BioWare’s new IP will arrive by the end of March 2018

The mysterious new BioWare title seems poised for a reveal soon as EA noted that it will be out by the end of Q1 2018.

EA CEO Andrew Wilson described the unannounced title as an “action-adventure title” and “not an RPG” in a financial call today.

We don’t know exactly what that will entail, though a tiny snippet of concept art was revealed in 2014. It depicted a day night cycle over rolling green fields with an outpost to the side of the frame. If one didn’t know any better, it looked like it would fit right in with a Mass Effect title (granted it was teased at the end of a Mass Effect: Andromeda presentation).

EA community chief tweets #Skate4, internet loses its mind

Over the weekend, EA community manager Daniel Lingen tweeted #Skate4, and the internet lost its collective mind.

The bare-bones tease was enough to spark a whopping 20,000 likes and 10,000 RTs on the social network, showing internet demand for another game in EA’s silly skating series is as strong as ever.

Here are a few of the excited reactions:

10-hour trial of Mass Effect: Andromeda out five days before launch

EA plans to release a 10-hour trial of Mass Effect: Andromeda for Access subscribers.

The hefty trial of BioWare’s sci-fi action RPG comes out on 16th March – five days before the full game comes out on 21st March in the US (it’s 23rd in the UK). It’ll surely let you make a decent dent in the game before it launches proper.

Access is EA’s subscription. You get early access trials such as this one as well as a number of games to download from the Vault (). Origin Access is available on PC via Origin, and EA Access is available on Xbox One only.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and Battlefield 3 have been added to EA Access

Earlier this month Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and Battlefield 3 received . Now they’re both available on EA Access, the £3.99 a month service exclusive to Xbox One that grants players unlimited access to various EA titles.

EA noted on that the new games are slowly rolling out, so if it doesn’t show up in the vault for you yet, don’t panic.

When asked about whether these titles would come to the publisher’s similar program on PC, Origin Access, EA said “EA Access has been tailor made for the Xbox One console. We have nothing to announce for other platforms at this time.”

Micro Machines returns with World Series

One of Codemasters’ most fondly remembered series is returning, with Micro Machines World Series coming to Xbox One, PC and PS4 on April 21st.

The new game features familiar backdrops from the 1991 original, reimagined for the new hardware and complemented by new modes and a Battle Arena that comes complete with Capture the Flag and King of the Hill modes. Four player multiplayer will be supported on one system, while 12 players can compete online and there’ll be 12 vehicles to play with.

Codemasters’ last console Micro Machines was V4, which released on PS2, PSP, PC and Nintendo’s DS in 2006, though it did return to the series last year for a free-to-play mobile take in partnership with EA.

EA returns to Nintendo with FIFA for Switch

EA is once again back on a Nintendo platform, with FIFA confirmed for Switch.

EA executive Patrick Söderlund took to the stage during Nintendo’s Switch presentation to say FIFA would release on Switch at some point in 2017.

We don’t know much about how the game will work, but Söderlund did say it will offer the FIFA experience “custom built for Nintendo Switch”.

Surreal sailing adventure Sea of Solitude picked up by EA

February of last year Berlin-based developer Jo-Mei Games announced a stylish sailing game called . Now that game has been picked up by EA as its second “EA Originals” title.

Sea of Solitude follows the story of a woman named Kay who must sail the seas in search of a cure to a disease that’s turning her into a monster. Creative director Cornelia Geppert previously described its art and tone as “a mixture between Ghibli and Silent Hill”.

The developer previously noted that the adventure will contain “exploration, puzzles [and] action.”

FIFA 17 free to play from today until the end of the weekend

Hot on the heels of the news that , EA has said FIFA 17 is free to play on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One from this evening until the end of the weekend.

The FIFA 17 free trial is basically the same as the trial version that went live ahead of the football game’s launch on Xbox One for EA Access subscribers. You can play The Journey story mode, FIFA Ultimate Team, Career mode and more.

You can only play a portion of The Journey, but if you decide to buy the full game later your progress will carry over.

FIFA coin hacker convicted of defrauding EA out of $16m

A hacker has been convicted of defrauding EA out of FIFA coins worth millions of dollars.

Anthony Clark, 24 from California, was convicted of wire fraud in a scheme that involved over $16m worth of FIFA coins.

FIFA is so popular that the in-game currency, FIFA coins, has sparked a black market for trading. A simple Google search returns hundreds of sites that let you buy and sell FIFA coins for real world cash.

The Return of Battle Garegga, the mad king of Shmups

Radiant Silvergun, that masterpiece of design and engineering, is surely the most famous Japanese shoot ’em up from the genre’s golden age. But it’s Battle Garegga that, for many, holds the era’s crown. Released in arcades in 1996 it’s by far the plainer-looking creation, a muted palette of World War II gunmetal greys and khakis foreshadowing the next decade of militaristic video game colour schemes. Unlike its peers and rivals, which have your fidgety aircraft feinting and swerving through a brightly coloured hail of enemy bullets, Battle Garegga’s designers make you navigate a shifting maze of realistic looking artillery fire. The grey and silver bullets blend infuriatingly with the tops of trees and froth seas over which they zip. No boss fights with sprinting deities here, either. Just a corridor extending up the screen and beyond, filled with battalions of crotchety tanks, kamikaze biplanes, and the odd spindly air fortress.

By 1998’s launch of the Sega Saturn version (the only one to successfully flee the arcades till the unbelievable arrival, next month, of a twentieth anniversary PS4 rerelease) there was little to mark Battle Garegga out from the shmup pack, aside from the prestigious name of its developer, Raizing, and the unlikely choice of publisher, EA. Sure, this was a game filled with a bewildering cascade of tokens and power-ups, but at a glance, its rules seemed routine, obvious, antique: Shoot them before they shoot you; Collect everything in sight; Make it to the end in fewer than three lives. Then, slowly, players began to notice arcane complexities.

For example, up to four drone-like ‘options’ could be collected and added to your ship’s arsenal. With a press of a button these could be arranged into different configurations, providing a wide spread of fire across the screen, or made to spin in a circle around your craft. Canny players noticed that, if you collected medals in a certain order, new configurations for your drones would be opened up. Then, there was the question of the game’s weird difficulty. Players who followed the typical shoot ’em up play style, taking down every enemy, collecting everything in sight and so on, would find that by the time they reached the game’s latter stages the game had become almost impossibly challenging. Conversely, players who died frequently along the way had a far easier time of it. Battle Garegga was unquestionably a classic. But nothing quite made sense in its knotted, topsy-turvy world.