4:49pm PT by Scott Alexander
E3: EA Previews 'Need for Speed' and Upcoming Game Slate (Video)
Electronic Arts unveiled its coming lineup of video games Monday at its E3 press conference. Most are new entries in long-running (often genre-dominating) franchises -- such as Madden, FIFA Soccer and Need for Speed -- created using the latest high-polygon-count magic made possible by the next generation of gaming consoles, the Xbox One and Playstation 4 (both expected in fall of this year).
With a game-movie tie-in, EA and DreamWorks previewed behind-the-scenes footage of upcoming racing film Need for Speed, based on EA’s video game franchise. The film’s star, Aaron Paul of Breaking Bad, introduced the clip and posed with the custom Ford Mustang he drives in the film. Scheduled for a March 14, 2014, release, Need for Speed is directed by Scott Waugh (Act of Valor) and written by brothers George (She's Out of My League) and John Gatins (Flight). The video game Need for Speed Rivals will be available Nov. 19 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation3. The game will also launch on Xbox One.
One surprise during the press conference was Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, a new extension of the breakout mobile-gaming hit that pits flora with different defensive abilities against marauding zombies. Popcap, the studio that made PvZ also briefly announced Peggle 2, the sequel to the massive-selling mobile game Peggle. EA was also eager to tout Ignite, the new game-rendering engine they have developed to improve the way player movement is represented in their sports games. The technology will be used in FIFA Soccer, Madden, NBALive and its latest official league license, UFC.
UFC's Dana White appeared with Jon Jones (UFC light heavyweight champion) and Benson Henderson (UFC Lightweight Champion) to celebrate their addition to the EA ranks.
Fantasy lovers were treated to an announcement for a new Dragon Age game, which promises over 100 hours worth of content. Battlefield 4 got another outing (Microsoft showcased it earlier in the day), this time with 64 players onstage playing simultaneous multiplayer.
Two other quick and surprising announcements included a brief mention of a rebirth of beloved franchise Star Wars Battlefront, a multiplayer shooter set in the Star Wars Universe. Similarly without embellishment came an announcement for a sequel to the cult favorite Mirror's Edge, a first-person parkour-style game set in a future dystopia and starring the strong female protagonist Faith.