EA Closes Main Maxis Studio Behind SimCity

Posted by Bob Muir on Mar 5, 2015 in Videogames

SimCity

Time to add another one to the list of studios that Electronic Arts bought and closed. Maxis Emeryville is no more. While Maxis (founded in 1987) has grown as a brand and now has other studios, this was the main studio that was known for SimCity, The Sims, and Spore. Perhaps this is the fallout from 2013’s SimCity, the controversial reboot that shrunk the size of cities and required players to be always online for minimal benefit. But I always got the feeling that, despite the developers claiming the poor decisions were their idea, it was EA who mandated the poor decisions. It’s a real shame, as the brand will live on, but the studio that created that brand will be no more. Hopefully all the affected employees land on their feet quickly. Read more…

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EA Announces Game Subscription Service On Xbox One

Posted by Bob Muir on Jul 30, 2014 in Videogames

EA Access

Though I’m a firm proponent of physical media, I can’t deny some of the potential benefits of a digital future, especially for rentals. While GameFly offers disc rentals similar to Netflix’s mail service, there currently isn’t a similar service for digital rentals — until now. EA has announced EA Access, a subscription service for Xbox One that allows gamers to play multiple EA games for a monthly rate. You won’t own the games, but you’ll have access as long as you keep paying, like a mix of Netflix and PlayStation Plus. The service has launched its beta with FIFA 14, Madden NFL 25, Peggle 2, and Battlefield 4, with more games on the way (likely before the full launch). Read more…

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EA Presents Battlefield: Hardline, Star Wars: Battlefront At E3

Posted by Bob Muir on Jun 9, 2014 in Videogames

Mirror's Edge 2

The second press conference of E3’s “Day 0” was Electronic Arts, and while there was new stuff shown off, it is unlikely to get you into a frothing mess of anticipation. They began with their studio DICE, who showed some early in-engine footage of Star Wars: Battlefront, coming Spring 2015, and the environments looked gorgeous. The Star Wars license looks like it’s in good hands. Read more…

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EA’s E3 2013 Presentation Features Dragon Age III, Mirror’s Edge 2

Posted by Bob Muir on Jun 10, 2013 in Videogames

Dragon Age III - Morrigan

The E3 press conferences from non-platform makers generally have fewer announcements than their Big 3 friends, often retreading a few announcements, but there’s still some worthwhile news. With a new console generation about to happen (or already happening, if you’re satisfied with a Wii U), Electronic Arts has more than usual to show, for both Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Read more…

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EA Gains Star Wars Videogame License From Disney

Posted by Bob Muir on May 7, 2013 in Star Wars, Videogames

Emperor Palpatine

It was a semi-sad day when Disney closed Lucasarts recently — the studio was no longer the home of strong adventure games and other creative experiences, but it still seemed unfortunate. But we all knew that it couldn’t mean the end of Star Wars games; the official statement even said that Lucasarts would adopt a licensing model. Now we know where that license is ending up: in Electronic Art’s hands. Read more…

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Mirror’s Edge 2 Reportedly Already In Development

Posted by Bob Muir on Nov 22, 2012 in Videogames

Mirror's Edge

2008’s Mirror’s Edge, from Battlefield studio DICE, was an interesting concept that ultimately didn’t perform very well due to insufficient quality and the challenges of being a new IP. The idea of first-person free-running is cool, and the game was very commendable for featuring a bright, shiny aesthetic with splashes of color in a time when brown-and-gray visuals were getting old. In the end though, many players were disappointed, yet still optimistic for a sequel to fix the first game’s problems. That sequel never came, but rumors indicate that Mirror’s Edge 2 may already be in development.

Previous teases indicated that EA and DICE were considering how to fix Mirror’s Edge‘s issues, that they were interested in what fans wanted from a potential sequel, and that any new Mirror’s Edge game would likely run on the Frostbite 2 engine that powers Battlefield 3. Now a tweet has surfaced in response to yesterday’s Eurogamer article about EA wanting to avoid making DICE a Battlefield factory that only churns out more war games.

Ben Cousins is currently the general manager at ngmoco Sweden, but was previously executive producer of Battlefield at DICE. He tweeted that “It is general knowledge in the Stockholm dev scene that Mirror’s Edge 2 is in production at DICE”. It’s far from official confirmation, and there have been many games that were in development yet later canceled, but combined with the other rumors, it certainly seems like good news for those waiting on a sequel. One can only hope that enemies with guns are one of the things up for reconsideration.

Source: Kotaku

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Freddie Wong Promotes Need For Speed: Most Wanted With R/C Cars

Posted by Bob Muir on Oct 17, 2012 in Videogames

Need for Speed: Most Wanted R/C Race

Though it has its detractors, I still think Burnout Paradise was one of the most fun racing games in recent memory. The team at Criterion has since been put to work on the upcoming Need for Speed: Most Wanted, incorporating an open-world in a similar fashion to Burnout Paradise. The game is out on October 30, so that means it’s time for trailers, including this awesome offering from YouTube superstar Freddie Wong. This is the most impressive car chase ever shot with remote control cars. Read more…

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Gaming, Entitlement, and the Consumerist

Posted by Tim Sheehy on Apr 5, 2012 in Videogames

The Consumerist and EA

It’s a bit of a hot topic right now, but everyone seems to be up in arms over this Consumerist.com “Worst Company in America” poll that recently named Electronic Arts the worst company in America. From what I’ve gathered, over 250,000 people voted to determine the winner of the not-so-prestigious title with Electronic Arts receiving 64% of the votes, with Bank of America trailing at 36%. There’s no question that gamers are passionate about their games, or that Bank of America destroys the lives of countless households on a daily basis with foreclosures, or questionable banking practices, but for whatever reason my twitter feed seems to have exploded with debates backing both sides of the coin, and the tweets aren’t pretty.

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Battlefield 3, Tanks, Jets and More

Posted by Tim Sheehy on Aug 17, 2011 in Videogames

With Europe’s Gamescom trade event going on, there’s been a lot of gaming news floating around this week. Today EA showed off a brand new trailer for their upcoming shooter Battlefield 3, and like the others to date, the visuals are truly stunning. So far, we’ve only seen shots of the single player campaign, however this latest clip gives us a glimpse of the full 64-man multiplayer warfare. Like in previous titles, you’ll be able to control multiple types of vehicles. The dog fight footage definitely has me excited to see more and I really can’t wait to give it a try, but I imagine flying those jets has to be more difficult than they’re making it look. Still, everything is looking very impressive. Let’s just hope the console version won’t suffer too much in comparison. Battlefield 3 will hit stores on October 25th.

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The Latest Look at The Lord of the Rings Conquest Game

Posted by Michael Pinto on Dec 4, 2008 in Videogames

This is the latest trailer for the The Lord of the Rings Conquest game from Electronic Arts which is due to come out in January 2009 for the Xbox 360, PS3, PC and Nintendo DS. This game looks like everything that a J.R.R. Tolkien fanboy would want from getting to do battle with everyone from Cave-trolls to Oliphaunts.

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The Knights of the Old Republic had Good Taste!

Posted by Michael Pinto on Oct 23, 2008 in Star Wars, Videogames

Frankly I wasn’t that crazy about the last three Star Wars films (three words: Jar Jar Binks) but of there are two things that George Lucas still knows how to do well it’s merchandising and preproduction art. These illustrations are for the upcoming second PC MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic — and I must say the images do inspire one to want to play with this mega multiplayer online title. 

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