...and over at my place, there was no hype to be had, oh what a disgrace...
Right now this place is quiet... but come tomorrow...
E3. Arguably the biggest event on the game conference calendar. I'm old enough to remember a time when coverage of E3 was limited to video game magazines. All the game reveals, surprise announcements and press conference summaries would be found in the pages of Nintendo Power, GamePro & EGM. Picking up those July issues was a must if you wanted to be in the know. E3 was it. Hearing about the first playable demo of GoldenEye 007, hoping to hear about Ocarina of Time and merely getting scraps to cling to, or impressions of the latest trailer for that behemoth looming in the distance, Final Fantasy VII.
Since those heady days in the 1990s, E3 has lost some of its charm. Much of that has to do with this digital age where information is in constant motion across the vast ocean that is the internet, where trailers leak prior to the show floor opening, new games get named dropped early, and an interview with Miyamoto for Famitsu can be translated and dispersed in hours. We're surrounded by game info, which makes an annual conference with supposed 'big announcements' less important.
There is usually something for everyone at E3, but looking at Destructoid's handy guide to the electronic entertainment expo, this is one of the first years where I am not excited. At all.
Something better show up out of the blue and completely own the show, otherwise I will not be impressed. This in and of itself is a problem, because there is already a list out with games that will be showcased, I set my level of expectation well ahead of the show even starting. This year it's really low, but if companies played their cards closer to the chest and teased that we'll see something at E3, I wouldn't know exactly what to expect and thus would be more excited. They kill their own hype by revealing pre-show, though this is done probably in an effort to get a jump on publicity for their 'amazing' new game.
E3 should be the event where the best in the business come to showcase the very best in gaming. It is an event that is large enough to generate media buzz outside of game circles, and show what the medium can do, but it's becoming a race to the bottom, to pander to that lowest common denominator. Looking at the titles we will be seeing, I hardly see an ounce of originality. There are a ton of FPS, guns-blazin' games which all look rather derivative, a bunch of sequels, and for some ridiculous reason Telltale taking on the world of Borderlands? Why? That's going to take them forever!
When I was thinking about my pending disappointment, I was trying to think of what kind of analogy I could make and I came up with this one: it is as if the Cannes film festival exclusively featured summer blockbuster fare. Instead of showing creative projects, which highlight the best and brightest in the industry, they treat us to Spider-Man 8: Peter Parker is Still Sad About Stuff, X-Men: Present Days of Past Future and Fast 11: The Rock Needs Money.
Cannes, France. In a post-apocalyptic world.
Because of the internet and an already loyal fanbase, these schlocky, derivative titles we're getting for E3 don't need an event to show them off. All you have to do is say 'Halo 5' and you're looking at at least 3 or 4 million in sales. E3 should be about unique things that developers are working on, things that might one day end up in a Far Cry or Assassin's Creed, but are being experimented with in some new IP that could use the exposure.
I really wish I cared about E3 like I did when I was younger, but the event itself needs to change and offer something different. In this digital age where there are constant updates for major AAA titles, featuring gameplay footage and big plot details, that product doesn't need to hog the floor at E3 anymore. AAAs are the superhero movies of video games, the don't need the extra publicity, they'll still top a billion at the box office, and leave creativity decimated in their wake. So E3... Impress me. Please. Because right now, I'm not feeling it.
So in the comments let me know what you think about E3. Is it fine the way it is? Should they change anything? Also, what are you really hype for at E3? There might be something I'm missing that could actually be great. I'm open to suggestions!