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EA fall preview

By dcacho
Wednesday, September 5th, 2007 at 2:43 pm in Gieson Cacho.

Whew, I just got out of the Electronic Arts presentation, where they showed off some of the company’s upcoming titles on their bradn spacking new 14 foot by 20 foot 1080P video screen. It looked pretty good.

Jeff Brown, Electronic Arts vice president of corporate communications, hosted the event breaking it down to the Sims franchises, casual titles, EA Games and EA Sports. He talkd about how this fall and holiday season will be a murder’s row with heavy hitters such as Microsoft’s “Halo 3” and Nintendo’s “Super Marion Galaxy” coming out.

But he sounded pretty confident, announcing that they’ll have 10 brand new titles on top of the annual ones coming through the pipeline. They theme was making games more accessible and what they mentioned over and over was the ability to create, share and compete. It sounds a lot like a selling point for “Boogie.”

But here is what I found interesting:

1. Add Grateful Dead to “Rock Band” track list. Woo hoo. It’s the Bay Area, there are dead heads, expect a lot of jamming.

2. They’re really pushing this Web 2.0 thing in all their games. They’re even trying to do it with “The Sims” franchise. We know that the Sims sells a gazillion units via expansion packs, stand-alone games, etc. Now, we have “Sims On Stage,” a facebook-ish Web site, for Sims fans. Here you can share videos of you singing, make videos, using a point-and-click editor. I think I have Sim overload already.

3. “The Simpsons Game” is coming along fine. They showed off a spoof on the Japanese gaming scene called something like Happy Happy Fun Joy Time! It was pretty funny and hey, I saw the return of Mr. Sparkle. He was sparkle-riffic. The level featured Homer and Lisa, duking it out with sumo wrestlers and solving puzzles.

4. There was much joking about people’s receding hair lines. First it was Simpsons executive producer Scott Amos and then it was Peter Moore (who is on the second day of his job) talking about his baldness.

5. Bill Roper, CEO of Flagship, is a rock star. He showed off the PC title “Hellgate London” and it got better for the folks there because they’re extending the beta to journalists. Woo hooo! But it got better, they’re also offering a Fouder’s Subscription, which gives you lifetime access to some of the paid content of the game. Double woo hoo!

6. I didn’t know there was a Jesus move in “Skate.” Once I get it, I swear that’s going to be the first move I try to pull off.

7. Peter Moore, formerly of Microsoft, showed off much love for the PlayStation 3 and the Wii by holding their controllers in front of flashing cameras. Expect to see pictures of it on the Web.

8. And last but not least, 49ers Quarterback Alex Smith showed up and played this free online trivia game called “Game Show.” It seemed pretty cool. Sort of like a live “You Don’t Know Jack.” Toward the end of the demo, Moore and Smith got to talking about the upcoming Monday Night game. Moore asked if 49er was worried? And Smith nonchalantly said, “It’s only the Cardinals.”

9. EA had a army helicopter land in the lawn behind us. It smells like smoke and grease. There’s a crowd around it. I guess folks can’t get enough of helicopters.

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