If you haven’t watched Devolver Digital’s 2017 E3 “press conference”, stop reading this immediately. Seriously, stop fucking reading this! Watch this video, and then we’ll get into the wordy bits down below...
[WARNING: EXTREMELY NSFW!!!]
It’s easy to write this all off as some dumb, Adult Swim-esque, bullshit that’s devoid of any real substance. That’s not why we’re here though. Within the span of 14 minutes and 33 seconds, Devolver Digital does something that most people would never expect from an E3 press conference. They want you to “think”. They want you to question this whole cycle that “corporate video games” has been shoving down your throat for years now.
From soulless, self-congratulatory audience clapping to microtransactions to the very idea of “early access” games. It begs the question, “why”? Why has this become the industry standard? Why are games being announced as nothing more than a fucking logo? (I’m as excited for Metroid Prime 4 as the next pheller, but this is, unquestionably, at least a little bit insane!)
Games are a product. I get that, but at least have the decency to show us some of the “product” that you’re trying to sell! As Devolver so eloquently puts it, don’t expect us to blindly throw money at the idea of a game! Right now, you can preorder a copy of Beyond Good and Evil 2 online from Gamestop’s UK website! (WTF?!?!?) They haven’t even announced a fucking release date yet! (Let alone shown us any actual gameplay…) It’s one thing coming from an independent developer on Kickstarter. It’s an entirely different animal altogether coming from one of the largest companies in the industry!
Once again, don’t get me wrong here. I’m fucking hype!! (BGE2 looks different, but promising!) Devolver Digital is asking some pretty “real” questions though. Where do we draw the line? When does it become “unacceptable”? When does all of this just become a massive parody of itself where it’s hard to take anything shown seriously?!?
Devolver is asking us questions that there simply isn’t an easy answer to. They are desperately trying to make us uncomfortable without any means of showing us a better alternative. The important thing is that they are acknowledging some pretty serious problems within the industry. Problems that “corporate games” is just not ready for. Not until it’s something that they can’t ignore anymore.
[Pictured: Something extremely hard to ignore...]
Devolver Digital gave us a livestream with less than 15 minutes that encompassed their actual “presentation”. Within less than 15 minutes, however, they managed to make me think more than any other conference at E3. They made me excited for a future where all of the industry bullshit that they mock is just a distant memory. Is the point that they’re making a little naïve? Yes, insanely so. Is there still room for this industry to grow and try to change into something less easy to parody?!? God, I hope so…..
Devolver may not have been the biggest name at E3 this year, but I’ll be damned if they didn’t leave the biggest impression! From one fan to a developer drowning in them, please, don’t ever fucking change.