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Electronic Arts Launches 25+ Games on Steam Starting Today

Today, Electronic Arts Inc. launched the first wave of 25+ EA games on Steam, with more on the way. Starting today, players can explore BioWare 's award-winning Role-Playing Games - Dragon Age : Inquisition and Dragon Age II, experience high-speed, white-knuckle driving action in Need for Speed Heat, Need for Speed: Rivals and Need for Speed (2016) and battle it out in the wacky, fun and over-the-top shooter, Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville. A selection of the bold and innovative games from EA's indie development partners like Unravel, Unravel II, Fe and Sea of Solitude will also become available. Additionally, these games and many others will be available as part of an EA Access subscription on Steam that will launch to players later this summer.

"We want to make it easy to play the games you love, wherever you want to play. Delivering games to the Steam community is an important step in achieving this goal," said Mike Blank, SVP, Strategic Growth. "Not only are we excited to have our games on Steam, but we look forward to bringing them even more value when our subscription becomes available in the Summer."

EA Confirms its Games Will Receive Free Patches for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X Compatibility

EA has confirmed that it's existing games for Xbox One and Playstation 4 will receive free patches to upgrade them for next-generation consoles. The PS5 and Xbox Series X both feature ways to play current-generation games, both consoles will attempt to automatically boost games up to 4k resolution. While these options ensure broad inter-generation compatibility issues can arise from game limitations, this is where manual patches come in allowing developers to take advantage of the extra performance and radically overhaul their games.

Electronic Arts CFO Blake Jorgensen confirmed in a recent earnings call that EA would not charge consumers for these patches. "As usual, we have presented the quarterly phasing of our net bookings in our earnings presentation. Note that this year, the phasing includes the effect of revenue recognition from the games we are launching for the current generation of consoles that can also be upgraded free for the next generation."

Microsoft Announces List of Over 140 Publishers & Studios Working on Xbox Series X Games

In the latest episode of Inside Xbox, Microsoft showed off trailers for several new games including Assassin's Creed Valhalla, Yakuza: Like a Dragon, and Dirt 5. Alongside the new game trailers, Microsoft also published a list of over 140 publishers and studios all working on games for the new console. Big names such as 2K Games, Activision, Bethesda, Bungie, Electronic Arts, SEGA, Square Enix, and Ubisoft are all present along with countless smaller publishers and studios. The full list of publishers and studios can be found below.

Electronic Arts Reports Q4 and Full Year FY20 Financial Results

Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) today announced preliminary financial results for its fiscal fourth quarter and full year ended March 31, 2020. "We're humbled to see people around the world connecting through our games during this unprecedented period," said CEO Andrew Wilson. "Our focus continues to be on everything we can do for our people, our players, and our communities. Thanks to the amazing dedication and determination of our teams at Electronic Arts, we're able to deliver the games, experiences and content choices that our players are looking for during this challenging time."

"We've had a strong year. Our results this quarter prove the value of the live services path we've been on now for a decade. The breadth and depth of our live services give the flexibility we need at times like this to meet player needs," said COO and CFO Blake Jorgensen. "I want to thank everyone at EA for rising to the challenge. People across the company have shown extraordinary innovation, energy and ingenuity. Learnings from this period will forever change the way we work at EA."

Google Stadia Adds 11 New Games & Free PUBG For Pro Subscribers

Google Stadia has unveiled several new games and changes coming to the platform in a recent Stadia Connect Event. Google Stadia will be adding 11 new games to the platform, along with updates for Stadia Pro subscribers. The Pioneer Edition of PUBG will be free for Stadia Pro subscribers and $39.99 USD for other users. Stadia also announced that EA would be joining the platform with Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order coming this fall, along with Madden NFL & FIFA coming this winter. Stadia will also be launching some various other new games such as Crayta, Get Packed, Wave Break, Embr, Zombie Army 4: Dead War, The Turing Test, and SteamWorld Heist in the coming weeks.

Crysis Remastered Could be Coming Soon

The Crysis Twitter account today once again became active, after almost four years of inactivity, to post a two-worded tweet - "RECEIVING DATA". The tweet is an indication of something happening and the current industry rumors are pointing to a nonother then a remaster of the beloved title. Yes, we are talking about a remaster of one of the Crysis games, possibly the last entry added in 2013 - the Crysis 3. Originally developed by a German developer Crytek and published by Electronic Arts, the game is powered by CryEngine. The game is being worked on by both teams of EA and Crytek, however, the possible launch of the game is determined by EA, as it has rights to the game still. During the Q2 earnings call, EA's CEO mentioned that they are working delivering "some exciting remasters of fan favorites" for the fiscal year of 2021, so we can expect the game in a timeframe close to us.

It seems like the popular question "but can it run Crysis?" will gain traction again, as the game will likely be a real treat for the eyes. Implementing Crytek's latest CryEngine 5.6, it will feature all the latest bells and whistles of computer graphics. That means that Ray Tracing and support for 4K textures are going to be present. Meant for next-generation hardware of PCs and consoles like PS5 and Xbox Series X, the remastered Crysis game would need a powerful system to run on, however, judging by rumors of next-generation hardware it should be enough to power it without a problem. To see more about CryEngine 5.6, please check out the video below.
Crysis 3

Need for Speed Heat Arrives on November 8th, Burning All Limits

Ghost Games, an Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) studio, today announced Need for Speed Heat, the ultimate street racer versus cop fantasy. The game deepens and expands everything Need for Speed fans love - expressive customization, authentic urban car culture, and an immersive narrative that pulls you into the game. Watch the announce trailer here.

"Our fans have been clear that they want more cars, more customization, and more challenges, and we're tuning up on every aspect. From your character's style to your car's performance and your driving style, we're fuelling everyone's creativity with this new game."

Console Makers, Publishers Agree to Disclose Loot Box Odds for "Ethical Surprise Mechanics"

We've been covering the loot box controversy for a while on TechPowerUp now. Independently of which side of the fence you're on - that loot boxes are akin to gambling and thus unethical in some of their implementations, or just cold to the entire issue - it's likely good news for everyone that these so-called "surprise mechanics", as they've been called, will now see their odds being disclosed by console makers and publishers.

EA Reveals Next-Generation Hair Rendering for Frostbite

In the gaming industry, everything is evolving around game graphics. GPUs are integrating new technologies such as ray tracing, there are tons of software dedicated to making in-game illustrations look as realistic as possible. Electronic Arts, one of the game publishing companies decided to release a state of the art AAA games, today revealed an update to DICE's Frostbite engine.

DICE's Frostbite engine is powering many of today's AAA titles such as Battlefield V, Anthem and Star Wars Battlefront. Today it got a big update. EA released new capabilities to render the hair of in-game characters with almost real-life realism. This is pretty impressive considering that hair is very difficult to model artificially. Being one of the most interesting topics for game developers, good hair animations are extremely important to achieving the lifelike look newer AAA titles are targeting.

EA Expands Its Subscription Service to PlayStation 4

Today, Electronic Arts Inc. announced that it is bringing EA Access to the PlayStation 4 (PS4 ) system. Starting this July, players can sign-up for a monthly subscription (MSRP $4.99), or an annual subscription (MSRP $29.99) through PlayStation Store. With the addition of the PlayStation 4 console to the already existing membership services on Xbox One and PC via Origin , EA now offers its subscription services on more platforms than any other publisher.

As we continue to invest in digital and subscription services, bringing great games to even more players across more platforms is an exciting opportunity for everyone," said Matt Bilbey, Executive VP of Strategic Growth. "Our goal is to give players more choice to try and play our games wherever and however they choose, and we're happy to bring EA Access to PlayStation 4."

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is EA's New Single-Player Star Wars Game Releasing Nov, 2019

We knew it was coming, and were patiently waiting for more news on a new IP from Electronic Arts based on the Star Wars license they have.. not made the best use of to date. Handed to developers Respawn Entertainment, who are on a high from Apex Legends and have shown how to create a new IP franchise for single- and mult-player gaming with Titanfall, the new single-player focused game is titled Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Respawn and EA shared more details on the game yesterday as part of the Star Wars celebration event in Chicago, and let us know that the central character is a Jedi padawan, Cal Kestis, who survived Order 66 and the destruction of most of the Jedi order.

Cal Kestis turns to scavenging on the planet Braka while hiding from the Sith empire, in a move that will no doubt draw comparisons to Disney's new numbered film trilogy. With merchandise no doubt a factor, we will also see a new droid companion called BD-1, as seen in the images below. Given the nature of the protagonist being a padawan trainee, there will also be a Jedi knight who will accompany the player as a mentor. Combat will involve strategy, as per Respawn, with the player needing to employ abilities and spatial movement to make the most of the situation. Enemy units will include the Purge Troopers, a melee-focused variant of the Storm Troopers, who have already appeared in the Star Wars Extended Universe before as specialized units dedicated to hunting down survivors of Order 66. EA and Respawn were both quick to reveal this will be a single-player only game with no microtransactions, and the game releases on PC and consoles on November 15, 2019. While we wait for more details, no doubt coming near E3 or closer to debut, here's a reveal trailer to hold you till then.

Electronic Arts Lets Go of 350 Employees Amidst Internal Restructuring

It would be a safe bet to admit that Electronic Arts (EA) has not had the best 12, or even 24, months as a publisher. While their sports division continues to thrive, it may well be the one business unit holding down the fort. Their use of the Star Wars license has been dubious at best when it comes to execution, with reports on cancelled games and Battlefront II (the new one) not meeting expectations. Battlefield V has also not lit the field on fire, unless you are playing the new Firestorm battle royal mode in a literal sense, and the less said about Anthem the better. Apex Legends was introduced to much fanfare at launch, but the recent battle pass has soured many on the future of this new IP.

Perhaps it was a matter of when, rather than if, that the company would find a personnel restructure to be in order, and today just happened to be the day. EA CEO Andrew Wilson helped put out a statement on their website, recognizing a challenging world ahead and that they are "making deliberate moves to better deliver on our commitments, refine our organization and meet the needs" of players. These moves and changes involve letting go of as many as 350 people (out of 9000 total, or around 4%) unfortunately, most of whom are on their publicity and marketing departments, while also toning down their presence in Japan and Russia. We here at TechPowerUp are always saddened to hear such news, and take solace in knowing that EA is helping the laid-off personnel find new employment opportunities.

Electronic Arts Reports Q3 FY19 Financial Results

Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) today announced preliminary financial results for its third fiscal quarter ended December 31, 2018. "The video game industry continues to grow through a year of intense competition and transformational change," said CEO Andrew Wilson. "Q3 was a difficult quarter for Electronic Arts and we did not perform to our expectations. We are now applying the strengths of our company to sharpen our execution and focus on delivering great new games and long-term live services for our players. We're very excited about Apex Legends, the upcoming launch of Anthem, and a deep line-up of new experiences that we'll bring to our global communities next fiscal year."

"FIFA stands out as a robust franchise through a tumultuous year in the video game industry," said COO and CFO Blake Jorgensen. "Elsewhere in the business, we're making adjustments to improve execution and we're refocusing R&D. Looking forward, we're delighted to launch Anthem, our new IP, to grow Apex Legends and related Titanfall experiences, to deliver new Plants vs. Zombies and Need for Speed titles, and to add Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order to our sports titles in the fall."

Battlefield V Update: Tides of War, Chapter 1: Overture Was Delayed, Live Now

For Electronic Arts when it rains, it pours, as Battlefield V continues to experience a multitude of issues. The various controversies and problems that plagued the game leading up to its release were terrible enough. Now with numerous bugs such as audio issues to squash along with balancing of guns and gadgets, DICE remains unable to catch a break. They have now discovered yet another problem, this time resulting in the delay of their first Tides of War content update "Chapter 1: Overture." This particular update was to deliver the new Panzerstorm map, vehicle visual customization options, The Last Tiger War Story, and the practice range among other things. All this new content will still be released but when that is is currently unknown.

DICE expects the delay to be a short one, but no official date for the launch has been set.

Update (5th Dec, 10:00 UTC): The update is now live and distributing via Origin.

Update (5th Dec, 14:30 UTC): We have just posted a detailed performance review of this patch across all three RTX graphics cards, at three resolutions each. To summarize, the performance gains are big enough that the RTX 2080 Ti can comfortably handle 4K again, and RTX 2080 be capable of 4K with some riders.

EA Officially Announces Command & Conquer: Tiberian Dawn Remaster - No Microtransactions

EA today has announced that which we were already hoping and expecting: remasters of the Command & Conquer series of videogames. The publisher has officially announced thew initiative, which will start in the very beginning of the series: Tiberian Dawn. This will be the first of a series of efforts on the series, though, as EA will be looking to start remastering Red Alert as soon as Tiberian Dawn is released (always pending, of course, consumer reception). As an added bonus, DLC released for the original games will be bundled right alongside the remastered versions, so it really is the definitive package.

EA has partnered with Petroglyph for this undertaking, aided by Lemon Sky Studios, to help bring these original games to 4K glory, with improved assets and visuals that stay true to the original vision for the games. I for one am waiting intently. But i'd just like to take a passing shot at the industry at large here: don't you know the world has turned a sour point when "no microtransactions" becomes a boast and sales marketing strategy?

Battlefield V Launches Early For Origin Access Premier Subscribers, Pre-orders Get Shafted

Battlefield V is now live if you have paid for Electronic Arts' subscription service, giving gamers access to the title a day earlier than expected. At a cost of $14.99 a month or $99.99 for a year, you can take to the battlefield right now. We can only speculate that this was likely done in a bid to please subscribers while also trying to boost subscription sales. After all, it is blatantly obvious that EA's goal is to try and tap into a steady income stream that only a subscription service can provide. Sadly this has resulted in those that pre-ordered getting shafted to some degree. Resulting in a problem that wouldn't exist with a single set launch date.

This highlights the trouble that comes with a staggered release, someone is going to be the odd man out. Consumers that paid for the Digital Deluxe edition still have to wait till November 15th, while buying the base version means your left sitting on the bench until November 20th. That is roughly 1-2 weeks of waiting and will likely create some anger towards EA for how the release has been handled.

Electronic Arts Will Not Remove Loot Boxes from FIFA 18 in Direct Disregard to Belgian Law

Well, well, well. It was only a few days ago that we reported how 2K was being brazen about asking their game players to talk to the Belgian government about keeping loot boxes in their NBA series and turns out Electronic Arts (EA) decided they could do one worse. Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad published a story on how the Belgian Gaming Commission is preparing to take a legal stance against EA for refusing to remove loot boxes from FIFA 18 wherein their game buyers could purchase player packs with real money and not know what they receive in return. As if that was not bad enough, EA has doubled down with FIFA 19 by having the same "feature" again but with an increased roster to further tune the loot box chances against the customer. Andrew Wilson, the CEO of EA, commented that these loot boxes are not gambling as players know exactly how many objects they receive.

As it stands, the Belgian Gaming Commission has sent an official report to EA about their refusal to comply with the act that has been ratified since. The report states that anyone who does not conform will face the risk of legal prosecution, and it is now up to the Brussels public prosecutor's office to decide whether or not they want to charge EA accordingly. EA, meanwhile, is prepared to fight this in court and a judgement here would set a massive precedent to what is allowed in game microtransactions in the future. EA remains the only major game publisher to not make changes as directed, with Valve, Activision Blizzard and 2K, having done so before- albeit begrudgingly in some cases. Loot boxes contributed a major part of EA's annual revenue last year, with some citing online sales to be as much as 67% (which includes other forms of purchases, not just microtransactions). No wonder then that EA would like to keep milking this cow as much as they can, even if that means less milk to everyone else.

EA Reveals Official PC System Requirements for Battlefield V Closed Alpha

With Battlefield V's Closed Alpha already in progress, EA has revealed the official system requirements for PC users. The company emphasized that the specifications only apply to the Closed Alpha and may vary in the final game. The minimum system requirements are more or less in line with the preliminary requirements we reported last month. According to the Battlefield V website, the minimum system requirements include a Core i5-6600K or AMD FX-8350 processor, 8 GB of memory along with a GeForce GTX 1050 / GTX 660 or a Radeon HD 7850 graphics cards. The recommended system requirements bump the processor up to a Core i7-4790 or Ryzen 3 1300X processor along with 12 GB or 16 GB of memory. In terms of graphics power, EA recommends a GeForce GTX 1060 or a Radeon RX 480. As expected, the game requires 50 GB of storage space and a 512 KBPS or faster connection to the internet.

Battlefield V System Requirements Revealed

EA has revealed the preliminary minimum system requirements for their upcoming Battlefield V game, which is set to launch in October 19 of this year. According to Battlefield V's Origin page, the game demands an Intel Core i5-6600K or AMD FX-6350 processor as a minimum along with 8 GB of memory. In terms of graphics power, EA is recommending a graphics card that's compatible with DirectX 11. That basically translates to a GeForce GTX 660 2 GB for NVIDIA owners and a Radeon HD 7850 2 GB for AMD owners. Battlefield V will work fine on Windows 7, 8.1, and 10 as long as they are 64-bit versions. Regarding storage, the game occupies around 50 GB of hard drive space. For fluid online gameplay, a 512 Kbps or higher broadband internet connection is highly recommended. The release of Battlefield V is still pretty far off, so these system requirements could change over time.

Battlefield V Revealed: 1942 Reimagined

EA-DICE released the first reveal trailer of "Battlefield V." The reveal shows a slice of what appears to be actual in-game footage. The game re-imagines events of WWII, after the series' excursion with WWI. It portrays a pitched battle somewhere in Europe with British troops fighting Nazis. There's also the depiction of female soldiers, hinting at the possibility of strong female characters, or even a female protagonist (as opposed to second-fiddle female NPCs in the likes of Battlefield 4 campaign). There are no technical details of the game, but it appears to leverage DirectX 12 API with even more features than Battlefield 1. Battlefield V is slated for release on October 19, 2018. It's open to pre-orders on Origin.
The official trailer follows after the break

Batman: Arkham and LEGO Batman Series Arrive on Origin Access

Electronic Arts announced that they've added six Warner Bros games to their Origin Access subscription service. The new titles belong to the Batman: Arkham and LEGO Batman series. This is an important feat for EA as it's the first time that a third-party publisher has allowed their games to join The Vault. According to EA, this is just the tip of the iceberg as they are planning to add five more games, including the award-winning indie title "The Witness", in the upcoming weeks. For those players who are interested in trying Origin Access, EA is currently offering a seven-day free trial from now through March 26, 2018.

EA Publisher Sale on Origin and Amazon with Discounts Up to 75%

Electronic Arts is currently running a big sale on Origin and Amazon that you simply cannot miss out on. There's an excellent selection of titles that includes Battlefield 1, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Mass Effect: Andromeda, Star Wars: Battlefront II, Titanfall 2, and many others. The good news is that the discounts also extend to several DLCs and game bundles. It's worth taking a look even if you're not a big fan of Origin. The EA Publisher Sale runs through until Tuesday, March 6, 2018 at 10 am Pacific time. As is the custom, we've highlighted some of the more interesting offers.

Lucasfilm Rumored to Ditch EA for a New Game Publisher

Rumors are going around that Lucasfilm isn't too happy with how the Star Wars franchise is turning out since they handed the license on a silver platter over to Electronic Arts in 2013. Up to now, EA has produced a total of two titles under the Star Wars: Battlefront sub-series. Their first Star Wars: Battlefront game was released in 2015 and many considered it a reboot of the previous games. Regardless, Star Wars: Battlefront (2015) was highly criticized for its lack of a single-player campaign. EA's solution to keep die-hard Star Wars fans happy was to release a multitude of free expansions and paid DLC packs to add more content to the game. And then came Star Wars: Battlefront II in 2017, a sequel that received even harsher backlash because of the over aggressive loot-crate system that was implemented into the game. In an attempt to put out the fire, EA temporarily eliminated the microtransactions.

Then, to make matters even worse, EA closed Visceral Games last year. The studio was working on the single-player driven Star Wars: Project Ragtag title, but apparently it didn't fit into EA's business model so they decided to pull the plug. With all that has occurred, EA's relationship with Lucasfilm hangs on a thin thread right now. The gaming giant's lackluster record of releasing two games in a five year period allegedly forced Lucasfilm to explore other options. Ubisoft and Activision were the two big names that have been mentioned so far. If the rumors were true, who would you rather have working on the next Star Wars game?

EA Bleeds $3.1 Billion in Stock Value Over Battlefront II Fiasco

Electronic Arts (EA) bled USD $3.1 billion (£2.3 billion) in stock value at the markets over the week, as the company scaled down its controversial loot-crate system deployed in "Star Wars: Battlefront II." The company is fighting a PR debacle as gamers complain of terrible pricing of the base-game, DLC, and an aggressive loot-crate system that's drawing the attention of government regulators around the world, who are threatening to impose gambling regulations against the game.

The concept of loot-crate is simple. You pay a seemingly small amount of money for a "mystery box" containing either something great (like weapon-attachments), or something of no tangible impact on gameplay (like skins). You're incentivized to buy more loot-crates in hope that you'll get something better. This becomes a gamble. In 2016, EA earned over $800 million in profits selling loot-crates among other micro-transactions, across various game franchises, such as Battlefield and Need for Speed. With EA scaling down several of its ancillary revenue models for the game, the studio's stock bled 8.5 percent month-to-date. Drew Crum, an analyst with investment firm Stifel also attributes underwhelming Black Friday sales of the game to EA's bear-hug.

Latest Need for Speed Payback Update Accelerates Progression System

Following the launch of Need for Speed Payback, we've been working on addressing feedback by making changes to the progression system and other aspects of the game. These range from decreasing the amount of time for parts to refresh within the tune-up shops to the way events, bait crates and roaming racers work. Players in Ranked Speedlists will also notice an increased amount of parts being paid out. Win the Speedlist and you're guaranteed a new part, while simply participating means you get more chances of receiving an item of your own. We've already pushed a number of these updates live and will continue to listen to our players to make Need for Speed Payback the best experience possible.

Soon players will see a client-side patch going live and will benefit from a range of updates including improved game performance, multiple fixes to improve stability and tune-up shops stocking a higher quality selection of parts.
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