EA shrunk Command and Conquer, doubled Unravel, and teased Star Wars at E3 2018

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If you watched the Electronic Arts “EA Play” E3 2018 event, congratulations for making it through a pretty bad show. Host Andrea Rene did her best to pluck up the proceedings, but between DICE apologizing for how they flubbed the launch of Battlefront II, to the audience applauding over the announcement that Battlefield V and Anthem wouldn’t have loot boxes, it was a dire affair. Also, for some reason, EA thought we’d like to watch a full live match of Command and Conquer: Rivals, the new mobile take on the beaten but not quite buried C&C franchise.

In sports gaming, there was the usual roster updates and gloss. FIFA 19 has a partnership with the UEFA Champions League. Madden 19, with some voice help from Michael Kenneth Williams, looked suitably Madden. NBA Live 19 is pushing harder into the management space with its Build Your Squad gameplay. Then, when things seemed to be going fine, EA trotted out Young Kiv, the current Madden champion, to mumble his way through some clumsy bro-justification for missing his own graduation to play more Madden.

There were a couple of bright spots. Unravel Two showcased some co-op side-scrolling puzzle jumping. The pitch for Sea of Solitude, an adventure through a young woman’s discovery of loneliness, seemed like the most German art game ever. Vince Zampella of Respawn announced Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, before disappearing in a puff of awkwardness.

EA CEO Andrew Wilson traded in his supervillain suit for a cozy casual outfit and declared that streaming and subscription are where the company thinks things are going. To that end, he announced Origin Access Premier, another level to Origin Access (presumably costing more) that adds brand new games to their current subscription service. He then cackled madly and flew away in a rocket made of recycled loot boxes.

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