At E3 2008, we got to see some amazing new games from EA. Among the games demoed were Mirror’s Edge, the freerunning/parkour spy-courier game; Dead Space, a space horror dismemberment fest; Left 4 Dead, an intense zombie first-person shooter; and more from the ever-anticipated Spore, including an iPhone version called Spore: Origins. If you are into sports, Peter Moore shows us the evolution of a bunch of EA Sports titles like Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 and NBA Live 09 with Dynamic DNA.
We’ve highlighted the best of the media briefing here, so be sure to hit the video above to get a look at all the goods yourself. Oh, and if you missed it, be sure to check out our full coverage in our E3 2008 EA Media Briefing live coverage.
The Sims Online has become the new and improved EA-Land. Electronic Arts launched the site in 2002 but it seems to have gotten lost in the Second Life shuffle. Learning from their mistakes, you can now upload content, add a widget to Facebook, utilize their virtual real estate market, and blog to your hearts content. Considering Electronic Arts’ recent troubles with Take-Two Interactive Software, we suspect that EA has decided that they do not want to count all their eggs in the same basket.
Read More | gigaom
EA‘s upcoming open-world game Mercenaries 2: World in Flames is being pushed back until 2008, further relaxing the pressure on a still crowded holiday season for games. Speaking to developer Pandemic Studios President Josh Resnick, IGN coaxed out a few more details:
We’re adding nothing at this point. Our only goal is to make gamers proud that they own a copy of Mercenaries 2 by making the highest quality next-gen open-world experience the world has ever seen. If that sounds ambitious, then you should see how many cans of caffeine our programming guys have choked down during the past two years of development.
Resnick also complimented Rockstar and said that he wasn’t concerned about competing with Grand Theft Auto IV because, as he puts it, “We know gamers are bloodhounds when it comes to sniffing out a quality gameplay experience, and we’re hoping that scent leads them directly to Mercenaries 2.” He said they were using the extra time to focus on fixing bugs, tuning the physics and working on the mission structures.
The delay was initial rumored because retail outlets adjusted their release dates from late ‘07 to 2008, forcing Pandemic and EA to confirm the delay. Commenting on the leak, Resnick said, “Those dang sneaky retailers! You just can’t seem to keep a lid on something once they hear about it.”
Read More | IGN
Peter Moore, long known as the public face of Microsoft‘s Xbox division, stepped into his new digs as EA Sports president last week and started off saying he wants EA Sports’ brand to compete in a broader arena than just the video games market, facing off against general sports brands like Nike and ESPN.
Despite selling millions of copies of its flagship titles each year, EA Sports has struggled to expand effectively and EA seems to be banking on Moore to help them widen their reach. “That could mean broadcast sports, sports camps, the ability to license consumer products around the EA Sports brand,” he told the New York Times. Moore is also looking to leverage EA’s technology to create social networking and news sites, all centered around sports and of course the EA Sports name. “I think we have an opportunity to aggregate information and bring it to life with video technologies,” he said.
“If we look at this connected world we’re entering, sports is a sort of social and cultural glue that reaches across the globe,” Moore continues. “There is an opportunity for EA Sports to evolve beyond a games brand to become a true global sports and entertainment brand, and I think we can compete there.”
Ignoring a collective shrug on the part of game reviewers, Electronic Arts has announced that the formerly Wii-exclusive rhythm game, Boogie, is headed to the DS and PS2. EA tells us that the PS2 version will incorporate a music video creator and allow players to record themselves singing along with their favorite pop songs. Meanwhile, the DS version jettisons the karaoke element entirely and revs up the minigame factor. In addition, Boogie DS boasts “the first 3D gameplay on the handheld system,” thanks to the snazzy (or not) 3D glasses that will come packed in with the game. Check out the DS trailer above, but only if you can stomach a whole lot of Brickhouse.
Read More | EA
Tom Bramwell has a preview for the upcoming Burnout Paradise that is surprisingly thoughtful and critically considered as far as previews go. He discusses the challenges faced by Criterion Games in re-inventing a popular series practically from the ground up and asks some pertinent questions where they ought to be asked. For example, when the topic of the Crash mode comes up and Criterion mentions that they have scrapped the original concept of the popular mode, Bramwell presses the point, getting Criterion rep Matt Webster to confess they don’t yet know exactly how it will all work out:
Asked whether they’re opting for a Burnout 3 approach of trying to manoeuvre the car in slow motion between power-ups and Crashbreakers, or a Burnout Revenge “golf swing” of perfect start and target cars, Webster admits it’s not all there yet. “We’re still throwing ideas around. I think we’ll be talking about it more in the coming weeks.”
The preview isn’t about sticking it to the Burnout devs, though, it reads more like a fan of the series seeing drastic changes and slowly coming to the realization that if executed properly, these could make for a remarkable game. Among the more exciting aspects of Criterion’s open-world approach to Burnout is the focus on seamless online play that works the way most gamers prefer, by putting the folks in your Friends list first.
Read More | Eurogamer
New trailers showing some of the refinements made to Spore, the upcoming game from Sim City creator Will Wright, over the last year shows some excellent progress. As ambitious as Wright’s games tend to be, this one seems incredibly rich as you expand from a single-celled organism into a galaxy-spanning spacefarer. The developers ring up an interesting point that most games are about destroying things while this (and other Wright games) are more about building or creating. Of course you can fight with other tribes in Spore, once you get to that point, and take over other planets and the like, but perhaps it’s different to attack if it’s all in the name of progress. A second trailer is also available, showing more gameplay and the creature editing - check that one out by clicking through the jump.
We cannot believe that football season is already upon us, but the first signals of pre-season exhibition games and the release of Electronic Arts’ Madden NFL 08 must mean it’s true. The game has certainly come a long way in the past several years to make it more lifelike, and EA claims that along with its improved graphics, it is faster and more user friendly than ever. The game was featured on Spike TV’s “Game Head” last night with its annual kick-off and released at midnight at a price of $39.95 to $59.95, depending on your game system.
Read More | EA Sports
GameVideos compiled some footage of Madden NFL 08, which you all know by now has one distinct difference between the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions – the PS3 version will run at 30 frames per second, while the 360 version will run at 60. The above allows you a pretty good look at seeing what the difference is.
Personally, I really notice the difference at 100%. That could be because I spend a ridiculous amount of time playing sports games and that sort of thing catches my eye, though. It becomes extraordinarily apparent, though, when they slow the video down to 50% and 25%. Now, you could argue that it doesn’t matter what the game looks like at those speeds, but it really illuminates the difference of what you’re actually looking at.
People always ask, “Why buy the newest Madden game? They’re all the same.” Well, here’s one very cut-and-dry reason you can use to explain: because, eventually, these game’s servers get taken down. EA is planning to take down 42 games’ servers on September 1 (although many of these are the same game across multiple platforms), and an additional seven on November 1. This isn’t a new trend, as there’s a sizable list of servers for EA games that have gone offline over time.
Apparently there really is a reason to pick up that newest Madden.
September 1, 2007 Online Service Shutdown
- Arena Football for PlayStation 2
- Arena Football for Xbox
- FIFA Soccer 06 for Xbox 360
- FIFA Soccer 06 for PC
- FIFA06 for PC
- FIFA Soccer 06 for PlayStation 2
- FIFA Soccer 06 for PlayStation Portable
- FIFA Soccer 06 for Xbox
- FIFA World Cup 2006 for PC
- FIFA World Cup 2006 for PlayStation 2
- FIFA World Cup 2006 for PlayStation Portable
- FIFA World Cup 2006 for Xbox
- Fight Night Round 3 for PlayStation Portable
- Fight Night Round 3 for Xbox
Check out the full list of September and November shutdowns after the break.
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