EA Info-Splurge

By John Walker on February 9th, 2010 at 10:23 am.

Ew, we look branded.

Dragon Age 2 could be with us as soon as 2011? This appears to be one of the headlines to emerge from EA’s latest telegraph broadcast, alongside Dead Space 2′s peculiar disappearance from the PC, release dates for APB and Crysis 2, and signs of improving fortunes at the publisher. Oddly enough there’s details below.

Thank goodness for VG247, who somehow listened to the whole thing in order to extract the useful news from amongst the coughing and mumbling. So stealing from their hard work we see that:

Dragon Age 2 is down for Q4 2011. Which is the “financial year” 2011, which apparently means by March next year. Which seems awfully soon. Dr Greg has promised that they’re making sure the sequel will look “super-hot”. It looked pretty bloody great to me. But then I didn’t play the stinky 360 version, which I imagine is where most of the complaints come from. Since the first game took them about ten years, it’ll be interesting to see whether a sequel turned around in two will be as epic. I suspect it will, as it happens. Oh, and peculiarly the sequel is also being announced for handhelds. My speculation: The very splendid Dragon Age: Journeys has proven itself, and will make PSP/DS/iPhone appearances.

EA losses have taken a big turn in the right direction. [giant number] of losses is now only [still really incredibly huge number to you and me but substantially lower number], however they’ve still made 25% less than this time last year. If you want to see real numbers, click here.

Games we’re looking forward to are still promised for 2010. That’s good news. Both APB (super-looking forward to) and Medal Of Honor (interested to see where it goes) are set for release by September. Although of course this is a slip for APB, originally due in a couple of months. But still, games in Summer release shocker. Meanwhile Crysis 2 is set for a Christmas release.

One loss the PC is taking is Dead Space 2. Originally promised to the big boxes, it’s now console-toy only. Unless they simply forgot to write “PC” down on their notes. Nope – confirmed as not being on PC. So who cares when it’s coming out now.

Also, The Old Republic looks very unlikely to make its Spring 2011 release at this point.

There’s some other muddled rumour in there, something about Mass Effect 2 for early next year (?), and promises of various unnamed shooters and action games. But we can all do that. RPS is planning to release an unnamed action/shooter MMO RTS at some point in the coming financial century. (Which extends midway into the 2100s). See.

Cheers to VG247, without whom I’d have had to steal all this information from another site.

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72 Comments »

  1. Ian says:

    Well those are certainly some numbers, eh?

    Really numbery numbers, at that.

  2. Jakkar says:

    I want AVP.

    I want APB.

    Give them to me.

  3. SpinalJack says:

    Aw, I was looking forward to playing me some alien slicing and cutting. Had lots of fun with the first Dead Space.

  4. Premium User Badge

    Andy says:

    I’ll be so angry if Dead Space 2 gets a console only release. Don’t get my wrong, I’ll buy it for my PS3 but I’ll be upset that I have to.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Dead Space 2 was the only thing I was sure on buying this year. I enjoyed it that much.

      EA isn’t getting my cash now.

    • Hecktar says:

      Damn.
      I really liked Dead Space. I got it cheap and was pleasantly surprised. I really liked the atmosphere and the brilliant interface which was almost seamlessly integrated into the setting. And the story seemed to be going somewhere interesting. I only have a PC, so I hope it will get a late release on the computer at some point.

    • Bioptic says:

      I just don’t understand, in this era of Digital Distribution-only games, why releasing a PC ‘port’ represents any kind of barrier to profit. Particularly if it’s unreal-engine or a comparably common platform, a game for the Xbox 360 that’s developed simultaneously on the PC should have very, very few additional costs.

      Even if it only sells 10 000 copies or something, with no distribution costs (beyond a % cut by Valve or whoever) surely this is still profit that would not otherwise have been seen?

    • Lars Westergren says:

      @bioptic

      “Particularly if it’s unreal-engine or a comparably common platform, a game for the Xbox 360 that’s developed simultaneously on the PC should have very, very few additional costs.”

      Even if an engine is cross platform, Q&A costs are greater for the PC as a platform since they may have to check that the artwork works at different resolutions, and that the range of acceptable end user specs w. regards to memory, graphics card DX level, processor etc (a constantly moving target) works with the generated content.

    • Zaphid says:

      I bet on them releasing it a bit later on the PC too, they can’t skip the opportunity to make some extra money that easily.

    • Premium User Badge

      oceanclub says:

      “I bet on them releasing it a bit later on the PC too, they can’t skip the opportunity to make some extra money that easily.”

      Yeah, there’s kind of a pattern these days where they announce only on consoles, so that those with both consoles and PC will go out and buy the overpriced version, and then later sneak out the PC version.

      P.

    • Shalrath says:

      “Even if an engine is cross platform, Q&A costs are greater for the PC as a platform since they may have to check that the artwork works at different resolutions”

      I’m not calling you a liar or anything, but this is patently wrong.

      Console QA is FAR, FAR in excess of PC QA, and for one reason and one reason alone: TRC’s (TCR’s for you Microsoft only people). Just before we shipped a game last year, our bug database was 45% TRC bugs. (TRC’s and TCR’s are specific to each console, and as such, are also retarded. Picture ‘you had a picture of the 360 X button, but didn’t have the blue circle around it’ being a Must Fix, A Class bug. In fact, TRC/TCR bugs are considered HIGHER than A class.) Localisation is a huge part of QA, and consoles make it even more stringent than it might already be.

    • Lemon scented apocalypse says:

      There were so many things wrong with Deadspace – but i still adored it. The atmosphere was beautifully done. The storyline, however, sucked monkeyballs

    • Lars Westergren says:

      “I’m not calling you a liar or anything, but this is patently wrong”

      Hmm… I drew on my own experiences as a programmer, where the cross platform stuff is usually a pain (“make the site work in IE6!”) and no matter how much you test it there is always someone out there with a strange setup which manages to trigger new unknown bugs. But it sounds like you have real world experience as a cross platform game developer, so I bow to your expertise.

  5. Jethro says:

    Not really related to the article at hand, dunno where to tell you guys but – Myst Online has relaunched for free. :D

    mystonline.com

  6. Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

    *jumps up and down in excitement*
    *makes millions of fanboi tweets*
    *bows before the EA shrine he set up several months ago*
    ….
    *wakes up in horror what an awful dream it was…*

    Ahem…sorta looking forward to MoH, but that’s all…

  7. Rich says:

    Did you mean Mass Effect 3 for early next year, or have I fallen through a time hole again and it’s 2009? Not that I’d mind getting a few months back, but Christmas again? Don’t think I could take that.

    • Rich says:

      Ah no. In fact you meant something for ME2. They’re talking about the Cereberus Network.

    • The Dark One says:

      I wonder how far they’ll push ‘premium DLC’ until the things cycle back into the expansion packs of yore.

    • user@example.com says:

      Dragon Age is already getting a full expansion as well as the DLC, so… that far?

  8. user@example.com says:

    Oh man, I just got into Dragon Age and it’s awesome. Then I have Mass Effect 2 to play, and Dragon Age’s expansion, but those won’t last until 2011 ;_;

  9. Mike says:

    Surely Q4 of financial year 2011 is March 2012?

    • John Walker says:

      That’s what I thought, but I’m assured by People Who Know that EA’s financial years are completely insane.

    • Heliocentric says:

      All the proof i need to justify that money travels back in time. All i need now is a mesh enclosure, pva glue and £100,000 in £5 notes and my time machine is complete and kill hitler/hook hitler up with a sexy jewish/non aranic lady.

    • Mike says:

      That is a veritable trifle of bizarreness.

    • Devan says:

      Yeah, the Fiscal Year only overlaps with the real year from January to March. This way, we release all our ’10 sports games in FY10 even though it’s 2009 to everyone else. And nobody will think the game is outdated until real-world 2011 :P

  10. megaman says:

    I’m surprised. I always thought Dead Space must have been rather low perceived on the PC after the stuff I read about it last year. When it was sold cheap on steam I bought it anyway because I like horror shooters, and although the controls are very console-ish and a bit hard to get into I enjoyed it a lot. I even finished it twice, just for fun. Still I thought I’d be pretty much the only PC gamer to do so, and now 2 out of 8 posts here are about Dead Space 2 although much bigger titles are mentioned here too.
    Interesting. And maybe I should squeeze in another play-through since the next part is unlikely to reach me.

  11. Adrian says:

    i couldn’t care less about dragon age 2. developing DA 1 for 10 years and then releasing it with such a horrid combat system is just unforgivable! and the one (or two) years of developing DA 2 will bring new story but i doubt they will change the playability a lot…

  12. Caiman says:

    I loved Dead Space, absolutely loved it. The horror vibe is absolutely made for the PC though – darkened room at night, hunkered over monitor, headphones, extremely scary stuff. A tragedy if they don’t change their mind about the PC version though, because it’s not the kind of game that I think would work as well on a console.

    On the upside, I heard Visceral were pushing for the sequel to be an action game instead of a horror game, so perhaps it’s not such a great loss after all.

  13. Joinn says:

    Too bad about Dead Space 2, I would have enjoyed that.

    Well, with my huge backlog of games yet to be played, one less temptation is a good thing.

    Or is it….

  14. sonofsanta says:

    @Adrian: bearing in mind the two year gap between Mass Effect and its sequel wrought vast changes in the way it played, particularly the combat. So who knows.

  15. hydra9 says:

    Where is my Mirror’s Edge 2? *sobs*

    • Premium User Badge

      AndrewC says:

      *sobs too, hugs Hydra9 for support*

    • sigma83 says:

      I third this. I didn’t think the story of Mirror’s Edge was _that_ pants, and I really really enjoyed the game.

  16. The Sombrero Kid says:

    lol @financial century

    • The Sombrero Kid says:

      p.s. ea’s financial years are even more whacked than regular financial years, i thought loads of people were making mistakes, when they used FY 2011 as a synonym for this coming year but they weren’t!

    • Rich says:

      Is it perhaps because FY 2011 ends in 2011?

  17. Leelad says:

    Want APB.

    Also want my imba heals back.

    Is he still reading here?

    Hmmmm

  18. Epsz says:

    APB in September!? =’(

  19. Carra says:

    I’ve been wondering how Bioware does it?

    Release Dragon Age and then only a few months later Mass Effect 2. An expansion for Dragon Age is coming in a few months, Dragon Age 2 next year and all this while continuing work on SW:TOR? Best of all, both Dragon Age and Mass Effect 2 are instant classics.

    I wish Blizzard learned from this (when was their last original, not expansion game, six years ago?).

    • Lilliput King says:

      Just the standard big-studio tactic of three teams, I should think. I hope they don’t rush them out, though.

      Much as I want ME3 as soon as possible, if it failed to live up to ME2 there would be much weeping.

    • sigma83 says:

      Don’t forget that they have a team constantly doing World of Warcraft, a Diablo and a StarCraft team. Cataclysm 2010, SC2 2010, Diablo probably 2011. That’s a lot of release in a short space of time, everything coming to fruition together.

  20. Heliocentric says:

    No condemned 2, no dead space 2. Why do action horror games get the bitch stick on pc? I might get a 360 arcade just to get those 2 and the recent banjo game. No, microsoft! You nearly had me there, bad microsoft.

  21. MadMatty says:

    yeah Dead Space was good! wtf…..!?

  22. Navagon says:

    Dead Space was an excellent game, but the PC port of it was very poor. Still a good game despite that once you’ve haxed the controls a little, but it leaves no surprise that Visceral Games aren’t at all interested in the PC. Oh well. At least it won’t be a part of the latest ‘plugged into the collective’ DRM craze EA is a part of.

  23. Premium User Badge

    Wichtel says:

    “RPS is planning to release an unnamed action/shooter MMO RTS at some point in the coming financial century. (Which extends midway into the 2100s).”

    I have to say I’ m looking forward to this one. The developer might be known for their bad writing skills, but I like the concept a lot. ;)

  24. Premium User Badge

    Wichtel says:

    Oh and eurogamer said there was also this:
    “In fiscal 2011, every one of EA’s releases will have an online component, both downloadable content and online play”

    I hope this is out of context because I don’t want a DA or ME Multiplayer. That would be aweful…

    • The Sombrero Kid says:

      Bioware quoted mass effect 2 as an example of how this would be done so don’t worry it’s not, tack on multiplayer to all our games stuff, it’s tack on dlc to all our games stuff.

    • Premium User Badge

      Wichtel says:

      @Sombrero Kid

      Thanks for clearing this up.

  25. Kadayi says:

    By September. What they mean is Q3 so that’s June – September.

  26. blah says:

    Shame about Dead Space. I really enjoyed it on the PC.

    Then again, DS2 is supposedly going in the way of Resident Evil 5… Not a great loss after all, I guess.

  27. Hmm says:

    Hey EA, where the heck will you finally release SIM CITY 5? It’s high time you did.

  28. StormTec says:

    I’m probably in the minority here, but I got Dead Space on the PC and played it with my 360 controller =S I tried to play it with the mouse and keyboard but everything just felt easier on a pad (‘cos, you know, it was kinda designed for it?).

    I guess the only thing I’m saddened about Dead Space 2 not being on the PC is that I won’t be able to get it for under £35 =/

  29. PixelCody says:

    Dead Space was excellent on the PC. Sure the projected map took a bit of fiddling before you grokked it but other than that I thought it was made for PC as much as for consoles. Excellent game, shame I helped EA make this decision by getting it cheap.

    I’m all about APB! Hopefully it plays as good as it looks.

    Dragon Age 2Soon. They must be aiming to make a few strides with the console version, dodgy over the shoulder view and all that. I’m not sure what they could do to the PC version to make it much more than a retread of the same mechanics (the reason I still haven’t got Left 4 Dead 2).

  30. merc says:

    No PC Dead Space 2? Oh, EA, why do you want to make me hate you.

    Ah well, sounds like they’ll probably screw it up anyway.

  31. Po0py says:

    No Dead Space 2 for Pc?

    Cowards.

  32. Kevbo says:

    Please die EA, you are the plague of the gaming industry.
    Could care less about the crapfests that they are forcing developers to rush and release.

    Dev: “Hey I got a great idea for this game….”
    EA: “No, you will not put that awesome idea in this game even though we easily could, we will instead strip out some more features and then sell them back to the gamer as DLC for more profits…. Then in 1 year we will force you guys to crank out another game with minimal changes and improvements. Oh and we will strip features out of the sequel so we can sell it as DLC as well.”

    Don’t forget to support these pathetic practices with your dollar and watch our gaming industry down in mediocrity and greed :)

    • Shalrath says:

      ‘we will instead strip out some more features and then sell them back to the gamer as DLC for more profits…. ”

      I’d just like to add I’ve worked for many companies (including EA) that have released DLC and not a SINGLE one intentionally held back features. I’m not saying it never happens, but it’s so easy to say that, and it’s usually not true.

  33. Kevbo says:

    *drown* (not down)
    sorry for the double post, no edit :(

  34. Dustin Diamond's Sex-Tape says:

    I can say that what the PR person said is the “company line” although you need to read what he or she wrote very carefully, especially the “As of right now…” part. As a dev on the game it is hard for me to even keep up with changes in the SKU plan.

    http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=19706063&postcount=903

    The words of someone working the dev team for Dead Space 2, not some mouthpiece.

    make of it what you will

  35. Grey_Ghost says:

    Oh what the HELL! I really enjoyed Dead Space despite it’s little problems, like forced key bindings. Now I won’t be able to play the sequel? What dicks!

  36. Pantsman says:

    No mention of that other ME2, then? A shame. I hope it turns up eventually. The first was rather brilliant, moreso than most critics gave it credit for, even here.

  37. Rane2k says:

    Dead Space 2 not on PC? Not cool EA, not cool…

  38. Shadow Wulf says:

    Hmm, I am just as upset about Dead Space 2 not being for PC as anyone else even though there is a good chance that it will still come out for PC later. Remember a while back when EA and Dice said Mirrors Edge wasn’t coming for PC? Surprise surprise, just a way to force more sales of the consoles than on PC at a discounted price or for people who planned to pirate it. But I am not sure if any of us will like Dead Space 2 since the developers have said they are going for more of a Modern Warfare style action, not a good sign if you ask me, Welcome to Resident Evil Dead Space 5.

  39. Larington says:

    I’m still somewhat upset there won’t be another Saboteur what with the sacking of Pandemic (the developer that made it), I really enjoyed the original and would’ve liked another WW2 shooter that doesn’t take place in standard war scenarios. The whole running around an occupied city thing (instead of another fight on the beaches, then through some town, then this, that and the other) was very refreshing and I went so far as to do every single freeplay target in the game in addition to doing everything else.

    So I’m sad panda right now as far as that’s concerned. The rest I’m undecided on.

  40. Vinraith says:

    I’d forgotten what it’s like to really love a AAA franchise, that Dragon Age 2 announcement simultaneously makes me excited and terrified. I hope they don’t screw it up, I certainly hope they don’t consolify it, and above all I hope they don’t go back to ME1-style DRM or anything of that sort. In short, I really want this game to be great, and I really want this game to be something I can buy straight-away. I haven’t preordered a major game release in ages, but I can easily see doing it for a Dragon Age sequel.

    I’m also looking forward to Crysis 2, ME3, and like others I hope they turn around that decision on Dead Space 2. In short, I suddenly find myself giving a crap about EA games again, I blame Bioware.

  41. Premium User Badge

    HarbourMaster says:

    Doesn’t the US financial year end in September? Not that I’m an expert or anything.

  42. catska says:

    Well this is what happens when people pirate the hell out of a game and expect them to continue making games. PC gamers shoot themselves in the foot again while console owners will get to enjoy dead space 2 because they actually pay for things.

  43. Dustin Diamond's Sex-Tape says:

    http://twitter.com/Greenspeak/status/8925120492

    ex-cgw honcho and current ea community manager jeff green confirms pc release of dead space 2.

  44. Inverness says:

    BioWare is not Blizzard.