New Dragon Age in Q1 '11, Crysis 2 due in Q4 '10, APB delayed

EA slates Dead Space 2, Epic Games' shooter, mystery fighting and action games for Q1; Dragon Age, EA MMA, Medal of Honor, Dead Space 2 going portable; "something far-reaching for Mass Effect" in the works; Sims 3 scheduled for consoles and handhelds.

In an earnings report issued today, Electronic Arts reported an $82 million loss for the October-December quarter of 2009. The Redwood City, California-based company also used the report to announce its release schedule for its 2011 fiscal year, giving release windows to some of its most anticipated games--and unveiling many previously unknown projects.

Why so sad? It looks like Dragon Age will be getting either a sequel or major expansion next year.

January-March 2011
For role-playing game fans, the biggest news will be that Dragon Age: Origins will apparently be getting a follow-up or major expansion in the first quarter of 2011. The game "Dragon Age Title TBA" is on EA's schedule for the January-March period for the PC, unspecified consoles, and--for the first time--portable platforms. (The game's first major expansion, Dragon Age: Origins - Awakening, is due out March 16.) In a postearnings report conference call, EA executives also promised the three months would yield "something far-reaching for Mass Effect," BioWare's other ongoing RPG series.

The January-March 2011 window will also see the arrival of Dead Space 2, the sequel to Visceral Games' sci-fi horror survival game, which is also getting a portable edition--but not a PC version, according to EA's schedule. Also due during the time frame are the as-yet-unseen shooter from Epic Games' Polish subsidiary, People Can Fly (Painkiller), which is being distributed under the EA Partners program. The quarter will also see the release of new entries in the Spore, Need for Speed, and Sims franchises, as well as two unidentified titles in the fighting and action genres--the latter of which will be download-only for consoles.

October-December 2010
Turning to calendar year 2010, EA has dated Crysis 2, the award-winning shooter series' debut on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, as coming during the fourth quarter. Also due around the holiday shopping season is a Need for Speed game for consoles, handhelds, and PCs--most likely the coming reboot of the series by Burnout creator Criterion. An unnamed digital trading card title (DTC) is also due then.

This guy won't be so smug when Crysis 2 comes out.

EA Sports has a robust lineup for Q4, including NBA Jam, FIFA Manager 11, NBA Live 11, and EA Sports MMA, which is apparently also now in development for handheld platforms. The division also has two separate unnamed EA Sports Active games coming to unidentified consoles during the same period. Though EA did not identify any specific platforms, EA Sports president Peter Moore mentioned at last year's Electronic Entertainment Expo that his division was working on a version of the workout game for both the PlayStation 3 Motion Controller and the Xbox 360's Project Natal. Both motion-sensing systems are set to launch this fall.

The EA Play label has several holiday-quarter releases, including The Sims 3's debut on consoles, which was first revealed back in November 2006. A new Harry Potter game is also planned, as are new entries in the Hasbro Littlest Pet Shop and Hasbro Family Game Night series. Finally, one game for PCs, consoles, and handhelds is left completely unidentified, with its title simply listed as "TBA."

July-September 2010
EA's summer lineup includes its sports heavyweights: NCAA Football 11, Madden NFL 11, FIFA 11, and NHL 11. The division will also be launching its second browser-based game, EA Sports FIFA Online, during the quarter. Meanwhile, EA Play has two offerings--a new Monopoly and MySims--and EA Games will launch the Afghanistan-set reboot of the previously World War II-set Medal of Honor shooter series. Previously announced for the PS3, 360, and PC, Medal of Honor is now also coming to handhelds, according to EA.

Medal of Honor will be bringing the Afghanistan War to handhelds.

One bit of news tucked into the July-September schedule wasn't welcome. Realtime Worlds' online open-world crime game APB, which EA Partners is publishing, has apparently been pushed back. First announced in 2005, the game had been slated for a March launch.

April-June 2010
Last and numerically least, EA's first fiscal quarter now has just four releases. EA Black Box's skateboard sim Skate 3 is due out in May, with Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 arriving in June. 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa hits the soccer field on April 27, with the free-to-play massively multiplayer racer Need for Speed World Online launching at an undetermined date.

Missing from the schedule are two high-profile titles: EA Sports' annual NCAA Basketball installment and the EA Partners-distributed Green Day: Rock Band. Requests for clarification sent to EA Sports, EA Partners, and Rock Band publisher MTV Games had not been returned as of press time.

ELECTRONIC ARTS FISCAL YEAR 2011 RELEASE SCHEDULE

FYQ1 (April 1-June 30, 2010)
2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa (consoles, handhelds)
Need for Speed World (PC)
Skate 3 (consoles)
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 (consoles, handhelds)

FYQ2 (July 1-September 30, 2010)
APB (PC)
EA Sports FIFA Online (PC)
FIFA 11 (consoles, handhelds, PC)
Madden NFL 11 (consoles, handhelds)
Medal of Honor (final title TBA - consoles, handhelds, PC)
Monopoly Title TBA (consoles)
MySims Title TBA (consoles, handhelds)
NCAA Football 11 (consoles, handhelds)

FYQ3 (October 1-December 31, 2010)
"TBA" (consoles, handhelds, PC)
Crysis 2 (consoles, PC)
DTC Game For Console Online (consoles)
EA SPORTS Active Title 1 TBA (consoles)
EA SPORTS Active Title 2 TBA (consoles)
EA SPORTS MMA (consoles, handhelds)
FIFA Manager 11 (PC)
Harry Potter Title TBA (consoles, handhelds, PC)
Hasbro Family Game Night Title TBA (consoles)
Hasbro Littlest Pet Shop Title TBA (handhelds)
NBA Jam (Wii)
NBA LIVE 11 (consoles, handhelds)
Need For Speed Title TBA (consoles, handhelds, PC)
The Sims 3 on Console Title TBA (consoles, handhelds)

FYQ4 (January 1-March 31, 2011)
Action Title TBA ("full game download" for consoles)
Dead Space 2 (consoles, handhelds)
Dragon Age Title TBA (consoles, handhelds, PC)
Fighting Title TBA (consoles)
Hasbro Title TBA (consoles)
Need For Speed Title TBA (consoles, PC)
New Sims Title TBA (PC)
Shooter from Epic TBA (consoles, PC)
Spore Title TBA (consoles, PC)

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