Electronic Arts has been on a roll lately, churning out quite a selection of new and innovative titles over the past year.
Sure it cost them, but building a new franchise isn't cheap and at least some of their investments look like they will be paying off in the long run.
But what about the new titles that haven't yet hit the radar?
We've heard quite a bit about games that were in the works prior to Electronic Arts' dire financial announcements earlier this week. Keep in mind these are all rumored, unverified games, that come to us from trusted sources.
We're told that EA Tiburon, for instance, was working on a mixed martial arts game. While THQ has a licensing agreement with Ultimate Fighting Championship that doesn't expire until 2011, there are plenty of other ways to address the sport. And considering Tiburon's track record with sports games, it isn't hard to imagine that this game, if it survived the personnel and budget cuts, would be top notch.
On a more interesting front, at least to me, are the rumblings of what EA Blackbox was hard at work on leading up to the deep cuts that struck that studio. We're told that the studio behind the Need For Speed franchise and Skate 2 were neck deep in a new IP that was described to us as deeply creative and innovative. (Think Dead Space and Mirror's Edge) The most persistent rumor running the halls of Electronic Arts was that the game was going to be a third-person, run-and-gun action title with a very unexpected character and a very unexpected setting.
With the secret title pulling so much buzz at the publisher, we're hoping that it lands on its feet.
But even leading up to the news of the deeper cuts, not everything was rosy at Electronic Arts. We heard that despite the many denials, Steven Spielberg action title LMNO (pronounced Elemental) is dead in the water, the budget pulled, the assets locked away. Too bad, since we were hearing the game had landed Habib Zargarpour as art director.
It's a difficult time for everyone right now and maybe it makes sense for studios to pull back into their shells to weather the storm. Hopefully, though, we won't see a stop to what was becoming a renaissance of game design over at Electronic Arts.