Shack Chat: What did you think of the EA Play Live stream?

The Shack Staff sounds off about their thoughts on the 2020 edition of EA Play, which went live this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.


Shack Chat is back once again, our weekly feature where each Friday where we’ll ask the Shacknews staff to give their opinion on a particular topic, then open the floor to our dedicated Chatty community to provide a diverse mixture of thoughts on the subject. It’s a great way for us to get to know one another better while inspiring healthy debates with all of you passionate gamers out there. 

This week's question finds a befuddled Shack Staff commenting on the EA Play Live stream that we witnessed on Thursday. Was it good? Was it bad? Was it a mess of tired indie games and one blockbuster to try and carry the rest? Oh yeah, there's a new Skate happening, but somehow even that development wasn't very interesting. Here's what we thought of this week's question. 

Question: What did you think of the EA Play Live stream?

Meh - Asif Khan, Inventor of Shacknews E4

While there were some decent announcements, like crossplay coming to Star Wars: Squadrons and Apex Legends, I found the overall EA Play Live 2020 event to be a lukewarm cup of meh. Even the one announcement that I should be super excited for left me confused. Are they making a Skate 4 game or not? There was that one Lost in Random game that looks pretty cool. 

It just seemed like EA phoned in this presentation more than usual. EA Play is known for its cringe moments, and at least Greg Miller delivered with his, “you just deathstarred my mind ” comment. 

Punch it, Chewie! - Ozzie Mejia, Senior Editor

I really don't have a lot to say about what EA had to offer, outside of one thing. Man, does Star Wars: Squadrons look like it's going to be my thing. Put me in an X-Wing or a TIE Fighter and watch me go! I'm not sure if the story's going to be quality like Fallen Order or "meh" like Battlefront II, but the idea of multiplayer dogfights warms my little Star Fox heart. (Hey, if Nintendo's not giving me Star Fox, I'm glad somebody's sending me into space.)

Outside of that, I don't have a lot to say here. The hour felt uneventful. The best reveals seemed to come from the EA Originals tent. There wasn't much else that left me feeling excited. And I really feel like BioWare's absence said a lot. I hope nobody has their hopes up too high for that new Dragon Age, because Anthem just might have ruined them.

My mind was not Death Starred, man - Blake Morse, Moderately disappointed reviews editor

While I appreciate all the crossplay love that EA doled out today and the fact that we’re finally getting a new Skate game, this was a pretty underwhelming EA Play. Sure, we got a little more info on Star Wars: Squadrons, but it didn’t really sell me on anything besides being able to choose my own gender and race. 

The biggest game highlight for me was probably Lost in Random. It felt like Tim Burton and Tim Schafer had a game baby and I want to see more of it. Overall though, they needed to balance out their new and untested IPs with more than just Star Wars. No Mass Effect, no Dragon Age, nothing more than a EA Sports sizzle trailer. And what was up with that tech demo? It just felt really out of place at a consumer-facing event. Gamers care about games and don’t really care how the hamburger gets made if I’m being brutally honest here. We could’ve done without that. 

I expected nothing and was still let down - Chris Jarrard, Indifferent on Skate 

Of all the major publisher press events I’ve seen during my time at Shacknews, this was the most underwhelming. Very little of note made its way into the presentation and the anticipated first glimpse of next-gen games came off poorly, in my opinion. For games that are expected to release in a few months, the teaser inspired no confidence. The post-show news that both Madden and FIFA would remain last-gen on PC was also an extra punch in the gut following the EA disappointment party.

Miss - Sam Chandler, Guides Editor

If you’re a Star Wars fan, then you’re bound to be overjoyed with what Electronic Arts had to show during EA Play Live. For me, personally, I enjoy the franchise as a casual viewer and nothing more. To this end, the stream was underwhelming. Where is my Mass Effect news? A brief update on the state of Anthem? What about bringing back Dead Space in some capacity, be it a remaster or a sequel? There wasn’t even any Battlefield news and we’re on the cusp of a new console generation. And there’s still no sign of Burnout.

Yay new Skate…?- Donovan Erskine, Contributing Editor

Halfway through the showcase, I told the Shack Staff that if there was no Skate 4 announcement, then this thing was a bust. Somehow, I managed to still feel underwhelmed after walking away with the Skate news. Don’t get me wrong, I’m extremely excited for a new Skate, but even the presentation for that just felt...underdone. Not even a logo or anything. My only other takeaway from EA Play Live 2020 was that the new Star Wars game might end up being pretty cool.

A total disappointment - Brittany Vincent, Senior Editor

This year's EA Play was one of the most underwhelming presentations I believe I've seen in my 13 years of covering gaming. I'm excited that there's a new Skate title on the way and Star Wars: Squadrons looks excellent. But this didn't feel like the EA Play events I've come to know over the years. It felt incomplete, as if there were major titles ripped from the lineup at the last minute. Surely a major publisher like EA has something more robust in the works. I refuse to believe this is all the company has up its sleeve, and if that is the case, we're in for a pretty generic crop of titles. I'm just having trouble believing this is what EA had planned for people to enjoy in tandem with physical E3 2020 visits this summer. How boring. 

Where is NHL 21? - Bill Lavoy, Managing Editor

I’ve had a feeling for a couple of months now that we’re not getting an NHL 21 this year. We normally get an announcement around the time of E3, but EA Canada hasn’t said much of anything about this one. A Google search revealed a Best Buy listing for the game that went live a couple hours before EA Play Live 2020, but nothing has come through officially. Given the global pandemic and everyone working from home, as well as the logistics of trying to get the game on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X, I could see that being too much to overcome. I could see a pivot to support NHL 20 for another year.

Then again, we have to be getting an NHL 21, right? I mean, Best Buy is apparently selling it.

Meh - Josh Hawkins, Guides Guy

To be completely honest, most of the EA Play 2020 Live event was pretty hit or miss. Nothing from some of the company’s biggest franchises was anywhere to be seen, with series like Battlefield, Dragon Age, and Dead Space being completely left out. 

It seems like the company is still using Star Wars to try to push itself forward, which is all fine and good, but most of the Star Wars games that they have put out have left a lot to be desired. Sure, they have learned from the past, but that doesn’t mean we only want new Star Wars games.

I’m happy that people are excited about Star Wars Squadrons, and I’m interested to see how Motive handles the game, but all around this EA Play event was very lacking and disappointing for me.

Already shopping flight sticks for Squadrons - TJ Denzer, News Editor

I have zero expectations out of EA. Zilch. Nada. At this point, I feel like it’s pretty much useless to go into an EA presentation expecting anything. It’s not that I don’t think they are capable of good things, but they are equally and arguably more capable of delivering disappointment.

That expectation aside, they turned my head when they showed gameplay for Star Wars: Squadrons. I have been extremely interested in this. There hasn’t been a Star Wars game with a flight sim or combat component featuring more than the depth of a puddle in years. Throughout Battlefront it’s been shallow. Tacked-on. A sideshow at best. Meanwhile I’ve been sitting here with all of my love for Rogue Squadron and X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter. I’ve been waiting for the slim chance of a game that would give me a proper Star Wars flight sim/combat experience, twiddling my thumbs and sighing.

There are so many Star Wars games. It can definitely be argued that other games throughout EA’s catalogue deserve a shot at the spotlight. I’d agree. That said, if they’re going to do another Star Wars game, I’m happy to see it’s one that will allow me to not only return to the cockpit of an A-Wing, but finally give it depth and atmosphere as I learn to make that bird soar.

Dead Space?! - David L. Craddock, long reads editor

I’m sitting here having a “We are the Walking Dead” moment: EA is Dead Space, isn’t it? Because that’s what these song-and-dance presentations have felt like since their inception: Star Wars going pew-pew, sportsball, and nothing that feels alive in a 30- to 50-minute block of (waaaaaait for it) dead space. Round up all of Isaac Clarke’s dismembered limbs and sew that precious man back together. And ignore Dead Space 3. Go to the end of Dead Space 2 and move forward. I’ll join you. Hand in hand.

It was OK - Steve Tyminski, Contributing Editor

Summer in a normal calendar year means big game presentations/reveals happen in sunny California. However with various reasons bumping E3 and other events from occurring, companies have decided to take things into their own hands and show off their material themselves. It was EA’s turn during their “EA Play 2020” event and personally, I’m not that blown away. It felt like the same old song and dance from EA in terms of substance as it felt like the same thing over and over again. Having Apex Legends on Switch with cross-play and a new Skate game is good to see.

However a Star Wars game, an area-shooter, and a Sims game seem to come out every single year, regardless of console/new tech. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing but when you milk the same franchises over and over again, they can get stale. Madden is the main culprit for staleness but a jump in technology with next gen consoles could be the boom the EA Sports brand needs. You’ll get a new NHL/NFL game but what will be different, in the next generation of systems?

Disagree with our picks? Think we're a bunch of clowns? Let us know in the Chatty below.

Senior Editor

Fueled by horror, rainbow-sugar-pixel-rushes, and video games, Brittany is a Senior Editor at Shacknews who thrives on surrealism and ultraviolence. Follow her on Twitter @MolotovCupcake and check out her portfolio for more. Like a fabulous shooter once said, get psyched!

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