA has a Mass Effect Trilogy Remaster in production. We could see all of that, or we could see nothing from BioWare.
The Mass Effect Trilogy Remaster is coming this year, but EA may want to leave that out of its Not E3 presence. It’s unlikely that Dragon Age 4 or Anthem 2.0 are coming any time soon. And if those aren’t ready, maybe EA is happy to let BioWare sit this one out.
To fill out its lineup, EA is still running its Originals program. This is essentially EA’s take on publishing indie games. The publisher should turn heavily into this effort to help support its release lineup while studios like BioWare reload. This should mean three or four EA Originals at the Play event.
Those include a new game co-op game from A Way Out developer Hazelight Studios. Fe developer Zoink should also show up with its fantasy game Lost In Random. And EA previously announced a partnership with Velan Studios. Former Vicarious Visions executives founded that company, and they will likely have something to show at EA Play as well.
Battlefield 6, Medal of Honor VR, and more?
What about the rest of EA’s lineup? It might finally show Respawn’s Medal of Honor VR game for Oculus, but Battlefield 6 is still far enough off that it shouldn’t make an appearance here. DICE is certainly working on a return to modern-combat for that series, but EA doesn’t want to show it off yet.
Beyond that, EA should have at least one surprise in store. But you’ll have to watch to discover that one.