Love it or hate it, there's no denying that EA is one of the biggest influences in the modern video game marketplace. The publisher has been around since the early days of gaming, and in the subsequent decades, has become one of the largest companies in the industry.
Of course, when it comes to the gaming industry, there's no bigger event than E3: every year, publishers, developers and journalists from around the world gather in sunny Los Angeles to see what the future of the medium holds: whether it's massive game reveals or a new generation of consoles, E3 has and continues to be the biggest video game event in the world.
That's why it's surprising that EA has chosen to do its own thing this year. While the publisher is still attending the show, there's no traditional booth - and, even more surprisingly, EA isn't hosting its traditional E3 press conference.
Don't worry: EA has replaced its more traditional conference with EA Play, an open event that kicks off with a live presentation of all the publisher's upcoming games. If you've been hoping to catch a glimpse of games like Mass Effect: Andromeda, Titanfall 2 and Battlefield 1, this is the show you've been looking for.
First things first: Titanfall 2 will be on PlayStation 4. Granted, gamers already knew that, but it's nice to hear it said out loud.
The initial multiplayer trailer was short, but squeezed quite a bit of info in: six new Titans will be available alongside a host of new pilot weapons. More impressive are the new equipment options: players will have access to the previously rumored grappling hook, along with a teleportation module and a singularity generator. The grappling hook looks particularly intriguing, as it greatly expands the player's mobility - including long-range, pilot-to-pilot melee attacks.
On top of that, EA revealed that Titanfall 2 would ship with a full, offline campaign at launch. There's still not much in the way of specifics, but the trailer did confirm that much of the story will focus on the bond between pilots and Titans - and hinted at some amazing setpiece moments.
EA also confirmed that Titanfall 2 would be launching on Oct. 28, exactly one week after Battlefield 1. Apparently, the publisher isn't worried about cutting into its own sales - though gamers have to wait and see if one release ends up affecting the other. That being said, players will have a chance to test the game out before launch, as EA announced that a beta test would take place later this year.
Mass Effect: Andromeda
Unfortunately, BioWare didn't have much to show. Mass Effect: Andromeda was at the press conference, but the only thing that was actually shown was a short behind-the-scenes teaser. After waiting for so long, it's disappointing that there wasn't more info (BioWare promised that more would be coming later in the year), but at the very least, there were a few tidbits present in the video.
Mass Effect: Andromeda will focus on an entirely new story, as players join an expedition to the Andromeda Galaxy in search of a new home for humanity. BioWare promised that gamers will find new species, weapons and stories among the stars, but there did seem to be a few ties to the original trilogy - for instance, it looks as if someone is rebuilding the Mass Relays.
BioWare also confirmed that Mass Effect would be moving to the Frostbite Engine, and the few gameplay clips shown in the trailer looked fantastic. To be fair, it's far from a full look at the game, but what was shown was definitely intriguing. Hopefully, fans won't have to wait much longer to get a proper look at the game in action.
FIFA '17: The Journey
Following a surprising lack of Madden '17 news, Peter Moore took the stage to introduce fans to the revamped FIFA '17. Gameplay may not have gotten much screentime, but a new story mode titled "The Journey" definitely made an impact. Most sports games ignore any sort of story, but FIFA '17 seems to be taking a shot at an underdog story. It may not be revolutionizing the genre, but it's a nice step up from the relatively sterile FIFA presentation.
Of course, there are changes coming to the system, but it's hard to quantify how big these changes will be without actually holding a controller. EA promised overhauled physics and artificial intelligence, but these are things that every EA Sports game receives - again, it'll be up to the players to decide if the changes make a difference.
EA also confirmed a September release date, though no specific date was given.
It looks like Unravel was a big hit for EA, as the publisher announced a new independent games initiative: EA Originals.
The program looks to focus on smaller independent developers from around the world, with profits heading straight back into the team's pockets. If EA comes through on its promises, it could be a huge boost for whichever developers it chooses to support - but, for the time being, fans only know of a single team working under the EA Originals banner.
At the very least, said team looks to be working on something interesting. Fe is a 3D, semi-open world adventure game with a huge focus on exploration and progression. While nothing was confirmed, the presentation made it sound as if the game would feature exploration mechanics akin to something like Metroid - unfortunately, the trailer shown was too short to get much of an idea about the game's scale.
It's a big move for EA - let's just hope that Fe ends up being as successful as Unravel was.
EA Star Wars
When it comes to Star Wars, EA didn't have much to say. Most of the new info had already been confirmed by one source or another, though fans were able to catch a glimpse of Visceral Games' upcoming Star Wars title.
For those who don't already know, a sequel to Star Wars: Battlefront is due out in 2017, helmed by DICE and EA Motive. The game will include content from seemingly all of the different Star Wars eras, but there was no sign of any sort of single-player content on display.
Next up is Visceral's action-adventure title, which is set for a 2018 release, though next to nothing was shown. Save for a single (admittedly gorgeous) shot, EA gave no new information about the game.
Finally, Respawn Entertainment is currently working on a third-person action game set in the Star Wars universe, but the only thing shown was a pair of motion-capture actors. It's being described as a new story set in a "new era," but fans currently have no idea what that could mean.
As EA was waiting until its multiplayer showcase to reveal straight Battlefield 1 gameplay, not much was shown during the presentation. The team did talk about the scale of the game - which looks absolutely ridiculous - as well as some of the new mechanics in the game.
Vehicles have always been a core part of the Battlefield franchise, but the latest entry in the series is taking things to a whole new level. Who wouldn't want to take control of a giant airship covered in artillery cannons? Weather will also play a major factor in gameplay, though there wasn't much in the way of footage during the presentation.
EA also confirmed that Battlefield 1 would be receiving an open beta test later this summer, but no real specifics were given. Battlefield Insiders will gain early access, but otherwise, the beta is still largely under wraps.
Of course, EA's press conference is just the beginning - we'll have updated coverage on every major press conference as E3 2016 continues throughout the week!
For more E3 2016 news, make sure to check out our ever-expanding coverage hub!