EA announces giant line-up for Studio Showcase

By Patrick Garratt, Thursday, 14 August 2008 22:56 GMT

EA’s just announced a massive line-up for today’s annual Studio Showcase in the US, including Need for Speed Undercover and The Godfather II.

There’s little new on there, to be fair, but as with the firm’s autumn portfolio announcement at E3, the weight of product is a bit bewildering.

“Today’s event is a key inflection point that shows the industry the breadth and depth of EA’s portfolio,” said EA NA boss Jeff Karp.

“We continue to raise the bar with each opportunity to show new titles throughout the summer and fall line up of global industry events. It’s been exciting to see consumer and critical reaction to our expansive slate, and we look forward to receiving feedback with the debut of today’s new titles.”

Press release after the link.

EA Spotlights Slate of New Titles and Initiatives at Annual Summer Showcase Event

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Aug 14, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Following an award-winning presence at E3 in July, Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS) today unveiled new games that will entertain the core and reach for more, scheduled to launch this holiday and in 2009. The new games presented on stage at a press conference during EA’s annual Studio Showcase include The Godfather(R) II, Need for Speed(TM) Undercover, SCRABBLE on the iPhone(TM) featuring WiFi play capability, and a brand new property, Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure. EA Partners also announced publishing agreements with two of the world’s most creative independent studios, Epic Games and Grasshopper Manufacture.

“Today’s event is a key inflection point that shows the industry the breadth and depth of EA’s portfolio,” said Jeff Karp, Senior Vice President and General Manager of North American Publishing for Electronic Arts. “We continue to raise the bar with each opportunity to show new titles throughout the summer and fall line up of global industry events. It’s been exciting to see consumer and critical reaction to our expansive slate, and we look forward to receiving feedback with the debut of today’s new titles.”

The new titles and relationships unveiled on stage at today’s Studio Showcase press conference include:

— Need for Speed Undercover — Need for Speed Undercover takes the franchise back to its roots and re-introduces break-neck cop chases, the world’s hottest cars and spectacular highway battles. The intense action racing title scheduled for release this holiday will feature international movie star, Maggie Q, as the lead character in the big-budget live-action sequences that propel the game’s original story forward.

— The Godfather II — From EA and Paramount Digital Entertainment comes The Godfather II videogame, the sequel to the 2007 multi-platinum hit. Inspired by the film and Mario Puzo’s Corleone family drama, The Godfather II game goes beyond the film’s story by setting players in the world of organized crime in 1960’s Florida, Cuba and New York.

— Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure — Love puzzle games, but also love an adventure? Now you can have both in one game. Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure is the ultimate fun, quirky adventure-puzzle game that intertwines platform and puzzle genres. Adding a new element of fun, the game combines the action of an adventure game with the challenge of a puzzle game all in one. In this two-in-one adventure, players will explore five exotic worlds, fight a variety of opponents, and venture through more than 30 levels, including nearly a dozen hidden levels while taking on outrageous world-ending bosses. From the EA Casual Entertainment Label, Henry Hatsworth will be available exclusively for the Nintendo DS(TM) early 2009.

— SCRABBLE on the iPhone featuring WiFi play capability — For the first time ever, SCRABBLE on the iPhone features WiFi play capability allowing up to four players within the same network to play against each other from their individual phones. SCRABBLE on the iPhone, available in the U.S. and Canada, turns the touch screen into a game controller with simple intuitive controls that simulate real-life game pieces. Players can zoom in and out, drag, and drop tiles, even give their iPhone a shake to shuffle tiles. With a realistic look and feel that evokes the original board game, this exciting update includes a built-in word list, a “Best Word” Help feature to find the optimal word from the player’s tiles, score and stat tracking, and dynamic animations. Players can customize their game play with multiple difficulty levels, flexible game rules, and the option to play alone, challenge the computer player, or enjoy pass ‘n play for two to four players. Every word is a winner when you play Hasbro’s SCRABBLE on your iPhone.

— Epic Games — EA and Epic signed a publishing agreement for an all-new action title for the PC, Xbox 360(R) video game system and PLAYSTATION(R)3 computer entertainment system. The new intellectual property is currently in development by Epic’s People Can Fly studio in Poland.

— Grasshopper Manufacture — EA signed a publishing agreement with iconic Japanese development studio Grasshopper Manufacture. EA will publish an all-new action horror game produced by Shinji Mikami and directed by innovative game designer Suda51.

Additional titles featured at today’s Studio Showcase press conference include:

— Battlefield Heroes(TM) is an all-new Play 4 Free cartoon-style shooter that will bring classic Battlefield gameplay to an all new mass audience. Available for download* at www.battlefield-heroes.com later this year, Battlefield Heroes is EA’s first title that is offered completely for free, and features a built-in matchmaking system to ensure that players of equal skill are paired together for fair play. Developed by DICE in Stockholm, Battlefield Heroes is leading EA’s new web-focused free to download, free to play business model which generates revenue through advertising and micro-transactions. With zero barriers to entry, now anyone can be a hero on the battlefield!

— Boogie(TM) SuperStar — For any girl who has ever dreamed of being a star, EA’s Casual Entertainment Label brings future stars one step closer with Boogie SuperStar. Combining the hottest music hits from around the world with the coolest dance moves and total character customization, Boogie SuperStar provides girls the ultimate gaming experience: to sing and dance their way to superstardom! Exclusively for the Wii(TM), Boogie SuperStar will be available in North America and Europe October 2008, and in Asia in the following months.

— Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince(TM) — Gamers will relive all the thrills, action, and excitement of the movie this holiday season! In the game of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, players will return to Hogwarts to help Harry survive a fraught sixth year. They will also have a chance to engage in exciting wizard duels, mix and brew magical ingredients in Potions class and take to the air to lead the Gryffindor Quidditch team to victory. From EA’s Bright Light Studio, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is scheduled for release in time for the movie launch this November for the Wii, PLAYSTATION 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, PSP(R) (PlayStation(R)Portable), Nintendo DS, Windows PC, Macintosh(R) and mobile devices.

— Madden NFL 09 — Madden NFL 09, which launched Tuesday to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the franchise, is the First Sports Game That Adapts To You while introducing more than 85 new features and enhancements. Called “better than ever” by the Associated Press and named Best Sports Game of E3 in the official “Game Critics Best of Show Awards”, Madden NFL 09 includes adaptable gameplay tailored to every type of gamer, improved graphics and animations, and a new network-inspired broadcast style presentation that delivers an authentic NFL experience.

— NHL 09 — EA SPORTS(TM) welcomes players to the future of sports gaming with NHL(R) 09. Building on NHL 08 – winner of seven Sports Game of the Year awards – EA SPORTS continues to evolve the NHL franchise with innovative control enhancements, added depth and accessibility. Gamers can now lace up their skates and become the stars of the game with their own created characters – and show off their talent to the world as they compete and level up in the EA SPORTS Hockey League with gamers from around the globe. The all new Defensive Skill Stick, the new Be A Pro mode, and the classic two-button control scheme from NHL 94 are three of the several innovations that NHL 09 will bring to the table.

— SimAnimals(TM) — Made exclusively for the Wii and the Nintendo DS, SimAnimals opens up a whole new category of wild animal games. Now for the first time, players are challenged to engage, touch, move and try to control a wide range of animals and their environments as they journey deeper and deeper into the forest. An on-screen animated hand allows players to reach out and touch, pick up and move everything in the game from foxes and bears to trees and flowers. Players will have fun developing relationships with wild animals and their families, and experiencing the humor and drama of surviving in the wilderness. SimAnimals will be available worldwide in January 2009.

— TheSimsCarnival.com — You can play, create and share games online with friends! Now in Open Beta, TheSimsCarnival.com is a games destination website that has hundreds of games of all kinds to play, tools to make your own games and then share them via email or embed a game on social networking sites or on your personal blog. Games are now truly a social experience and one that can be shared and enjoyed by others.

— Warhammer(R) Online: Age of Reckoning(TM) — The worldwide WAAAGH! begins on September 18th when hundreds of thousands of mighty heroes will collide upon the battlefields of Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, the new MMORPG from Mythic Entertainment. Based on Games Workshop’s popular Warhammer(R) fantasy war game, WAR features next generation Realm vs. Realm(TM) (RvR) game play that will immerse players in a world of perpetual conflict for years to come.

Also on display for hands-on previews at EA’s Studio Showcase are titles from all four EA Labels including: BattleForge(TM); Brain Quest(TM); Burnout(TM) Paradise; Celebrity Sports Showdown; EA SPORTS Fantasy Football; FIFA(R) 09; iPhone games including SCRABBLE, Soduoku, Spore(TM) Origins and Tetris(R); Mercenaries 2: World in Flames(TM); MONOPOLY; MONOPOLY HERE & NOW: World Edition; My Sims(TM) Kingdom; My Sims(TM); NBA LIVE 09; Nerf N’ Strike; NFL Head Coach; SimCity(TM) Creator; Skate 2, Skate It; The Lord of the Rings: Conquest(TM); The Sims(TM) 2 Apartment Life; The Sims(TM) 2 Apartment Pets; Tiger Woods PGA TOUR(R) 09 and Travel Games For Dummies(R).

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