Electronic Arts, famous for their enormous booth at the South Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center, will not be attending the conference this year. For many in the industry, the booth represents a major part of E3, showing off games ranging from Mass Effect to this years newest sports games like Madden and FIFA.
In its absence, EA will actually be holding their own event known as EA Play. This is going to be a three day event that focuses more on the gamers, giving common people the chance to find out more about some of the years most anticipated titles in addition to giving everyone some hands on experience with the games themselves. Running June 12th through the 14th at Club Nokia near the Los Angeles Convention Center, many are considering the event to be a miniature E3 centered around what Electronic Arts has to offer. In addition to the LA event, there is also going to be a similar event held in London at a venue known as The Mermaid. Functioning almost as a satellite event, the same games and information are expected to be shared at both functions.
Additionally, instead of holding a press conference at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, EA will be holding a press conference from their Play event both live in LA and online on June 12th at 1pm Pacific Time (3pm EST).
Over the past months, Electronic Arts has been working diligently in an attempt to change change their image in the gaming community. For many years, EA was largely thought to care more about their bottom line than doing what is right for the gamers themselves. Since Andrew Wilson was appointed CEO in 2013, there has been a dedicated effort to improve the games, minimize the impact that microtransactions have on the overall experience and fairness of the gameplay, and to earn back the trust of the gamers that felt they had been wronged over the years.
Personally, I am hoping that EA bases their EA Play event off of the success of the Bethesda press conference that was held last year. During that conference, the community was able to get a glimpse of Doom, experience the release of Fallout Shelter on iOS, in addition to hearing the announcement that Fallout 4 would be released in November. From my experience with gaming conferences in the past, Bethesda's seemed to have a different tone than other conferences that are held at major industry events. Perhaps the speakers had more time to rehearse before hand, or it could even be something similar to a "home field advantage". Whatever it was, the Bethesda press conference was one of the most impressive conferences that I have watched to date, giving EA a clear idol to model EA Play 2016 after.
Tune in to the official EA Play website starting on June 12th and running through the 14th to check out behind the scenes looks at all of the games shown.