EA announced earlier this week that four of its upcoming sports titles — Madden NFL 25, FIFA 14, NBA Live 14 and EA Sports UFC — will be released on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One within the next 12 months. All of them will be powered by the same engine: EA Sports Ignite, the single technology base for all of EA's sports games on next-generation consoles.
But when Andrew Wilson, executive vice president of EA Sports, unveiled the engine with pre-rendered target footage during Microsoft's Xbox One reveal event on Tuesday, he only listed those four games. EA has three other annual sports titles: Tiger Woods PGA Tour, which launches at the end of March; NCAA Football, which launches in July; and NHL, which launches in September.
"In regards to Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14, we already launched on the platforms we will support for that title," said a spokesperson for developer EA Tiburon; PGA Tour 14 was released in March on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. A separate Tiburon rep told us that NCAA Football 14 will be released only on the platforms EA has announced, PS3 and Xbox 360; it is scheduled to launch July 9.
Ignite could help NBA Live make a splash in the early days of next-generation consoles
Asked about NHL 14, an EA Canada spokesperson said, "Our team is laser-focused on delivering the greatest hockey experience to date on the Xbox 360 and PS3, grounded in the speed, skill and aggression of the sport. We look forward to developing a best-in-class hockey experience for next-gen platforms in the future." NHL 14 is set for release Sept. 10 on Xbox 360 and PS3.
The next-generation launch strategy seems to make sense for EA. Madden and FIFA are perennially EA's biggest sellers, while the publisher is attempting to resurrect a dormant franchise in NBA Live and launch a new one in UFC.
NBA Live, in particular, has a tough road ahead on current-generation platforms because 2K Sports' NBA 2K franchise has become entrenched as the only simulation basketball title for the past three years. Ignite could help the brand make a splash in the early days of the next-generation consoles, both of which are scheduled to launch later this year. UFC has no competition, but its release is far enough in the future — EA said earlier this month that it doesn't plan to launch the game before April — that the next generation will be well under way.