EA Conference E3 2009 Live Blog

EA’s live blog should be interesting – odds are we’ll see quite a few IPs, though maybe not as many as tonight’s (today’s) Ubisoft conference.

Note: This is now over, you can see below the tons of words that would hint at said finish. It was a great conference, despite the rocky technical start.

For the lazy, we saw Mass Effect 2, Little Miss Petshop Online, Pajama Party, Fight Night Round 4, Saboteur, APB, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Crysis 2, Brutal Legend, Grand Slam Tennis, Madden NFL 10, EA Sports MMA, Dragon Age: Origins, Need for Speed: Shift, and Dante’s Inferno, along with appearances from Pete Sampras, Tim Schafer (I know he’s not a celebrity, but come on, he invented my damn avatar) and Alison Sweeney.
3:16 PM:

And it’s over. More Mass Effect 2, please, interwebs. That was torturously repetitive.

3:08 PM:

A ton of Jedi and Sith have entered the stage area, along with two cloaked Jedi with mics on. You want to guess the franchise, or should I?
Oh look, Star Wars! Man, took me off guard.
Darrel from LucasArts, and Ray once again from Bioware. I’m thinking Star Wars: The Old Republic, and they just proved me right.
They’re talking about the teamwork that went into creating the MMO. I bet all those extras onstage are geeks who begged to be a part of it. Know how I know? Because I want to be one of them.
Unique voices for every character?! Wow. That’s ambitious. I’d call SideLines, folks, Fable 2’s voice crew are going to need your business if they want to buy the moon.
Different gameplay experiences from class to class. This is logical enough.
Lots of emphasis on story, the "fourth pillar" of MMO titles. Finally.
Trailer time! First ever!
Lots of shiny Lucas visuals.
A cloaked and a Twi’Leksith pair walk into a big building and kill the guards in front og it, as a Boba-esque female bounty hunter sneaks in above using jetpacks, nixing the rest of the guard.
Uhoh, Jedis have all dropped in, but it’s all for nothing as a huge troop transport just crashed threw the door, resting at the feet of a scary looking Sith. And about fifty more.
Colossal battle between Dark and Light forces, with a lot of slowdown action. This is entertainment at its finest.
Bounty hunter has a ton of abilities, not least: flamethrower hands!
The lead sith seems to be taking on various Jedi, but one in particular. Cue a long ligthsaber fight. Jedi loses, dies. Damn.
Tons of TIE fighters swooping in and razing the city to the ground as Big Sith Bloke toddles off towards the screen. Lots of John Williams soundtracking as always.
Bye, guys. Awesome.

3:04 PM:

Realtime Worlds is a new partner, as you know, of EA, and here’s their presentation with Dave Jones.
He’s talking about APB, their new MMO IP.
The graphics are pretty impressive. Apparently, it’s up to 100 players to take over the city through criminality or use of the economy. The criminals, however, become enforcers.
Character creation of a female. She’s a bit disturbingly undressed at first, but clothed soon enough. Remember the kids watching, folks.
Trailer time. Aha, it’s the protagonist from all their job adverts in Edge, I wondered where he’d turn up.
Lots of car and gun action, which seems slick enough. Lots of dialogue too, which is interesting for an MMO title.
The cop cars are seriously hardcore. This isn’t your average LAPD sting. These dudes have missile launchers. So do the crooks, though.
"The name, the fame, the hype… you’ve got everything you ever wanted. All that matters is making your mark." So states the game’s narrator. Hell yes.
Seems that’s it for APB, on we go!

3:02 PM:

Cheva’s back – Crytek’s CEO and president.
Topic of the day is Crysis 2 (we’ve covered this in our news section a little already).
It’s on consoles, by the way, which is a blessing, I speak for many when I celebrate not having to spend seven grand just to play the damn thing.
Oh, he’s gone! That was short. Hmm.

2:53 PM:

Host has returned, and is now talking about EA Partners, and how they’ve brought some amazing titles to consoles. Best example?
Brutal Legend. Cue Tim "Lord God of Narrative" Schafer.
I want his DoubleFine hoodie.
He’s talking about the development experiences he’s had, and how the cast of this game looked like the list of everyone he ever wanted to meet in the world.
He’s a funny bloke, this Tim. "I said early on I wanted Rob Halford right there on a motorcycle. And I got it in the game."
He’s talking about an antagonist who’s the leader of an organisation/gang called the Hair Metal Militia.
Hey, it’s Lemmy! He plays the KillMaster, a "mysterious mystic who lives in a mountaintop retreat, who plays the bass so well he can heal the sick and the wounded."
Lina Ford plays the Queen of Heavy Metal. Seems Tim had a childhood crush on her. May explain why she’s not wearing very much.
"The first album I ever bought in my life was The Diary of a Madman," says Schafer. He’s talking, of course, about Ozzy, who plays The Guardian of Metal.
Trailer sneek peek:
Lots of lava and lightning.
And very scary enemies.
Jack black makes his trailer appearance, playing his guitar and using an axe, along with a huge car to kill everything from demons to a huge spider.
Rob Halford looks grea, and so does Lemmy. Ford seems to own a huge tiger, and Ozzy seems lost as usual.
He is also able to surround himself with headbanging metalheads. Awesome.
Please tell me Jack Black is here. Please. With 2600 lines of dialogue, one more won’t hurt.
Aha, video message from the man himself. "Brutal thoughts with Jack Black."
He complains about a lack of footage. But offers a real life demonstration using brain-wires and a controller. Oh god.
Karate chopping seems painful. As does the high kick.
"You have footage of the game? Why the freaking hell did I drill a freaking hole in my skull?" "I’m sorry, I thought you knew" "My phone is FINE, shoelaces!" Win.
Seems like that’s the end of things there. On to Crytek.

2:48 PM:

Tom French, lead designer on Saboteur, takes us through the game’s trailer. Y’know, the famously censored one. Weird that we’ve gone from Little Miss Petshop Online to a strip club.
Bar the unnecessary nudity, it’s a brilliant trailer, along with a lovely cover of a song, the name of which escapes me but Muse made it very popular in the last decade.
Our protagonist has had a rooftop sniping chance spoiled by some guards, and climaxes the trailer by jumping off a rooftop.
Tom (his hair and beard are awesome) is taking us through the game.He’s talking about the Will To Fight system, apparently returning colour to the black-and-white world of Paris as you fight the Nazi Regime. Sorta like Prince of Persia, when you think about it.
He’s talking about the much-needed stealth skills in the game, as he sneaks up behind a Nazi officer, snaps his neck, and takes his uniform.
On go some explosives onto his target, and he legs it to a safe distance. Boom goes the explosive, and he’s out of the out
fit, shooting and running as he jumps into a car and smashes his way out of the compound.
He’s hiding in a… er… he’s hiding in a brothel to lose the Nazis. I’m sure he was hiding. Much confused laughter from the audience.
Off goes Tom. Next game?

2:28 PM:

Hurrah, it’s EA Sports’ own Peter Moore, talking about the ton of yearly titles churned out by the super-developer. Fight Night Round 4 seems to be the first.
It looks good, the graphics are very impressive, and the moves smooth and responsive to control.
Mike Tyson being the boxer of choice for this demo, he talks about punching through the guards. Hmm. Where’s Tyson’s iconic facial tattoo? Realism? Maybe not. However, he is fighting Mohammed Ali.
The camea seems very responsive to what’s going on, zooming in at appropriate moments.
Ooh, we’re coming out into a menu! Replay! Very impressed, says I. The graphics and physics of this game really are impressive.
Bye Ryan and Jeff (FNR4 guys). Game launches June 25th. Apparently it’s going to "re-energize and re-define the fighting category."
EA Sports MMA now, coming in 2010.
Apparently it’s a "broad, mixed fighting experience," blending a ton of different fighting styles and fighters from everywhere in the world. Peter Moore is a funny guy. "Nice tattoo…. naw, the wife’d kill me."
Over 500 million games played on the EA servers. Wow. That’s a lot more impressive than all the "look at us" statistics from the boys behind COD5: WaW.
New EA Sports interface: "Teambuilder" for NCAA Football 10. You can create your own team, complete with customised logos and uniforms, stadiums, and even secondary logos on the field. Seems like we’ll be seeing a ton of original teams up on the servers soon.
Teambuilder is availible today, so make your team far before the game, which comes out this summer in "a month."
Another trailer: Madden NFL 10 online franchise system. Current stats seems like a good idea.
EA Sports Active is now being trailered, apparently gets people fit. We’re shown a 30 day example of people losing weight through the Wii and the Wii’s Balance Board.
Alison Sweeney now onstage, apparently a size 4, but I don’t really see why that’s relevant. Meh.
She’s talking about EA Sports Active, and she’s talking about apparently being pregnant and excercising.
They’ve sold over 600’000 units in the first two weeks. This is EA power for you: highest sales of any Wii title in history.
Aerobics, waterskiing… they’ve got it all, along with a new tropical look for the summer.
Off goes Alison, and in comes Grand Slam Tennis.
Y’know, with phrases like "globalization strategy," EA, you look even scarier.
Thomas Singleton is now onstage with Pete, and they’re playing eachother at the game. It’s amusing watching them talk smack to eachother.
Quite a cartoony look to the game, which is a nice change from the ultra-realism of Virtua Tennis.
There’s someone behind you, Peter…
Oh look, it’s Pete Sampras, the character Peter was actually using. "Lemme explain to you how to play tennis, Peter." Funny mother.
Thomas is getting seriously into his game. "This is easier [than Wimbledon]," says Sampras. Funny that, Pete.
Later Pete, later Thomas.
Oh, and goodbye Peter. Nice presentation. Onto other EA depts.

2:21 PM:

Dragon Age: Origins -Two top blokes (Ray and Greg) from Bioware onstage now, talking about saving the world by defeating an arch-demonic entity. Sounds good to me.
Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. Thanks Bioware!
Trailer’s rolling, though this looks like the bunch of footage we had last month or the month before.
Yep, it’s the Manson-music video for the game. I still love the fact they chose a song called This is the New Shit to promote their new IP. Genius.
Back to the hosts. He’s talking about Mass Effect 2, and how it introduced us to a "tip of the sword character" who stopped the universe from getting knee deep in narrative-heavy evil doodoo.
Lag frustrates me, readers. It really does. He’s talking about viewing the first full gameplay of the game. Here it comes.
It’s our old friend Commander Shepherd, though this looks like the trailer that went out last week.
It is, in fact. They’re not big fans of new trailers, a shame considering this is the game I most wanted to see more of.
Bit of a disappointment there, but they’re probably saving it for the booth. Damnit.

2:16 PM:

Need for Speed: Shift now, thank the gods. Patrick Suderland (will name-check) talking about the title now. This is a little odd, as I’ve seen this entire presentation at the developer’s studio in London and he wasn’t even working there. Typical EA, I guess. Way to represent the little guy :(.
Various clips of the in-cockpit view, speed effects, and clips of the spin-out AI and other game mechanics. Nothing majorly new if you follow my blog. If you don’t, this all looks shiny and wonderful, and makes FORZA Motorsport 2 look more than a little half-arsed.
He’s asking everyone to come to the booth to check it out.

2:09 PM:

Kindly fellow at EA takes the stage and starts talking about the tiny cute things on screen, like super-deformed anime animals.
They’re talking about Little Miss Petshop Online, an uber-cute pet sim for children that allows them to take their pets everywhere. This is weird. Girls are the only people to want cute pets? Bad, bad gender stereotyping, here. But, whaddya gonna do.
It’s also online, bear in mind, so there’ll be a ton of extra features for kids who’s parents let them on the web.
Fair few minigames being shown here, along with a sandbox MMO mini city, messaging and a pet customisation system.
Another children’s game for the Wii. This is getting a little ridiculous considering I’m a guy, and I play games like this on the Wii. I’m also twenty years old. What does that say about the demographics of this title? Too much.
That and it was called Pajama Party. Jesus.
2:05 PM:

After a bit of a jittery start, here we are. Long montage of EA characters, Army of Two, Spore, Mass Effect, etc. On goes the montage.
Dante’s Inferno on screen, lots of slick, bloody action. Apparently, the protagonist seems to have upset someone called Beatrice. She seems more than your average literary scorned woman in terms of uholy anger.
You know, streaming to the UK is something you need to plan ahead for, G4/GameSpot. Jesus. Lag city.

2:00 PM:

And it begins!

12:53 AM:

With Microsoft’s epic live blog out the way, it’s an hour’s rest and time for EA! What’ll we see? Read on when it starts.
Half an hour to go now, as it’s 1:33 PM. Soon, my 40th Day fans. Soon.


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Author: Christos Reid View all posts by

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