In a recent interview with Polygon, executive vice president of EA Studios Patrick Söderlund explained that the focus on incomplete, conceptual footage during the company’s E3 conference was planned from the start.
In reference to the behind-the-scenes looks at Mirror’s Edge, Mass Effect, Star Wars Battlefront, and Criterion Games’ next game (untitled as of now), Söderlund said that “…we [EA] decided that we wanted people to see what it takes to make a game and get them involved.”
He went on to assure that this approach doesn’t mean that these games are “years and years away.” Furthermore, he communicated the idea that EA didn’t feel “pre-rendered movies” and the “old way of doing it” were appropriate, and pushed an idea of a new, “different” EA.
Still, while the honesty and attempt to shift public opinion of EA is appreciated, the point still seems to be missed. Conceptual talk is interesting in any event outside of E3; the event is all about flashy cinematics and, preferably, gameplay. While conceptual gameplay was shown for Mirror’s Edge and Criterion’s game, nothing about it amazed because of its early nature. These peaks behind the curtain are neat, but maybe EA should perform the magic before showing how it’s done.