Page last updated at 08:34 GMT, Wednesday, 19 August 2009 09:34 UK

Games giants show future wares

By Daniel Emery
Technology reporter, BBC News, Cologne


EA Games Label's president, Frank Gibeau, highlighted his upcoming titles at the Gamescom conference in Cologne

Video games software giant Electronic Arts (EA) has showcased its forthcoming titles at the 2009 games convention - gamescom - in Cologne.

Fifa 10, Mass Effect 2, Need for Speed Shift, and Brutal Legends were all on show, with EA Sport's chief, Peter Moore, trying out the firm's Nintendo Wii add-on EA Sports Active: More Workouts.

EA's head of games - Frank Gibeau - told BBC News that gamescom gives it an opportunity to show off its new games to nearly 200,000 consumers making it, he said, "the biggest games show in the world."

"We started marketing games early and unveiled them at E3; at gamescom we get the chance to get vital feedback from our customers".

The E3 games expo is held in Los Angeles every year and was traditionally the biggest date in the gaming calendar.

'Rock cameo'

The early part of the Cologne event was dominated by EA's latest football game, Fifa 10.

During the presentation, the developers promised that the new edition will have improved defending, 360 dribbling, customisable set pieces and a raft of new downloadable content.

Peter Moore, EA's head of sports, told BBC News that the firm's investment in a new game engine, which made its debut in Fifa 09, was starting to pay off.

Mass Effect 2 screenshot
Bioware also showed off Mass Effect 2

However, he said that Konami - the developers behind Pro Evolution Soccer and arch rivals for the football crown - were unlikely to sit back and let EA corner the market.

"We don't underestimate Konami or the Pro Evo franchise," he said. "They won't let us sit back and gather the market without fighting back."

"We had some problems in the past; Fifa 06 and to a lesser extent 07 had issues with handling, turning, and physics - all these things needed work which is why we needed to invest in a new game engine," said Mr Moore.

"From what I understand they [Konami] decided not to do that and that could have been a mistake. That said, Pro Evo still has a strong fan base and it would be the beginning of our disaster if we got complacent."

Also on show were two titles from EA-owned industry stalwarts Bioware, which fleshed out the details on the role playing game Dragon Age and the science fiction action adventure Mass Effect 2.

Bioware's chief, Dr Ray Muzyka, told the audience that players will be able to carry characters over from the first Mass Effect (with decisions and events made having a knock on effect in the second instalment) and promising that it would be a "quantum leap in action combat".

The quirkiest title on offer was Brutal Legend, a hack and slash adventure set in a world of heavy metal, voiced by Jack Black and featuring cameo appearances by Ozzy Osbourne and Lemmy from Motorhead.

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