There are countless possibilities for what Electronic Arts could show off at EA Play this year. Let’s take a look at a plausible “Ultimate Team” of EA predictions for E3!
Electronic Arts have already revealed plenty of exciting information on what to expect at EA Play this year. We know that Apex Legends is getting season two details, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (PS4, Xbox One) will have a gameplay reveal and Madden NFL 20 (PC, PS4, Xbox One) will be jumping into some NCAA action. Beyond that, I’ve got a few theories on what Electronic Arts has in store for us this year at E3 2019.
E3 2019: EA Predictions
- Apex Legends introduces Wattson
- Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order steals the show
- Anthem gets a game plan
- Need For Speed gets announced
- Dragon Age gets a mention
- FIFA 20 builds Ultimate Team hype
- NHL 20 gets a story mode
Apex Legends introduces Wattson
It’s no secret that Apex Legends will be a huge draw at E3 this year, with the company already confirming that season two details from the battle royale title will come to light at E3 2019. In April, there was an alleged leak revealing a season two legend named Wattson, whose name appears to be a pun relating to her focus on electrical attacks.
An early datamine has supposedly revealed what may be early concept art for Wattson, who dons a coat with a red electrical jolt emblem. To add credence to the electrical focus theory, the introductory sequence to Apex Legends does briefly show a newspaper that mentions a new challenger in one Natalie Paquette, daughter of Games Lead Electrical Engineer Luc Paquette. If this is Wattson, the electrical focus makes perfect sense. The same datamine also revealed an ultimate named Tesla Trap, which fans speculate will come in the form of an energy fence between two planted posts. Consider me shocked if Wattson doesn’t step out from the shadows at EA Play this year!
Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order steals the show
With Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order slated to launch this November, Electronic Arts is almost certain to keep a big spotlight on the upcoming game. EA gave fans an impressive-looking trailer in April, showing off a massive single-player adventure with Gotham actor Cameron Monaghan playing as Padawan Cal Kestis, one of the last surviving Jedi following Order 66. Respawn Entertainment proved its storytelling worth with Titanfall 2 and its ability to make a mainstream hit with Apex Legends. When you combine the studio’s magic with the Star Wars universe, I think it has the potential to steal the show—and I think EA will give it plenty of stage time to do so.
Anthem gets a game plan
The proverbial elephant in EA’s room is that Anthem had a very troubled launch, and this caused both BioWare and EA to announce an indefinite delay of the game’s post-launch content. I don’t think Anthem will play a large role in EA Play, but I do expect BioWare representatives to detail the game plan for what the game’s distant future holds. The title’s Twitter account has been inactive all month, so open communication for Anthem is realistically now or never for both BioWare and Electronic Arts.
Need For Speed gets announced
During an earnings report this February, Electronic Arts CFO Blake Jorgensen spilled the beans that a brand new Need For Speed game was in development. The publisher has been completely quiet on the subject since, but since the cat’s out of the bag, I expect EA to announce the brand new Need For Speed during EA Play. It almost certainly won’t come out in 2019, but I’m more than happy to wait if it means a return to the standards that the Need For Speed series set back in the day.
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Dragon Age gets a mention
The fourth iteration of the Dragon Age franchise got a brief announcement during The Game Awards last December, although BioWare refrained from showing any gameplay. Solas spoke in the trailer, indicating that the game takes place after Dragon Age Inquisition—but that’s about all we know so far. With development slowed down as employees were siphoned off to work on both Mass Effect Andromeda and Anthem, the game isn’t anywhere near release yet. I don’t expect to see more than brief mention of Dragon Age 4, but it certainly warrants an update.
FIFA 20 builds up Ultimate Team hype
It’s no secret that FIFA’s Ultimate Team mode is one of the biggest breadwinners of the EA Sports family. The popular trading-card inspired mode was generating around $800 million in revenue back in 2017, and one can presume that figure is only growing. Thus, it makes sense for Electronic Arts to build up hype for another year of card pack-filled Ultimate Team action—though this doesn’t come without its own loot box controversy.
This year saw plenty of flashback player squad-building challenges and the introduction of dynamic cards, like Ultimate Scream and live UEFA Champions League / Europa League player cards. I think dynamic player cards will be a big part of Ultimate Team in FIFA 20, since it gets you thinking about Ultimate Team as you watch matches unfold in real life. In any event, I expect Ultimate Team to be a focal point for FIFA 20 this year, though my heart also yearns for an update to Career Mode.
NHL 20 gets a story mode
Last year, NHL 19 introduced a huge wave of new features to the franchise: outdoor rinks, new game modes like NHL Ones, and a new physics engine that made hitting players more satisfying than ever. When compared to other EA Sports franchises, NHL is just missing one key feature that the likes of FIFA and Madden NFL have invested in: a story mode.
When I sat down with creative director William Ho last year, he said NHL 19 “wasn’t the right time to do a story mode really well,” since the team had just rebuilt the physics system and added so many new game modes. With NHL 20, however, the building blocks have been put in place. The parking-lot style outdoor rinks established in NHL 19 would be a great place to begin a young player’s journey to NHL stardom, and I think the timing is right for a long-awaited story-based mode to show face.
Electronic Arts has a vast list of games and franchises that could make an appearance at E3 2019. Whatever happens, I can’t wait to see what the company has in store. Whether you game on PC, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch or Xbox One, there’s going to be something shown at EA Play that speaks to you—regardless of if it made my prediction list!
See also: E3 2019: Ubisoft Predictions