EA Play Live 2021 — What to expect and how to watch it

Battlefield 2042 screenshot
(Image credit: Dice/EA)

Electronics Arts opted not to participate directly in E3 2021 last month, although its Battlefield 2042 trailer still made a big splash at Microsoft’s showcase. Still, EA’s absence shouldn’t suggest a lack of games on the horizon — because there’s plenty coming from the publisher.

To prove that, EA is throwing its own shindig later this month with EA Play Live 2021, a streaming showcase of upcoming games that will be preceded by some additional streams focused on certain games and genres. 

We already know some of the games that will be there and some that definitely won’t. And we've also heard plenty of rumours and reports around other potentially juicy reveals.

So here’s a look at what to expect, based on what EA has announced and what the rumour mill is churning out lately, as well as how to tune in and watch later this month.

Battlefield 2042

Battlefield 2042

(Image credit: EA)

No surprise here: DICE’s Battlefield 2042 is arguably EA’s biggest game of the upcoming holiday season, and we’re sure to get a deeper showcase of the large-scale military sim. Expect vast 128-player battles on PS5, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, and PC, but no campaign mode for this multiplayer-centric shooter.

Rumours also suggest an as-yet-unannounced mode containing classic Battlefield series maps and modes, but we’re still waiting on official word. EA will hold a “Future of FPS” stream on July 7 to cover both Battlefield and Apex Legends.

Dead Space Revival

Dead Space

(Image credit: EA)

EA’s Dead Space series produced a pair of great sci-fi survival horror entries along with a middling trilogy-capper, but it’s been sitting on the shelf since 2013. 

VentureBeat reported that EA’s Motive studio (Star Wars Squadrons) is working on a modern revival of the original game, which could be similar in approach to Capcom’s recent Resident Evil 2 and RE3 remakes.

It’s all speculation at this point, but a proper Dead Space revival could provide a great jumping-off point to continue the franchise. It has been rumored to appear at EA Play Live this month, but we’ll have to wait and see whether it pans out.

Madden NFL 22

Madden NFL 22 screenshot

(Image credit: EA)

No shock here: Madden NFL 22 is coming out in August across a wide array of platforms. The series has seen dwindling review scores over the past few years, with 2020’s Madden NFL 21 seemingly impacted by the pandemic crunch. Both Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes will appear on the cover of this year’s game, with atmosphere-boosting “dynamic gameday” features and a new franchise mode leading the list of additions.

It’s out in August, and EA will dig into it during a spotlight stream on July 19. We assume that FIFA 22 will show up at EA Play Live, too, possibly alongside NHL 22.

An EA Sports surprise

ssx tricky

(Image credit: EA)

EA Sports has another stream planned for July 20, with the company teasing “an extremely cool new addition to an extremely popular and long-running EA Sports franchise.” 

Could it be a new SSX snowboarding game? The new (and already announced) Skate game? Maybe a revival of the dormant NCAA Football franchise now that the NCAA is changing its rules on college players being paid for their likeness? All are possible!

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order 2?

jedi fallen order

(Image credit: EA)

Along with the Dead Space rumors, there are also suggestions that EA will announce a sequel to Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Respawn’s 2019 single-player adventure. 

It sold well and snagged solid reviews, so a follow-up has seemed a likely possibility. Fans are clinging onto a couple of recent tweets by EA and gaming publication Game Informer as potential teases, although it could well amount to nothing for EA Play Live 2021.

Lost in Random

Lost in Random screenshot

(Image credit: EA)

EA has gravitated towards more hand-crafted, indie-esque games with its EA Originals line, and we’ll get a first glimpse at gameplay for the next of them, Lost in Random

Billed as a combination of “explosive dice battles, time-freezing tactics, and card collection,” it sounds like a potentially compelling mash-up with an intriguing gothic allure. It’s made by Zoink, the team behind the earlier EA Originals game Fe.

No Mass Effect or Dragon Age

mass effect legendary edition review

(Image credit: EA)

Apologies in advance to die-hard BioWare fans. Unfortunately, the studio has already confirmed that its in-development Mass Effect and Dragon Age sequels are skipping EA Play Live this year. 

Both games are likely still a ways out, so they’re probably not ready for such a showcase.

How to watch EA Play Live 2021

EA Play Live 2021 will take place on July 22 at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) and will stream across popular platforms such as YouTube and Twitch. It’s slated to last 40 minutes and feature a variety of games, including at least some of the titles noted above.

As mentioned, EA is also holding four Spotlight streams leading up to the main event. The “Future of First-Person Shooters” stream (1 p.m. ET) will be held on July 8, while “EA <3s Independent Studios” will have a panel discussion with EA Originals developers on July 13 (1 p.m. ET). 

The Madden NFL 22 showcase will stream on July 19 at 7 p.m. ET (4 p.m PT), while the other EA Sports stream for the surprise game is scheduled for July 20 at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT). More details on all of the Spotlight streams can be found here.

Andrew Hayward

Andrew Hayward is a freelance writer for Tom’s Guide who contributes laptop and other hardware reviews. He’s also the Culture Editor at crypto publication Decrypt covering the world of Web3. Andrew’s writing on games and tech has been published in more than 100 publications since 2006, including Rolling Stone, Vice, Polygon, Playboy, Stuff, and GamesRadar.