E3! It’s the biggest event in a gamer’s year. Journalists pour into the Nokia Theater to witness, first hand, developer’s biggest new titles for the next fiscal year. The event has been a staple in previous years for revealing huge titles and new hardware to the masses in ways that were never possible before.
But with the recent advent of internet blogs and Live streams, I’m wondering what the whole damn point of E3 is. I remember getting so excited for the big triple A games, but this whole week has seen the likes of “Splinter Cell: Blacklist” and “Forza: Horizon” ruined because of their leaks the week before.
The only true genuine surprise from this year’s E3 was “Watch Dogs,” and even that is bound to fail under its own ambition. A limited demo walkthrough doesn’t inspire the largest amount of faith in me. With the internet taking over, I’m failing to understand why I was even excited for this week in the first place.
Just look at Sony’s conference. While they weren’t the worst of the show, nothing was new or exciting. There had been rumors for months about Nathan Drake being in the “Playstation Allstars” game and we obviously knew that was coming.
God of War was shown off last month before E3 occurred; completely killing any buzz I may have had for a reveal. Assassin’s Creed was not only leaked and revealed, but given better demos at events earlier in the day. Hell, the PS1 classics were announced last year and we’re still talking about them!
Sony is terrible at keeping secrets. I remember last year when the Vita was showcased, but I knew everything about the handheld prior to the conference. Along with that, Microsoft has consistently failed to showcase anything new, resorting to things we’ve already seen and played before.
It really doesn’t help that the general public is no longer allowed to attend E3. Previous events saw civilizations enter the theater for a rather decent fee and get to experience the demos hands on with gaming press, but that has all changed. Now developers and publishers only want journalists to experience their titles so that they can write positive things to their readers.
I don’t like that idea. E3 is supposed to be about games for gamers. If you’re trying to sell me on your newest titles, why not just let me play them? I understand that I might not be able to afford the plane ticket there and that my voice probably isn’t the most credible in the world, but shouldn’t my opinion matter the most to you?
Not every journalist is given review copies of games, so I guess you want to impress a fair number of them, but what about your consumers. Do you think I’m made of money? I don’t toil away for 50 hours a week just so I can throw all of my cash at games. I’d really like to get hands on time with your titles so that I, personally, can understand what makes it look so good.
Something about this looks sweet, but I'll forget it in a few weeks time.
This isn’t a fault to any of the fine writers in the industry, though. I appreciate that you’re able to attend these events and give us some first impressions of titles. It’s always great to get different opinions and evaluate products with a fresh understanding. But when you get to the bottom line, why is my opinion not being reflected in these presentations?
Better yet, why is there an event that showcases everything at once? This is such an old-world style of showcasing things that I’m struggling to figure out why we still have the event. The internet gets everything to anyone immediately. If I want to learn about “New Super Mario Bros. U,” I can just jump online and see everything in glorious HD.
Developers and E3 are just stuck on such an old-school style of approaching media. We haven’t fully embraced the digital world that we now inhabit. Instead of giving press conferences and blocking off content from gamers, why don’t we make use of the internet?
You know all those demos that journalists are playing on the show floor? Why not allow me to download it as the conference is going on? I know I won’t be able to physically stand there and ask the developer’s questions, but it certainly beats waiting 6 months and forgetting about the damn game.
I also won’t be able to touch any new hardware (for obvious reasons), so how about giving me more content that goes in-depth. Nintendo, sadly, has this idea straight with their “Nintendo E3 All-Access” website. Give me short videos that have run-throughs of the consoles and controllers and what I can expect to feel when I finally hold one.
Hell, even Sony with their ridiculous “Home” add-on have a great idea in allowing us to tour a virtual version of their E3 booth. That is far better than just looking at videos and nothing being able to interact with them. I’d really just like to see this stuff first hand without having to be a “professional.”
At least I can pretend I'm there.
I’ve learned a few things from this year’s E3. The first is that I no longer want to write about games professionally. I’ve given that up as I won’t be able to bring anything new to the masses. The second is that this industry needs a change in the way that news is written and presented. Developers aren’t embracing the digital age properly and it’s starting to become ridiculous.
Until I can play a demo with a developer giving me a walkthrough from my home, then I don’t want to hear a PR report get regurgitated from talking heads at a “conference.” Get gamers involved instead of just writers and maybe E3 will finally be able to surpass it’s former image.