EA has announced that the publisher’s annual EA Play Live showcase will not take place this year. News of the cancellation raises questions around just when fans can expect to see more from the games that EA has already announced, especially Dragon Age 4 and the next Mass Effect.
EA Play Live is the publisher's E3-adjacent press conference which, in the past, has been the home for massive game reveals and trailers. This year, though, it won’t be happening. This is a huge departure for EA which has held a yearly showcase for the past few years.
In a statement to IGN, an EA representative said: “We love EA Play Live as it's our way of connecting with our players and sharing what’s new with all of you. However, this year things aren't lining up to show you everything on one date. We have exciting things happening at our world-class studios and this year we’ll reveal much more about these projects when the time is right for each of them.”
For Dragon Age and Mass Effect fans, this is a potentially worrying development. Especially in Dragon Age 4’s case, fans have been waiting years to hear from and see more of the title. EA forgoing their annual event could suggest that news and reveals about both titles are now even further away than we thought.
What does this mean for Mass Effect 5 and Dragon Age 4?
The worry that we won't see Dragon Age 4 or the next Mass Effect anytime soon is understandable. If EA isn’t hosting its own blowout showcase, it could suggest that it has no plans to show off any of its big upcoming games for the rest of the year. That also goes for the highly anticipated Skate 4, and potentially a new Need for Speed title.
However, the hope of seeing any of these games in 2022 may not be lost. First of all, just because EA isn’t holding its own event doesn’t mean we won’t see showcases for these titles at all. Presumably, annual releases like Madden, FIFA, and more will be spotlighted, if even just in their own YouTube channels or on EA's socials.
On top of that, EA has a long history of turning up at other publishers' showcases. EA has shown off plenty of games at Microsoft’s press conferences in the past. As a prime example, Anthem got its gameplay reveal in the headlining closing segment at Microsoft's 2017 E3 press conference. The next Mass Effect was also announced at The Game Awards 2020. Either it or Dragon Age 4 could make an appearance at this year's Gamescom or The Game Awards showcases, then.
On Dragon Age specifically, there is evidence we may see it this year, too. Just last month, Bioware explicitly said in a blog post: “Later this year, you will start to hear more from the Dragon Age team in the form of blogs and social content. As we move through development we’ll also be in regular communication with players who sit on our community council.”
Now, this only promises ‘blogs and social content’, but it’s clear that Dragon Age 4 is moving into a more forward-facing phase of its development. It seems very likely that by the year's end, we will know more about Dragon Age 4 than we do now.
Mass Effect may be more of a long shot as, by most reports, it’s still very early in development. That being said, though, there is still a non-EA Play Live place it could turn up. The franchise has a dedicated day called N7 Day, which takes place on November 7. More details about the game could be announced around then.
This is all to illustrate that just because EA Play Live isn't happening, it doesn’t mean that we won’t hear about new EA games all year. In fact, we already know from a recent developer stream that the Dead Space remake is headed for ‘early 2023’, so we can likely expect to hear more from that project this year, too. It’s hard to say why EA Play Live isn’t going ahead at present, but the publisher still has games coming that it will likely want to promote.