A Harry Potter MMO Was Cancelled by EA Leadership in the Early 2000s Because They Thought The Brand Was a Fad

Harry Potter is a massive brand. The books have spawned movies, theme parks, and now a spinoff series of movies. The franchise is not going anywhere, but in the early 2000s, Electronic Arts thought the brand was just a fad that would never last, canceling an MMO they had in the works.

The game was in development between 2000 and 2003, just prior to the release of the sixth book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

Perhaps it was all for the best. EA would probably have ruined it.

[Source: OGL: Original Gamer Life]

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Diretor Promises a Non-Linear, Jedivania Experience

If there was one recurring complaint regarding the Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order reveal and subsequent gameplay trailer, it was that the game appeared too linear.

However, the game’s director Stig Asmussen wants folks to know that this is not the case. He even went so far to invoke Metroid and Castlevania levels of non-linearity. Now you know he means fucking business.

We spent months going back and forth discussing the best strategy to release this content, and ultimately decided for the first-look, it was critical to present a focused 15 minutes of raw, in-game footage highlighting lightsaber gameplay that speaks to the Jedi fantasy in an empowering way. But it should not be mistaken that our combat is overpowered or easy.  I promise there is considerable challenge and depth to be found within our combat system. The same can be said about our approach to level design, which is crafted in a non-linear way with heavy influences from games like Metroid, Castlevania, and the Souls series.  The game will feature several planets that the player can elect to travel to via starship.  On these worlds unique abilities and upgrades can be found that open up new paths across other planets, making retraversal an essential part of the gameplay experience.  This is a lot to describe in 15 minutes of gameplay. Getting hands on the full 25 minute experience is best to completely understand it.

EA

Below is the game in action with some of the upgrade system being used as well as the “planet hoping” mechanic.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order releases on November 15 for both PC and consoles.

[Source: EA]

EA CEO Claims Anthem is Not Dead While Leading the Game Behind a Shed Holding a Shotgun and Shovel

Anthem is not a great game. At times it’s not even a good game. It’s an average game, which is extremely disappointing, because BioWare and EA put a lot of resources behind this title.

BioWare and EA have also been going through a rough stretch lately. Anthem was supposed to be something special, from a developer that brought us the magical Mass Effect series, well Mass Effect 1 and 2 anyways. Mass Effect 3 was okay and Mass Effect Andromeda was a steaming pile of shit. As for EA, where does one start with all the problems they have.

So when GameDaily.biz caught up with EA CEO Andrew Wilson to get the skinny on all things EA and the topic of Anthem came up, his responses did not seem all that reassuring.

“IP lives for generations, and runs in these seven to ten year cycles. So, if I think about Anthem on a seven to ten year cycle, it may not have had the start that many of us wanted, including our players. I feel like that team is really going to get there with something special and something great, because they’ve demonstrated that they can.”

GameDaily.biz

I’m sorry, I don’t get warm and fuzzies from this. Wilson is talking about IP in the long term, so maybe Anthem lives on, but this iteration does not look too promising.

Wilson goes on by saying:

“We’re going to have our core BioWare audience that’s been with us for a really long time. There are kids today who are 12 years old who weren’t around when BioWare started making games… and they have different expectations of what a BioWare game should be in the context of the world they’ve grown up in. As a result of that, BioWare has to evolve and has to expand and has to test the elasticity of that brand. The teams at BioWare will continue to come to work every day and listen to their players old and new and seek to deliver on the promises they’ve made to those players. That’s what you’re seeing with Anthem today.”

GameDaily.biz

If I was on the BioWare team and heard that, my ass would clench up. That is not necessarily a ringing endorsement.

I like BioWare and I’m not the 12-year-old kid that Wilson is referring to. I remember when BioWare put out some amazing shit, and I hope they get their mojo back. I guess we’ll see when Dragon Age: The Dread Wolf Rises comes out.

EA Tells UK Parliament That Loot Boxes Are Totally Ethical and Just Like Kinder Eggs

Loot box mechanics have been under fire lately. In Europe especially, the questionable mechanic has been likened to gambling and countries like Belgium has taken a hard stand against them.

Sure, regardless of what companies call them, paying real money for a digital box that contains a totally random in-game gear of various value can be likened to gambling. However, EA’s vice president of legal and government affairs, Kerry Hopkins, had a novel counter to that notion when interviewed by UK Parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Committee. Apparently, EA believes that loot boxes are more akin to delicious Kinder Eggs than slot machines.

Other EA representatives present at the hearing also went on to say that loot boxes are “actually quite ethical and quite fun, quite enjoyable to people.”

As a gamer, I don’t find loot boxes fucking ethical or fun. That’s total bullshit, and the fact that EA thinks that they can get away with saying that at a hearing before UK Parliament is totally laughable given the shit they went through with Star Wars: Battlefront II.

Star Wars: Fallen Order Gameplay Trailer Does Not Look Like Crap

EA held their Play 2019 event today ahead of E3 and showed off a first look at gameplay from Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order. It does not look shitty at all.

Looks like a fun — a cross between Titanfall and Uncharted, but with Star Wars shit sprinkled in.

Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order is being developed by Respawn, a highly competent studio that makes great titles, who are under the boot of EA. Hoping it plays as good as it looks and that EA doesn’t not ruin it in some way.

Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order comes out on November 15, 2019, for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

EA to Fix Battlefront’s “Broken” Progression System Next Week

For those holding out on picking up EA’s Star Wars: Battlefront II due to its pay-to-win progression system, you are in luck.

Posted on EA.com, EA is promising a new patch called the “progression update,” which promises that Star Cards and all other items that impact gameplay will only be earned through actual gameplay. How novel?

Below is a statement from EA:

“Since release, we’ve been hard at work making changes based on your feedback to create a better game for all our players. Today, we’re happy to announce that the Star Wars™ Battlefront™ II Progression update, which includes a complete re-design of the in-game progression system, will begin rolling out on March 21st. There are also some additional changes coming to the cosmetics in the game, but we’ll get to that in a bit… 

With this update, progression is now linear. Star Cards, or any other item impacting gameplay, will only be earned through gameplay and will not be available for purchase. Instead, you’ll earn experience points for the classes, hero characters, and ships that you choose to play in multiplayer. If you earn enough experience points to gain a level for that unit, you’ll receive one Skill Point that can be used to unlock or upgrade the eligible Star Card you’d like to equip.

You’ll keep everything you’ve already earned and unlocked. You will keep all of the Star Cards, heroes, weapons, or anything else you have already earned. What you have earned will still be available to use with this update regardless of how much or little progress you have already made. 

Crates no longer include Star Cards and cannot be purchased. Crates are earned by logging in daily, completing Milestones, and through timed challenges. Inside of these crates, you’ll find Credits or cosmetic items, such as emotes or victory poses, but nothing that impacts gameplay.

Starting in April, you’ll be able to get appearances directly through in-game Credits or Crystals. The first new appearances are coming soon, meaning you’ll be able to grab new looks for your heroes and troopers directly by using either Credits (earned in-game) or Crystals (available to purchase in-game and through first-party stores). If you’ve ever dreamed of being a part of the Resistance as a Rodian, your chance is right around the corner.

These changes are a major step as we continue to improve the core of the game and add new content. And there’s a lot more to come. In addition to continued balance patches, we will also add a number of modes to Star Wars Battlefront II in the coming months, offering several standout, brand-new ways to play. Some of these, like the recently released limited-time Jetpack Cargo, are radically different than anything you’ve experienced in the game before, and we’re excited to surprise you with what we have planned.

The Star Wars Battlefront II Progression Update releases on March 21, with more content rolling out in the following weeks. We’re truly excited for the future of the game, and we would be honored if you would join us on this journey.”

This is quite a departure. After a tremendous amount of negative feedback from fans during the title’s initial launch back in November 2017. EA walked back some pay-to-win aspects, but stated that revamped versions would be rolled out again in time.

However, that was before  lawmakers in Belgium and the U.S. got involved, claiming that the game’s paid loot creates were a form of gambling.

The “Progression Update” is scheduled for release March 21.

[Source: EA]

 

 

Burnout Paradise Remastered is a Thing

I have a certain affinity for the Burnout series. It was one of the first games on the original Xbox that I played together with a girl who eventually became wife. She then dabbled in the open world sequel Burnout Paradise a few years later. She wasn’t much of a gamer then, and she is still indifferent to gaming, but she and I enjoyed playing the series together back in the day.

Perhaps she and I can rekindle that spark from our youth by playing a bit of Burnout Paradise: Remastered, which releases on March 18, 2018, according to EA. The game will release on both Xbox One and PS4.

[Source: EA]