E3 is almost as well-known for its leaks as it is for the big press conferences and flashy trailers. Every year, the weeks leading up to the show are filled with rampant speculation and unauthorized access to confidential information — at this point, leaks are basically a part of the show.
Electronic Arts seems to be the only publisher that hasn't had any of its major plans spoiled. There were rumblings of different projects in production a few months ago, but the majority of those rumors have been proven false. As it stands, EA's general E3 2016 plans are still intact.
For those unaware, EA is hosting a pair of small events during E3 in both Los Angeles and London. Dubbed "EA Play," the show is a way for fans to have access to the same games that E3 attendees would have — and with EA publishing a list of all of the titles that'll be available, fans now know exactly what they can expect to see, including Battlefield 1, Titanfall 2 and a host of EA Sports games.
What's interesting is that, by announcing everything that'll be available at the show, EA has guaranteed that it'll have control over any related news coverage. Sure, there are a few games that could still make a surprise appearance at the publisher's press conference, but EA has essentially locked down its own E3 presence ... but at what cost?
Let's be honest: one of the best parts of E3 are the surprise announcements. Bethesda caught everyone off guard with its announcement of Fallout 4 and its release date, while Sony had its press conference attendees in tears over the Shenmue 3 and Final Fantasy VII reveals. Surprises like these energize the show, and keep fans guessing as to what could possibly come next.
The downside is that, as the past few weeks have proven, the big surprises don't always debut as scheduled. Some fans are so desperate for information that, if the opportunity presents itself, they'll ruin the surprise for everyone. Not only that, but leaks are rarely as impressive as the actual reveals: how could a blurry, off-angle photo possibly compare with a huge stage reveal?
Every studio that's involved with E3 has to make the decision of whether it's best to try and surprise everyone at the show, or announce its plans ahead of time and keep control over its coverage. From what EA has announced, it looks like it's leaning toward the latter.
Again, there could be some big reveals scheduled for EA's press conference — but considering that fans already know about Battlefield 1, Titanfall 2 and Mass Effect Andromeda, the publisher's biggest games are already accounted for. Simply put, what else is there to reveal? Aside from Dead Space or Medal of Honor, most of EA's franchises are already out in the open.
To be honest, EA's plans are understandable — in fact, announcing things ahead of time might even be the more logical route to take. It's just a shame that the industry has gotten to a point where publishers seemingly have to downplay their own surprises in order to prevent leaks from spilling out onto the internet.
Fans will just have to wait and see if EA has anything else left up its sleeve — until then, E3 2016 is set to kick off on June 14.