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Star Wars Battlefront II grabs spotlight at EA Play 2017

EA decided to show off a full 30 minutes of multiplayer gameplay, and also teased BioWare's new IP among other titles

Electronic Arts' second EA Play event has officially kicked off E3 2017 in Los Angeles, in a broadcast clearly designed to cater to the online influencer crowd, featuring numerous YouTube and other personalities.

The star of the show was EA DICE's Star Wars Battlefront II, which EA set aside a full 30 minutes at the end of the conference to demo the title's multiplayer mode. Here's an overview of what you may have missed.

Star Wars

  • Star Wars Battlefront II set for release in November 17, new trailer features all three Star Wars eras.
  • The game will introduce a new system for earning and buying/unlocking things called Battlepoints.
  • Importantly, all owners of Star Wars Battlefront II will get a continuous flow of post-launch content free of charge, no season pass purchase necessary.
  • Notably, EA did not talk at all about the Star Wars games from Jade Raymond and Amy Hennig (Visceral) or from Stig Asmussen (Respawn).

EA's other big games

  • Andrew Wilson started the show with a look at Madden 18, "the most innovative Madden in over a decade."
  • NBA Live 18 and FIFA 18 both got airtime; in particular, FIFA will launch its largest ever competition this fall.
  • A new Need for Speed, called Need for Speed Payback, looks like an homage to Fast and the Furious and is set for November 10.
  • BioWare's new IP, Anthem, was only briefly teased. A deeper dive is expected during the Xbox conference tomorrow.
  • Battlefield 1 is getting a huge DLC update in September called In The Name of the Tsar - 6 new maps and a "richer gameplay experience." Battlefield 1 currently has over 20m players.

EA Originals

  • Patrick Soderlund said that the funding program has received a very warm reception among indies. It's about "providing a level of security" for devs.
  • EA revealed its next big EA Originals title after Unravel and Fe; it's called A Way Out, made by the creators of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons.
  • Josef Fares took the stage to talk about his new studio Hazelight and to demo A Way Out, which appears to have AAA-level production qualities; EA is clearly not just funding smaller titles with EA Originals.
  • A Way Out is a story driven co-op game, which curiously is played only in split screen co-op either online or your couch. It's set for early 2018.

Notable tidbits

  • EA has launched a new research division called SEED ("search for extraordinary experiences") to further investigate AI and the future of interactive entertainment.
  • In celebration of its charity efforts ($1m to charities to push for more inclusion in games), EA has made its Origin, EA Access and select PlayStation 4 titles free to play through June 18.
  • There was no real discussion around VR titles, and nothing new for Switch aside from FIFA.
  • EA did, however, talk about how they "were thrilled" with the Scorpio dev kits and the level of detail the new Xbox offers.
  • Mobile fans didn't have much to look at. EA briefly mentioned that you can download and play Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes for free (which we knew already).

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