Once again Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) wowed videogame fans and media at "The Download: EA 2013 Preview," the top game publisher's must-see press event held during the 2013 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles. WorldStage returned for the sixth consecutive year to provide AV support for the event, which looked at upcoming titles via live demos, world premiere trailers and breaking news.
This year "The Download" was marked by a change of venue. "EA wanted to exponentially grow the show, so they moved from the Orpheum Theatre to the massive Shrine Auditorium, the one-time home of the Oscars ceremony," said Michael T. May, senior account executive at WorldStage. "The challenge for everyone involved was to recreate the incredibly dynamic show that was staged in the smaller theater last year in this much larger environment."
The action-packed preview was telecast live on cable's Spike TV and streamed worldwide via multiple webcasts. The event began with the surprise reveal of the first-person shooter game, Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare,a stunning new game originated from the famed franchise that pays homage to the action genre while retaining the signature quirky humor, depth and accessibility that fans love about the Plants vs. Zombies franchise.. The show also featured NBA star Kyrie Irving to introduce new bounceTek ball physics for NBA LIVE 14 and hip-hop artist Drake took the stage to showcase gameplay for FIFA 14. Need for Speed Rivals debuted All Drive, a mode that blurs the line between single-player and multiplayer racing experiences. The event closed with an astounding live 64-player multiplayer demo of Battlefield 4.
"To provide the same visceral impact as last year, this year's design called for high-resolution LED screens instead of the projection screens we've mainly used in years past," said May. "The brightness and pop of the LED screens definitely played better in the bigger space. "
Three 13x25-foot PixeLED F6 high-resolution 6mm LED walls, were positioned at the left, center and right of the stage to display speaker support, title slides, IMAG and game footage and demos. The center LED wall flew in and out and the two side walls moved on and off stage on custom-built carts that traveled up to eight feet per second. The LED wall movements were choreographed to sync with lighting and stage calls. Additionally, three PixelLED F40 low-resolution 40mm LED walls served as background and scenic visuals.
In addition to the LED Screens, a 45x25-foot front projection surface was flown in to showcase the 64-player Battlefield 4 demo, and several other segments. Video playback was handled by the proprietary WorldStage Media Hub; a Vista Spyder X20 switched all sources to the screens.
Equally, if not more important was the quality of the feed to the webcast and to support that component WorldStage supplied a seven HD-camera system, including three with long lenses, one on Steadicam, one hand-held, and one on a 30-foot jib. One of WorldStage's Ross 3.5ME Vision Mixers was used for camera cuts for the live telecast.
Debra Robins, Managing Director/Executive Producer at Plumbago Productions, adds, "This show had a tremendous amount of moving parts - both in the technology required and last minute design changes coming in from the client. I can't imaging pulling off such a complex show as successfully as this one without the support of WorldStage. They were with us every step of the way."
"EA's E3 preview event looked great for the audience in the Shrine Auditorium and, with all the dynamic elements, played extremely well for all the home viewers, too," said May. "Once again we were proud to be the technical solutions provider for such an impressive event."
At WorldStage Jack Dussault was the project manager, Neal Gass and Carl McMillan the video engineers, and Bryan Dominick lead projectionist.
WorldStage Inc., the company created by the merger of Scharff Weisberg Inc and Video Applications Inc, continues a thirty-year legacy of providing clients the widest variety of entertainment technology coupled with conscientious and imaginative engineering services. WorldStage provides audio, video and lighting equipment and services to the event, theatrical, broadcast and brand experience markets nationally and internationally.