Tagged "EA"

e3pressconf2014
Jun 09
By Adam Philbin In Blog No Comments

It’s that time of year again. As most of you know, somewhere in America the annual gaming expo known as E3 (pronounced “eeeeeeeh!”) is happening. Specifically in Los Angeles from June 10-12th, but what does that mean for us British folk?

The big publishers are all holding press conferences to showcase their new titles today and tomorrow. We’ll report on the aftermath of each conference, but if you want to know where and when to watch each one (in sensible UK time), just look right here.

Who? When? Where?
Microsoft Monday June 9th at 5.30pm GMT Watch it here
EA Monday June 9th at 8pm GMT Watch it here
Ubisoft Monday June 9th at 11pm GMT Watch it here
Sony Tuesday June 10th at 2am GMT (Monday night) Watch it here
Nintendo Tuesday June 10th at 5pm GMT Watch it here

As usual, we won’t be there, but we probably will be sat at our computers, watching the live press conference streams, bitching about it on Twitter and writing up our thoughts here. Exciting!

madden25_superbowl_sherman
Feb 02
By Adam Philbin In Blog No Comments

As most Americans will know, today is Super Bowl Sunday, a day when millions of Americans sit around a giant bowl of cereal and watch American Football on TV – or Hand Egg USA as they call it over there.

Each year over the last decade EA has run a simulation with the latest Madden game to predict the Super Bowl winner. This year, the Denver Broncos face off against the Seattle Seahawks.

Whilst it’s just a bit of fun and publicity for EA, the Madden Super Bowl simulation has correctly predicted 8 of the last 10 Super Bowl winners, so it’s not to be sniffed at (although, probably only slightly more accurate than a dart throwing monkey on a lucky streak). This year, Madden predicted a 31 – 28 win for the Denver Broncos. So make of that what you will!

Are you American, or not American? Will you be watching the Super Bowl today? Do you know what an owl is? Feel free to discuss all these points and more on social media by tweeting us @gamesasylum and moaning about the shape of balls in America.

Mass_effect_3_special_edition_wii_u_cover_art
May 14
By Matt Gander In Blog 6 Comments

EA’s relationship with Nintendo was rocky even before the Wii U was released. Word has it that the publisher’s negativity towards the system stems from a deal to incorporate Origin into the Wii U’s network, which Nintendo quickly decided against.

FIFA13WiiUGamePad

Come launch day, EA provided just three titles to ship alongside the Wii U – FIFA 13, Mass Effect 3 and the US-only Madden 13.

Skip forward to six months after launch and the system has received just one other release – Criterion’s polished but belated conversion of Need for Speed: Most Wanted.

EA’s promises to bring “their biggest brands to Wii U” first fell short after news broke that Crysis 3 was up and running on Wii U but cancelled. Then last week the Wii U received perhaps its biggest blow so far – 14 “major titles” won’t be making an appearance, due to EA claiming that their Frostbite engine “doesn’t run well on Wii U”.

we could even end up with the scenario of FIFA 14 appearing on Wii but not Wii U

Two weeks ago we would have said that FIFA 14 on Wii U would be a safe bet. FIFA games tend to be strong sellers all year around, and so it’s likely a profit would eventually be made no matter how small. Now having heard that this year’s Madden is a no-go we are starting to have doubts. Due to its large user base, we could even end up with the scenario of FIFA 14 appearing on Wii but not Wii U. Just think how embarrassing that would be for Nintendo.

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realracing3_top
Mar 01
By Adam Philbin In Mobile Games 15 Comments

Freemium gaming has no shortage of critics. It’s understandable, given that such games have earned a reputation for nickle and diming their players. EA have taken the concept further than ever with Real Racing 3, their attempt at combining the freemium model with AAA production values. The result? Possibly the most depressing thing to happen in modern gaming.

This article started life as a review, but seeing as Real Racing 3 is less a game and more an attempt at flagrant money grabbing, providing a score would be tricky. Ethically it doesn’t feel right writing a typical review.

“Gameplay not included. Fun may cost extra.”

On the surface, Real Racing 3 is an impressive game, bringing almost console-quality graphics to mobile devices – although the sparse trackside visuals don’t quite match the pretty cars. The racing experience itself is adequate, but with the vague tilt controls, auto-acceleration and feeble opponents, it’s not remotely near the same league as anything on a console. That’s probably because EA haven’t really made a racing game, but a car-themed credit-grinding simulator, in an effort to part you from your cash at every turn.

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Aug 17
By Matt Gander In Blog No Comments

News broke earlier today that EA are currently exploring the options of putting themselves up for sale. There’s more on that story here and here, but what would happen in the unlikely case that the company was to sell off their IP and shut up shop for good?

Because publishers are a predictable bunch, we’re going to speculate our socks off.

FIFA and Madden are EA’s crowning glories – even with FIFA 13 almost upon us FIFA 12 is still in the top ten and likely to stay there until FIFA 13 is released. Microsoft and Sony would do very well for themselves by taking over the respective licenses and making these two system exclusives. SEGA would also be a shoe-in for FIFA as it would complement their Football Manager series. They could do great things with Command & Conquer too seeing as their PC series Total War shifts in incredible numbers.

Then there’s the first person shooters. 2K Games clearly wants to have a yearly war game franchise but the closest they’ve ever got to competing with Call of Duty and Battlefield is Spec Ops: The Line. We’re thinking that Battlefield may be too rich for their blood, leaving Medal of Honor as a more viable option. As for Battlefield, we’d imagine that Activision would snag that franchise… and then do nothing with it. It’s the only game which has managed to dent Call of Duty’s popularity, so in other words they’d buy it just to kill off the competition. We can also see Activision behind the wheel of Need for Speed, churning out a new one every year and eventually running the franchise into the ground.

Crysis has Ubisoft written all over it – Ubisoft love their technical showcases, as this year’s E3 proved. We’re not sure who’d bag Army of Two though as the series has never been seen as ‘Triple A’. It could end up in THQ’s price range, that one.

As for the Japanese publishers, Konami or Capcom would certainly be eyeing up Dead Space for their survival horror portfolio. Square-Enix on the other hand would have a battle with Bethesda over the rights for EA/Bioware’s RPGs Mass Effect and Dragon Age. What a bloody battle that would be.

What of Nintendo? There are a few bits and pieces in EA’s inventory that they may be interested in. Boom Blox, MySims and SSX all have a very Nintendo-like vibe.

The Sims itself? We reckon Zynga would love a piece of that seeing as they’re being sued at the moment for jarring similarities in their The Ville social gaming thing.

The smaller publishers would then be left to fight over the remains. We’d no doubt see ‘reboots’ of Desert Strike, Road Rash, Theme Hospital and the like made on the cheap.

Although it does seem very outlandish to imagine EA being broken into bits – and chances are it’ll never happen – we have in the past seen publishers’ collective works spilt up and sold. We recall being particularly excited to find out who wanted what from the 3DO and Acclaim estates when they went bust. Somebody even bagged the Army Men license and got a few more years out of it.

Nov 01
By Matt Gander In Blog No Comments

Publishers tend to be a predictable bunch, releasing sequels and yearly sports updates, snapping up cartoon and movie licenses, and occasionally setting up new studios while closing down older ones.

It’s a little odd, then, that when a publisher does something out of the ordinary it often goes unnoticed. A little research into the subject reveals a whole host of games published by very unlikely candidates.

Only recently Sega announced that they’re publishing a few EA games in Japan including FIFA 12, Shadows of the Damned and Battlefield 3. You may wonder what the point of releasing a FPS in Japan is, seeing as the nation isn’t fond of first person games, but there is a rather unknown cult following out there who purchase western titles much like the way certain UK gamers will buy every Japanese RPG that comes along.

It’s this reason that we assume Capcom took up the chance to release Grand Theft Auto in Japan. They must have done well as they ended up publishing four of them – GTA III, Vice City, San Andreas and GTA IV.

Square-Enix even managed to find solace in publishing Activision’s James Bond: Quantum of Solace. Again, this must have done rather well as they more recently released James Bond: Blood Stone.

Going several years back, EA released a 2D shooter Soukyugurentai on Sega Saturn in Japan. If only they had been so brave with their western Sega Saturn games – all we saw were multi-format releases.

Microsoft’s publishing past is curious too. The Game Boy Color saw the dully titled The Best of Microsoft Entertainment Pack which contained dozens of games which were first released on Windows including SkiFree and FreeCell.

Sony meanwhile got their gaming feet wet prior to PlayStation with a range of games on the generation before under the moniker of Sony Imagesoft. Some of these were pretty good, like Mickey Madness, but others such as The Last Action Hero and Cliffhanger weren’t so great.

Especially when it comes to Japanese outputs, perhaps publishers aren’t quite as predictable after all.

Jun 20
By Matt Gander In UK Charts 10 Comments

With more negative reviews of Duke Nukem Forever appearing (EDGE’s 3/10 is one of the latest), 2K’s shoddy shooter has lost the top spot of the chart. But not to Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D as you may expect but rather Zumba Fitness.

Link rides in at a respectable #2 with 20% of all current 3DS owners making a purchase. Nintendo only has themselves to blame for it not being #1 – they started the whole fitness game trend with Wii Fit back in 2008. Well, that and the fact that Zumba is absurdly popular.

At #9 there’s another new entry in the form of Square-Enix’s Dungeon Siege III. It’s not the PC version that’s been shifting loads, which is odd given the series’ heritage, but rather the Xbox 360 version that has charted the highest. It should be pointed out though that the chart doesn’t include all PC downloads. Despite what we said last week, it would appear that it’s actually worth a look – the average score on Metacritic is currently 75%. Sorry about that, Square-Enix.

Also charting surprisingly highly is Alice: Madness Returns at #12. For a new IP with not that much promotion and a few mediocre reviews behind it that’s not bad going.

But we are going to have to end this week’s UK chart round up on a duff note – Child of Eden has only managed to get to #25. With Kinect sales still strong we could see it rise up next week. Even if it doesn’t, it’s bound to re-enter once the belated PlayStation 3 version is released in a couple of months.

Jun 14
By Matt Gander In Blog No Comments

There’s always a sense of excitement when one of the big three console manufacturers release a list of what’s due out on their consoles from now until the next six months or so. Part of this excitement comes from the fact that often there are games mentioned that haven’t been officially announced, or haven’t been previously reported as being released outside of Japan or whatnot.

This time round it’s Nintendo, with a list of what’s being released in US this year.

For Wii and DS owners it isn’t very good news. Nintendo’s own titles aside, the majority of games for both platforms are either licensed or child friendly. In fact, every DS and Wii game from Activision, Disney, Sega, Konami, D3, THQ, Ubisoft, Take-2 and Warner Bros has a license attached.

Incidentally, WB lists LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 for release on DS and 3DS but not on Wii. A mistake, surely?

EA’s Wii line-up makes for even more depressing reading – four titles based on board games and this year’s Madden and Need for Speed updates. Looks like they aren’t even going to bother releasing FIFA 12 in the US.

There are of course a few exceptions: Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 on DS should be worth an import. Two new WiiWare games are on the list too: La-Mulana and MotoHeroz. On DSiWare meanwhile there’s the excellent sounding Pro Jumper! Chimaki’s Hot Spring Tour Guilty Gear Tangent.

More exciting is the list of titles for the 3DS’s eShop – five GameGear games from Sega, Let’s Golf 3D from Gameloft, something called Picture Lives! and confirmation that The Rolling Western – shown at E3 – is an eShop title. That’ll explain why it looks so barren in the screenshots.

After a few months of silence, Nintendo are unleashing three big titles on 3DS – Kid Icarus: Unrising, Mario Kart and Super Mario are all due in time for Christmas while Starfox 64 3D is out in September. Paper Mario and Animal Crossing still have ‘TBA’ next to them. It’s not long until Kirby Mass Attack on DS though – that’s due in September as well.

Anything else? Ubisoft are stinking up the 3DS with no less than four virtual pet games – Petz Fantasy 3D, Cute Puppies, Horses 3D and Imagine Babyz. Shudder. It would also seem that Sega are holding back Thor on 3DS to tie-in with the DVD/Blu-ray release – it’s not due out until “Fall”. The DS version gained some favorable reviews; this could turn out alright too with the extra development time behind it.

To only see one DS game from Ubisoft is a bit of a suprise and it looks like THQ aren’t releasing any more uDraw games now that the uDraw for Xbox 360 and PS3 has been announced. Odd.

The US Nintendo release list in full: (more…)

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