EA is in deep trouble in 2014
It’s widely believed that the Electronic Arts 2014 Press Conference was a bit of a letdown, but when it comes to their 2014 releases, it’s hard to think of a word to aptly describe how bad things are.
If you like Dragon Age, then you’re going to get it this year. If you’re a sports fan, there’s plenty of reasons to be excited by EA’s 2014 offerings. The Sims 4 should be worth your time if you're into that sort of thing. Beyond that, though? Um, well, there’s a new Battlefield title, but it’s hard to get too excited about Battlefield: Hardline with Battlefield 4’s stability issues still fresh in our minds.
One of the biggest tells regarding EA’s troubled 2014 is the fact that they spent a great deal talking about games that aren’t even close for prime time yet. I’m not considering Mirror’s Edge here, though, because they at least showed off prototyped game footage. What I am talking about, though, is how BioWare spent a few minutes telling us what we already know: they’re making a new Mass Effect game. Criterion showed off concept art and talked about their latest game which probably won’t release until 2016 at the earliest. Hmm, maybe that’s why publishers are often so reluctant to not talk about games that are light-years away from release.
Possibly the biggest indicator of a rough 2014, though, is the fact that I completely forgot that NBA Live will have a release this calendar year.
Wait, let me double check that…
Yep. On track to release the same day as NBA 2K15 despite being a relative no-show at E3 last week.
While on the surface the NBA Live franchise doesn’t matter entirely too much, consider this: one of the tent-poles in the Electronic Arts house is their sports division. While Madden and NHL roam unopposed, the once memorable NBA Live franchise isn’t even in the same realm as NBA 2K. This is one of the rare circumstances where EA faces stiff competition and they’re completely fumbling the ball.
EA”s 2014 issues represent a larger issue in the industry as a whole, though; the 2014 release calendar is a bit, well, light. When it comes to Electronic Arts, though, those circumstances were front and center at their press conference. When you compare their showing to everyone else’s, it completely falls flat in comparison. Their presser was supposed to demonstrate what they'll be capable of in the next sixth months. The message they instead told was "Hey, I hope you're patient, because we got a few games this year, but a lot of great stuff next year...maybe....probably 2016 to be honest."
In case you were wondering, that's not a good message to send.