As expected, EA Sports took the stage at Microsoft’s Xbox One reveal event to showcase a few of their in-development next-gen sports games. Not only that, the publisher unveiled their new engine, Ignite, which will presumably fuel every EA Sports game going forward.
More specifically, though, EA Sports highlighted four upcoming titles that will use Ignite: FIFA 14, NBA Live 14, EA Sports UFC, and Madden NFL 25. In addition to a brief mention of these titles, EA Sports also debuted a new trailer (seen above) which showcased what these next-gen sports games will look like.
While on stage, EA Sports’ Andrew Wilson revealed that all four of these games are expected to hit store shelves within the next 12 months. Both Madden and FIFA already have release windows — August and September, respectively — but there was no word on if the next-gen versions would be finished in time.
According to EA Sports, Ignite will deliver dynamic movement, run-time physics, and player intelligence unlike anything seen in a sports game before. Whether they’re playing as Lionel Messi in FIFA or Robert Griffin III in Madden, gamers will allegedly be able to move as those athletes do on the pitch or field, respectively. Players will be able to plant, pivot, change speeds, and shift momentum in a more realistic fashion.
For NBA Live 14, this will be a rebirth of sorts, as the franchise once known as NBA Elite, finally makes its return. And right on time too, as this next-gen release will position the title as a true competitor to NBA 2K. That isn’t to say it will be better than the gold standard of basketball titles, just that it will hopefully have the potential to be.
UFC will also make a triumphant return, only this time under the EA Sports banner. After acquiring the UFC license from THQ, EA Sports doesn’t look to be changing too much, but no real gameplay was shown.
For that matter, it’s hard to tell what elements of the trailer are in-engine, if any. We’ve been duped by EA Sports before with flashy announcement trailers, so we’re cautiously optimistic. That being said, if the games do look this crisp, and player movements are this realistic (they could still use a little bit of work in my opinion), then sports games are headed in the right direction.
While only FIFA 14, NBA Live 14, EA Sports UFC, and Madden NFL 25 are confirmed next-gen releases — for the Xbox One and PS4 — this is only the beginning. After that 12-month period, the rest of EA Sports’ franchises will make the leap to those two platforms. The Wii U, on the other hand, doesn’t appear to be getting any love.
And speaking of other EA Sports franchises, we received confirmation that NHL 14 will not be a next-gen release this year, but it most certainly will next year. Colin Macrae, Sr. Director, Communications:
“NHL 14 will not be available for Xbox One or PlayStation 4 this year. Our team is laser-focused on delivering the greatest hockey experience to-date on the Xbox 360 and PS3, grounded in the speed, skill, and aggression of the sport. We look forward to developing a best-in-class hockey experience for new platforms in the future.”
UPDATE: EA Sports has released three additional trailers highlighting the Ignite Engine. One focused on Human Intelligence:
One focused on True Player Motion:
And one focused on Living Worlds:
What did you think of EA Sports presentation? Did the trailer get you excited? Which franchise are you most interested to see realized using Ignite?