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EA plans to release a 'major' game before April, but won't say what it is


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During an update for investors today, EA said that it plans to release a "major IP" sometime before March 31, 2023. For reasons I'll get into, there's a good chance it's Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, the sequel to 2019 Respawn action adventure game Jedi: Fallen Order. First, though, a few words from EA CEO Andrew Wilson on why EA isn't being specific about what this "major IP" is.

"The nature of marketing in our industry has meaningfully changed in the past five or six years," Wilson said. "You might remember that when we launched Apex Legends, we didn't tell anybody about it until about 48 hours before the community got to play it.

"...The big shift of course in the recent decade was a move from television [marketing] to digital. We've moved into more targeted digital, and now we've moved into more targeting timing around digital, and so for each franchise, our development teams and marketing teams come together and think through what is the most appropriate time to begin meaningfully communicating with our community about what titles are coming." 

That seems to be a long way of saying that EA has had some thoughts about when to start marketing things, and has decided that close to a game's release is a good time. It saves money, I assume, and it worked out for Apex Legends, as Wilson mentions. Apex was announced right as it went live back in February 2019, and turned out to be one of the biggest battle royale games and shooters of the past few years—last year, it won our award for Best Ongoing Game

EA originally teased this upcoming unrevealed game in its investor slideshow from May of this year, where "major IP" was listed for early next year along with a "partner title," "remake," and a "sports title." The "partner title" was rumored to be Jedi: Survivor at the time, but it now seems clear that EA was referring to Koei Tecmo game Wild Hearts, which it's publishing under the EA Originals label. (EA acquired Respawn in 2017, so it's just an EA studio now, not an "EA Partners" studio.) The "remake" in the list is Dead Space, whose January release date was only announced recently, and the sports title is a new Super Mega Baseball. That just leaves the "Major IP" yet to be revealed.  

EA previously announced that Jedi: Survivor is releasing in 2023, and Giant Bomb's Jeff Grubb has maintained for a few months that, according to his sources, it's coming out in March 2023. A couple weeks ago, Grubb reiterated that claim, saying that the "big partner game" coming from EA early next year is Jedi: Survivor. A recent PlayStation database leak also put Jedi: Survivor in March.

I don't think that EA was referring to Jedi: Survivor when it referenced a "partner title," but that's just a nitpick: There's still a "major IP" slot to fill before the end of March 2023, and Jedi: Survivor is the most likely candidate to fill it.

Also lightly relevant here is the list of games that slipped out of a leaky Nvidia server in 2021. Nvidia said at the time that it was just a bunch of testing material, but too many games on the list have since gotten PC announcements for us to accept that. There were two EA entries on the list: "Mirror's Edge RTX Remaster" and "Untitled Respawn Game."

The Untitled Respawn Game there is almost definitely Jedi: Survivor. There could be a secret EA game nearing release that isn't one of those two games, of course, but I think it adds a smidge of credence to this rumor that the list doesn't offer such an alternative. I don't think EA would refer to a Mirror's Edge remaster as a "major IP," and it's too soon for the new games from BioWare or EA's expanded Battlefield division to be releasing. If it's something else, then EA has done a really good job of keeping it a secret while dangling Jedi: Survivor in front of us as a red herring.

We'll know sometime in or before the end of March next year. Part of me hopes that it is actually a secret game. Keeps the job exciting, you know? It's possible. I wouldn't trust Ubisoft to keep anything a secret, but EA did manage it once with Apex, so maybe it's done it again. (But it's probably the Star Wars game.)

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