Conrad lets his thoughts known about EA's E3 2012 Press Conference. Do you agree with him?
At 12.20pm I nearly died crossing one of L.A.'s busiest roads. Thankfully, I didnt - but I wouldnt recommend jay-walking to illegally hail cabs in L.A. The things I do for games huh? Not to matter, all’s well that ends well, and in the nick of time Alan Bell and yours truly made it to our seat for EA's press conference.
The first thing I noticed when I walked into EA's presser was the decor. The place was awesome. Hosted at the world famous Orpheus Theater in old town LA, this placed oozed noir charm. The perfect setting for some EA treats. The whole place was lit up like a surreal light cake, with muted blues, sexy oranges (like me) and shadows. It was damned pretty. This event was immediately going to be far different from the slick PR that Microsoft had slathered on earlier in the day. It was still its own brand of slick, but it was far more my style.
Special mention must be made of EA's dual screen 3D system. By having a large projected image on the back wall and a front image slashed over an invisible gauze curtain at the front of the stage, EA was able to project depth and trick us all into thinking in 3D. It was clever, simple, and it worked. Very nicely done EA's set designers, take a bow.
But the main action was front and centre, with big screen presentations, introduced by lone presenters or pairs of two. Again, simple, to the point - and given how tightly packed this old world theater was - very effective.
EA's presser was content heavy and it was all about the games, games, games. There were 10 titles on show, ranging from the expected (FIFA 13, Madden) to the more obscure (Maxis announced a new SimCity reboot with multiplayer, and also a Facebook version to try and kill off the incongruous Cityville). There were some surprises too, Dana White, head of the UFC rocked out to announce a new multi-game, multi-year deal between EA and UFC. He was seriously raving about it, gushing even, and for good reason - reportedly THQ extracted their pound of flesh to have their contact broken.
The big calls were for FIFA 13, Crysis 3, Dead Space 3 (with new co-op, thank goodness!), Medal of Honor and Battlefield 3's Premium option. All big ticket, and all displayed with aplomb. We will have more on what they actually feel like once we get onto the show floor tomorrow - but the show-reels were enticing.
EA's presser had charm, class, style and panache. It didn't take itself as seriously as Microsoft did, and it let the titles speak for themselves. Not being a console producer it had the luxury to take this route, but even so it managed to put itself out there as a gamers company, not a company for gamers. For a brand as monolithic as EA, that can only be a good thing. But as the saying goes, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. And tomorrow dessert awaits.