Game News

EA Play Live 2020 Round-Up: Everything You Need to Know

Some familiar faces, some new games, and the return of a long-dormant franchise.

by Brandon Adams

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EA Play Live 2020 kicked off with an announcement from CEO Andrew Wilson thanking essential personnel who have dealt with the Australian wildfires, COVID-19, and more this year. He also thanked all the developers working from home, and the players who have supported them. He then spoke up in support of Black Lives Matter, and doubled-down on EA’s support for greater inclusivity within games.

Once the announcement concluded the stream moved over to host Greg Miller of Kinda Funny fame, who summarized the hurdles EA has faced preparing EA Play Live 2020. He confirmed it would be an hour of new and existing games, including some returning franchises that may have been dormant for a while. He also mentioned hidden golden letters for a secret code that could be redeemed for free Steam games at the end of the stream (the full code and website are towards the bottom of the article, if that’s what you’re here for).

The show then moved on to Apex Legends, which has been in the middle of its most successful season, Fortune’s Favor. The next collection event, Lost Treasures was shown off, featuring new historical-influenced skins, a mobile respawn beacon, and a tease of something terrible. Armed and Dangerous is returning (which is where the mobile respawn beacon will appear). A new town takeover will focus on Crypto, and Mirage’s heirloom (it’s a trophy). It drops June 23rd, and the game will drop on Steam this fall with full crossplay. Oh, and the NINTENDO SWITCH. So, yeah, strong start to the show.

Lyndsay Pearson then came on to talk about The Sims, introducing a B-Roll of fans discussing the importance of The Sims in their life, and how it made them more comfortable in their own skin. It was a touching reminder of the connective power of gaming, where race, gender, and sexuality can be celebrated instead of shunned. Pearson then announced the Sims 4 would drop on Steam today (seems EA is doubling-down on the Steam support we’ve seen in recent days), and promised future news and updates in the future.

Alex Ackerman and Adam Freeman then appeared to confirm a few of the other Steam titles that dropped on Steam today, confirmed Origin Access would come to the platform, and stated all future EA titles will land on the store (so, yeah, really doubling-down). They then played a trailer for the outstanding Command & Conquer Remastered Collection. They then said more games would be coming to the Switch, and crossplay would be implemented in more games, like Need for Speed: Heat and future titles.

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The video then cut back to Greg Miller, who showed off another letter (I’ll have the full code at the end). He then introduced a segment for EA Originals, EA’s indie-wing. After a short segment of devs discussing their inspirations, Hazelight Studios of A Way Out fame were introduced (including the infamous “fuck the Oscars” clip). Writer/Director Josef Fares talked about his upbringing and creative adventures before announcing their new game, It Takes Two, about a child dealing with her parents’ divorce via two wooden dolls and the imaginative worlds she creates for them. It is slated for a 2021 release.

After, EA Play Live 2020 moved onto Zoink Games, who revealed their next game, Lost in Random. It’s about a little girl named Eden who embarks on a dangerous journey with her friendly sentient dice, Dicey. In the world of Random randomness is feared, and the game will be a coming-of-age story in which Eden will learn to embrace the uncertainties of life. A trailer was played, showing off the game’s storybook-meets-Tim Burton vibe and aesthetic. We even saw some basic gameplay, and the whole game looks like a stop-motion film. I dig it. The game will debut next year.

Final Strike Games were then given the floor to announce their first title, Rocket Arena. It’s a competitive game where players blow each other to bits in a game that could easily double as a Dreamworks Animation film. Imagine Overwatch, but in third person and with a whole helping more explosives. Characters will have signature abilities, combos to decimate foes, and a bevy of rockets at their disposal. Instead of killing foes, you need to knock them out of the arena, Smash Brothers-style. Each character has 100 levels of progression, with cosmetics tied to ranking up (no loot boxes). The game will launch July 14th, and will have full crossplay support from the start. The game will be on Xbox, PlayStation, and PC.

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The show then moved into an interview for Star Wars: Squadrons, the dogfighting game coming from EA Motive. The game will feature full VR and HOTUS support, will not have micro-transactions, and feature both a single-player campaign and competitive multiplayer. The game launches October 2nd, and like Greg Miller I’m pretty damn excited.

The Creative Director for EA Motive, Ian Frazier, and Greg Miller discussed the game, including Frazier’s lifelong love for Star Wars space-battles. The team behind the fleet battles in Battlefront 2 and some new developers came together to put together Star Wars: Squadrons, looking to capture that experience on a larger scale. Players will be able to shift power around the ship as needed, such as pulling from weapons to rear-shields, so the game will have some light space-sim elements.

Players will create both an Imperial and Rebellion pilot, swapping between both during the story (so we’ll see both sides of the narrative in a single sitting). The game will fully support crossplay (including VR) with zero fuss. After the brief interview a gameplay trailer rolled (actual gameplay, mind you), and suffice to say the game looks amazing. Both story and multiplayer were shown off (there will be multiple classes when playing online, and all cosmetics and components are earned by leveling up), and the entire UI is built into the ship.

Fleet Battles are just one of a handful of modes coming with the game, and they are large multi-objective battles that involve pushing the front-line before attacking a capital ship, followed by your opponent’s flagship. It’s much like Battlefront 2’s Supremacy, and it looks like a chunky time-waster. In other words: it’s modern Tie-Fighter and X-Wing! I won’t lie and say I’m not hyped, because I clearly am, but as far as early previews go this was a solid one.

After Star Wars: Squadrons EA Play Live 2020 moved into an EA Sports showcase with both Madden 21 and FIFA 21. A cinematic trailer was followed by a reveal of some of the next-gen work being done within EA. We saw a glimpse of the next Criterion title, and whatever BioWare is working on (it looked like Dragon Age to be honest).  And, guess what, this next-gen trailer was followed by an announcement many have been asking for: Skate 4! We didn’t get to see gameplay, but now we know it exists.

At this point EA Play Live 2020 came to an end, and the website for the code revealed throughout the stream was given (playr.gg/ea). The code was, predictably “EAPLAYLIVE”, and if you redeem it over at the link provided you will have a handful of games to choose one from (though the site is currently melting down).

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If you were expecting a Mass Effect Remastered announcement then you’ll likely leave disappointed, but all said it was a decent event. Nothing groundbreaking, but what was shown was all pretty solid. “Less is more”, essentially. It’s a transition year, with next-gen coming out soon, so I’d wager the bigger announcements people have been anticipating (such as the next Dragon Age) are still a ways out. Either way, it was nice to see EA’s commitment to not only Steam, but crossplay in general. That, and more Switch support is never a bad thing, considering they’ve been one of the last holdouts.  You can watch the EA Play Live 2020 full event here, and we’ll be sure to share any additional details as they’re revealed.

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