soldiers in Anthem

Hosting EA Play ahead of E3 2017 apparently worked out nicely because the publisher has announced that a repeat event is happening once again this year, though with a few noted changes.

Just like with last year's event, EA Play will be hosted out of Los Angeles before the big E3 showcase gets fully up and running. Several publishers have stepped away from the show in recent years, opting to host their own showcases nearby rather than join all of the LA Convention Center hubbub.

This year's EA Play event will run from June 9-11, according to a posting from Gameinformer. That means it will be ongoing during what are traditionally press conference days for other publishers, with the E3 floor itself not opening until June 12-14. As a reminder, this year's main show is once again open to the paying public, though morning hours during each of the convention center days will be relegated to press only. To take a bit of the sting off, this year's show will also run an hour longer each day. That means public attendees can stay up partying as late as they want and only have to worry about getting up early enough to grab lunch before hitting the show floor each afternoon.

As for EA Play, the venue will be the Hollywood Palladium and tickets are said to be going on sale sometime this spring. The event is basically a shrunken-down E3 experience. They offer their own press conference and space where folks can try out upcoming games. EA has stated that, despite having a launch pushed to 2019, Anthem will be playable by the public at this year's show. Also, there's a new Battlefield on the way and, while we don't know anything outside the fact that it's due to launch this fall, it will also be one of the highlighted games during EA Play. We figure the usual assortment of sports games will be on playable kiosks, and likely a handful of mobile titles.

Based on a statement from EA, the program will be better organized this year, giving folks a better opportunity to actually see and play the games. One of the big complaints coming out of last year's EA Play event was that there simply weren't enough opportunities for everyone to check out the games. And for those who can't attend, EA has confirmed they will once again partner with various streaming personalities across Twitch, Facebook and YouTube, giving folks plenty of looks at the upcoming roster of EA games.

Given recent events concerning EA and microtransactions (we're looking at you, Battlefront II), we'll be curious to see if the ongoing controversy receives any attention at EA Play. This would probably be a good opportunity for the publisher to address the situation, as well as outline any potential changes in the coming years. Then again, maybe each game's presentation will boast loot boxes aplenty. We'll just have to wait and see.

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