As already pointed out, E3 coming back this year was kind of a big deal, as the pandemic made it impossible to be held as usual in 2020, and even with the usual croc of shit that the event is and promotes… it’s a ritual, it’s a tradition for many people with huge interest in videogames, it’s a communal experience.
But i wonder if one year of non holding the event made many companies just forgot what the hell the expo was even supposed to be, like old people forgetting something they usually did out of habit because they had to stop doing it for a reason or others.
Mind you, E3 history is full of cringy – and often legendary – conferences often full of people that barely could speak english or had any PR experiences, overblown lies and hype for everything, announcements of announcement without nothing to show for titles of interest, so it’s telling this year’s output was a complete mess.
I don’t think that’s too hyperbolic to say.
It’s not that there weren’t any good announcements or conferences, but aside from Devolver Digital, Microsoft, Nintendo and the indie-centric Wholesome Games Direct… i wonder why some publishers even bothered posting their own conferences/panels/showcases.
Not only this year the conferences grew in number (despite the absence of big players like Sony and EA), making it harder to get caught up with the info, reveals, and announcements (as even Intellivision had its own showcase), but some are just baffling buckets of bad ideas, good ideas so badly executed and presented to be painful, and utter insanity, all often mismarketed or mispresented.
Take 2 hosting a panel of people discussing about gender equality and inclusion’s importance in their space… good thing, at least good lip service, but if you present it as an E3 conference, people expect to see some games from you. This conference from a game publisher, not labeled as what it was or what it wasn’t, leading people to make educated assumptions. Or just throw around slurs, because Gamers.
Gearbox dedicating most of their conference to Randy Bobandy bothering people shooting or acting in the Borderlands movie, showing nothing new of the Wonderlands spin-off so featured in other companies conference, because he’s Randy Pitchford. Oh, yes, Godfall is coming to PS4. Yay? Dunno.
Namco Bandai just throwing trailers for their games before the actual conference, which was just 10-12 minutes about ONE SINGLE GAME, The Dark Pictures: House Of Ashes.
And remember, i deliberately chose to skip some of the conferences, mostly for time…and for Ubisoft in order to make a statement, i so feel like a dodged another serving of baffling bullets and saved myself even more frustration.
It’s not like the others i saw were that much better, as Square Enix and Capcom’s offerings left a big “i don’t really care or care to remember how these thing are done” energy, just plopping stuff in there, even if the demo made available doesn’t work or some announcements could – unironically – have been tweets, get the point across and wasted so much less time.
If you don’t have anything to show or announce, don’t do showcases events. It’s that simple.
To my surprise Khiley (which i think i accidentally misnamed before) doing “summer time The Games Awards” was on the “better” side of the scale, which is quite sad, in many ways. But not too surprising.
Even more grim is how, despite this ensemble of absurd failures and insane, non-sensical decisions, the ESA managed in accidentally revealing sensitive info of their registered E3 attendants.
Personally, i wasn’t really wowed by much, but i’m glad Metal Slug Tactis is a thing, very happy Nintendo is bringing back Wario Ware and Advance Wars, BOTW 2 is promising, and there’s a good handful of indies to look forward to, wholesome or not. And that Stranger Of Paradise FF Origins thing looks fun.
You gotta squeeze what you can from the E3 Conferences, that hasn’t changed much.
So yeah, next year i’m looking forward NOT to bother catching up on the livestreams or archives for the video conferences, and just read a text recap. It was fun and kinda nostalgic, but i’m already bored at the idea of doing this thing again.
We’ll see, i do not plan to do this series of conferences recaps-opinionated pieces next year, but who knows.