It's time to play.

EA puts the players first.

EA is on a mission to be the world’s greatest games company. Their quest for innovation is driven by a vision of defining the future of interactive entertainment. Together we’re putting their shared passion with players into action – reimagining ways to fuel community with greater access, open dialogue and fresh ways to experience and share the latest games. From Madden to Plants vs. Zombies, solo play to live tournaments, we’re working with their internal teams to align us all under one tribe – one that lives to play.

For 2016, we partnered with EA to chart a new path outside the status quo. Realizing the need to make good on their player-first mantra, they made the bold decision to step away from the industry’s staple trade convention, E3, in favor of their own branded event. An open-doors gathering that would be a proving ground for their new direction; and deliver a pinnacle, community-focused experience.

The challenge was to break from exclusivity into inclusion, put the games directly into the hands of the players, and make every aspect of the event more accessible to fans. We built our strategy around shifting from a tradeshow aimed primarily at industry towards a live event that is open to all. After exploring options and getting feedback directly from the players, we settled on two physical locations – Los Angeles & London – occurring simultaneously and viewable whether in person or around the globe via livestream.

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Strategy

Player-first.

For EA PLAY in London and LA, we focused on these main tenets: digital innovation, one team, and the belief that players are always at the center – the driving force behind EA’s transition from a broadcast mindset towards one aimed at celebration and inclusion. This approach led our branding, event space, and live-stream content to help transform what traditionally is an industry-only event into a truly global and inclusive platform.

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Brand Identity

A dynamic hub.

We developed an identity system that is bright, clear, inviting, and flexible enough to span multiple locations, titles, and event facets. The centerpiece hub logo reflects the dynamic nature of gameplay, and can radiate, implode, shoot, ricochet, overlay, and resolve across genres and franchises.

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Visual Language

The toolkit.

The design system we created alongside the internal teams at EA works with game elements, environmental installations, and motion graphics to simply and easily communicate using changes in color, angle, expressiveness, and pattern.

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Environment

The players' club.

Our approach in transforming the multi-level space of The Novo in Los Angeles focused on creating a frictionless experience to attract, immerse, energize, and reward. We utilized clear, bright, and descriptive design cues to guide visitors through immersive experiences – from first-looks at gameplay to activations and events.

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“We focused on maximizing the complex space to provide immersive experiences – allowing players to take deeper dives into the games they love.”

— Kelso Davis / Senior Designer - Environments

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Content

Bringing it all to life.

From the heroic battles and celebrations of the sizzle reel to the transitions for the press conference and clear paths of wayfinding, we created a swath of content to bring the event to life. Focusing on the character-driven personality of individual titles and the interactions fans desired at multiple touchpoints allowed us to tie a cohesive thread of action across the full range of media.

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A sold out event is one thing, seeing the genuine excitement and interactions between developers, media, and fans all playing, listening, learning, and celebrating together is another. From the minute the doors opened until they closed three days later no one could quite get enough.

More than 9,000 fans in LA and London were able to get unprecedented access to upcoming titles, meet the LA Rams’ Todd Gurley, and watch the likes of Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, and Emily Ratajkowski put their Battlefield 1 skills to the test. In addition, EA also used the platform to announce their Play to Give initiative and the subsequent donation of $1 million to various charities.

In total, the event helped generate over 1,400 hours of influencer content during and about the event. The livestream saw viewers tune in from across the globe and the full-length Youtube video of the press conference has 2.1 million views and counting. Battlefield 1 was the 2nd most mentioned title of the entire week of the e3 conference. Congrats to our team, our partners at EA, and the fantastic crews at Plumbago Productions, Premier, Lightswitch, Dynamite Laser BeamPetrol, and Tekamaki for coming together to create an entirely new experience! We can’t wait for next year.

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