Electronic Arts, one of the largest gaming publishers in the world, will be hosting a three day event before the biggest three day event in video games, E3.
EA has announced on their website today that they will host the EA Play event from June 12-14th in Los Angeles, California. The event will include organized and online play for all participants, including access to new game demos from upcoming titles, exclusive memorabilia, online only contests, and behind-the-scenes content and livestreaming, among other things.
The event will also include an Electronic Arts Press conference on June 12th, which will take place both live and online at the Club Nokia at 1 PM PST/4 PM EST. The conference will likely showcase upcoming games to be released this year for EA, including the much anticipated Mirror's Edge: Catalyst, Mass Effect: Andromeda, and information on new franchises and IP. The press conference will also happen simultaneously in London, in the Mermaid, on June 12th at 9 PM GMT.
This will be the first time EA s will not participate in Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) as well. It has been reported that EA will not have a booth at the Expo this year, instead giving access to their player base instead of industry insiders. According to the website, "Our players are the driving force behind everything we do. So this summer, we’re opening up our world to you with unique new live events in Los Angeles and London." Currently, it is unknown how much ticket costs will be for the event.
This is also not the first time a major publisher has pulled out of doing a press conference at E3; Bethesda held their conference 24 hours before E3 last year, while Nintendo has been doing monthly online videos through Nintendo Direct for nearly four years. Other major publishers, such as Activision-Blizzard, also host their own events such as Blizzcon for their Blizzard-based games.
This is honestly a good move by EA, both in terms of obvious PR value and pragmatism. Getting out of the E3 run of conferences will give their games more time to shine, more press early on, and a chance to hype up their titles in the same way Bethesda did last year.
Of course people will be cynical about this regardless, but truth be told, an event open to the public that has access to game demos ahead of schedule, when everyone is in town for an event closed to the public, is a stroke of genius. If nothing else, it does show that EA really trying to connect with their fanbase and generate solid goodwill with the gaming community. Not that many AAA companies do that now a days.
But what do you think? Leave your comments below.