EA Play 2017 – Great games dampened by a woeful press conference

EA’s press conference took place yesterday and to be honest it was a bit of a disjointed mess, which is a real shame considering all EA had to do was let the games do the talking, but instead, we had to put with an hour of YouTubers most of us hadn’t heard of before and most of whom didn’t look very comfortable in front of a camera. It felt more like a mess conference than a press conference.

On the bright side, EA did at least show us what to expect from it this year, briefly touching on a new expansion for Battlefield 1, before going on to show off Madden 18, FIFA 18 and A Way Out, a new EA originals co-op game from the brains behind Brother: A Tale of Two Sons. In addition to this, we also got to see the first action from the impressive Need for Speed: Payback, the latest NBA game and Bioware’s new IP, Anthem, before it all wrapped up with Star Wars Battlefront 2, which EA is obviously keen on pushing as its big new release for Xmas.

Who are these people?

While the games were impressive, I got the impression that everything shown could have been neatly wrapped into a feature packed 30-45 minutes, instead of filling the conference out with what turned out to be a cringeworthy performance from a bunch of YouTubers, all of whom will likely comfort themselves with the fact that their paycheck was a lot bigger than their performance.

In years gone by EA has generally focused on allowing it’s executives to take centre stage, with the likes of Peter Moore having more confidence and personality in his pinky than any of the presenters which appeared yesterday. Peter Moore had an enthusiasm about the games which would rub off on everyone watching and make you excited to play the games on show. This was not the case at all yesterday, quite the opposite in fact.

Gamers need you more than Liverpool, Peter.

On the bright side, the games will eventually do the talking once they arrive in our homes and by then we’ll likely have forgotten all about EA’s attempts to appeal to the YouTube crowd. Maybe it’s just me, but if this style of the conference continues then I can’t help think E3 is changing for the worse. It’s possible other publishers will also turn their focus to these “YouTube Creators” to try and gain a little more attention for their games, however, I’m hoping that the likes of Microsoft and Sony have more sense than that. All we want is to see the games after all, not a pantomime.