E3 2019: Checkpoint Report Card – EA
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images
For E3 2019, the Checkpoint hosts will be grading each of the biggest press conferences of the year!
The first press conference is Electronic Arts (EA). While it’s not officially a press conference, Checkpoint tuned in to EA’s live stream. Here’s a reminder of EA’s E3 Live Stream Schedule:
Nate “Where’s My Skate 4?” Bender
Why was this 9 and a half hours long? I felt like I was watching EA Play all damn day! That said, at least I didn’t cringe nearly as much as I have during EA Play’s of years past. The hosts, Greg Miller, Goldenboy and Julia Hardy were exactly what they needed to be – light, funny and affable. The games were pretty much what you would expect: Jedi: Fallen Order is Star Wars meets Assassins Creed, so if that’s your thing – cool. APEX Legends outlined their Season 2, which includes and new Legend and some map changes and absolutely 0 details about their competitive scene. I just don’t see it bringing many people back to the game. Battlefield V reminded everyone they’re a thing by teasing a few maps and saying nothing about their Battle Royale mode that flopped. FIFA has introduced a new street ball mode which I think FIFA players will like but means nothing to me. I had no idea Trevor Noah was so into FIFA. Madden has introduced super moves which is actually something I think I would have liked when I still played those types of games. The Sims is getting tropical – which is a…choice? Speaking of choices: know what’s NOT a choice? Sexuality! The Sims is working with the ‘It Gets Better Project’ to include a bunch of Pride content which is really cool to see. What was less cool: the YouTube chat’s reaction to this announcement, which was immature and cringeworthy. Not sure what I was expecting. In conclusion: no mention of Skate 4.
Robbie “Review Was DOA” Landis
I won’t lie, EA went into this week already at a disadvantage. There’s a saying, “Perception is Reality,” and when it comes to E3 we expect big announcements. The fact of the matter is, EA Play isn’t set up to be a conference like we expect. It’s more in line with Sony’s State of Play, or a Nintendo Direct. The problem is they only do it at E3 and it’s as long as a conference, which ups the expectations. EA didn’t announce a single new title or IP, even State of Plays and Directs sometimes give out big, juicy new reveals. Jedi Fallen Order is perhaps EA’s only saving grace, but on the heels of multiple botched Star Wars releases it doesn’t do enough to move the needle when everything in the gameplay and trailer are things we’ve seen before in games. As for APEX Legends, it remains to be seen if that game can regain the same momentum it had months ago. I’m sure the FIFA additions will be welcomed by those who play it and finally, for something like Battlefield? Well, that an entire game was DOA anyhow.
Norris “Still Waiting In Line” Howard
I know EA is the game’s industry’s punching bag. But they never do themselves any favors. EA is consistently met with skepticism because they consistently make design choices that alienate a player base OR play into their microtransactions. After the abysmal launch of Anthem, the grinding halt of APEX Legends and FIFA getting its lootboxes banned in Belgium, EA needed a win. Perhaps even more than Microsoft does. What we saw at the EA Play keynote was one proper use of the Star Wars IP that they so desperately need to be good. And it does. Jedi: Fallen Order looks like the Jedi Outcast successor that I personally have been looking for. But other than that, there wasn’t much to be hyped about. Volta Football is an addition to FIFA that people have been clamoring for but it remains to be seen if it revitalize its single player. And with no announcement of any APEX esports, I’m still not sold that EA has learned anything about what people want from its games.
Grade: Solid C
Joe “Lost His Lightsaber” Sloan
JYeesh. It feels like this conference is still going. Thank god we live in the era of multiple screens, because if I had been forced to choose between EA Play and LCS, I would have no clue what they’d shown off. I have a tough time grading them, because expectations are so low for EA these days. It doesn’t seem fair for me to grade Bethesda with great expectations, while grading EA on a scale of “Did they show off anything morally despicable or potentially illegal?” I understand they tried to bill the event as not being a conference, but if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then I’m grading it like a duck. With that said, it doesn’t feel like we saw much at the end of the day. Not a single word on APEX Legends esports? How is that possible this far after release? Of course, for me, all I really cared about was Jedi: Fallen Order. It’s so nice to get actual gameplay footage, and yes, the game looks pretty cool. As always, I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop on this one, but from what we saw at E3, it looks good. I’m sure we’ll see the lightsaber customization microtransactions at Gamescom.
Checkpoint’s Average Grade for EA: C-
EA’s Live Stream pretty much fell short. It ran pretty long and has some cringe worthy moments. Despite all that, the excitement for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order has kept EA afloat.
Checkpoint Daily Show will continue Monday through Friday during E3 week, starting at 5:00 p.m. ET, at Twitch.tv/CheckpointXP.