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Do We Really Need E3?

The Electronic Entertainment Expo or E3 for short has been the gaming industry’s way to showcase upcoming titles. Some companies like to show games that are coming out for the rest of the year and others like to show trailers of games that they’re working on and might not come out for a number of years.

Has the hype train officially left the station?

But do we really need E3 Anymore? I mean, the internet is right there. We’re constantly finding more and more spoilers by retailers and some game companies are going so far as to drop teaser trailers for upcoming games.

The whole week is dominated by YouTubers and video game pundits grading companies based on their presentations. If you’re EA, you’ve already lost and if you’re like Devolver Digital – you can take crazy chances and poke fun at the industry.

Devolver Digital's E3 conference has always been odd.

The case for E3

I’m currently writing this during the Sony presentation and there’s a very cinematic game called GHOST being showcased. It’s only the 2nd big game in 40 minutes. Fans are underwhelmed but I’m enjoying the long, artistic showcases of Sony exclusive games. It’s not like Sony needs to put it all on the line. They could have shown 1 game and you still would have bought it. Seriously, is Sony’s E3 presentation going to make you sell your PS4 and get an Xbox One? Be honest.

Bigger studios are still in the old media phase where pageantry is still a big deal, but it gives fans something to talk about tomorrow. There are still surprises. Resident Evil 2 is getting a remake, Skyrim is coming to Alexa and we’re getting a localization of Metal Wolf Chaos – a game that’s stupid expensive for the OG Xbox and only available in Japan.

Is this the new Left Shark?

Why E3 should go away.

E3 has kind of run its course and should make way for developers and studios to space out their content. E3 isn’t the only show in town. GDC, Video Game Awards, Directs all steal content away from the big show leaving fans who remember the good old days to feel empty.

We already know a lot of the big reveals before they even hit due to data mining and sloppy storefronts like Walmart of Canada accidentally setting their game placeholders to go live one week before the big reveals.

Also given the hype that E3 used to have, it’s leaving fans disappointed there wasn’t something more. Why didn’t Square Enix announce 15 new Switch titles? How come Sony didn’t announce the Playstation 5 even though they totally said they weren’t going to do it.

It’s really become a liability for these studios to let imaginations run wild. Sony had to come out right away and state that they wouldn’t be doing crazy stunts for their conference in order for fans to get super upset at the fact their wildest dreams weren’t being fulfilled.

Also the gameplay NEVER Looks that sharp on my TV.

Even Nintendo, the golden child of the industry, received a ton of flack for their E3 direct. They stated that they were going to focus primarily on Super Smash Brothers well before the direct. Fans were still upset that we didn't see footage of Metroid Prime 4, Yoshi, and Bayonetta 3.

But we do get to see our favorite Treehouse staff play Mario Party

Plus in this gaming rich industry attention spans are incredibly short. You either need to announce your game within the next 8 months or you damn well better have it released the next year. Final Fantasy 7 remake, Last Guardian, Duke Nukem. Games that were riddled with delays, rumored to be dead or just plain disappointing once they’re finally released.

Bethesda seems to get it right by announcing a game and actually releasing it in November.

I personally still enjoy E3 – it’s essentially a holiday for gamers. It’s also open to the public so now anyone with the means and the patients can check out the latest video games before anybody else.

But maybe it's time to change it up even more.

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1 Comment

Smash JT
Smash JT
Jun 15, 2018

Great article and well thought out points. I think Nintendo already feels like we don't "Need" E3, seeing as they treat it as just another Direct instead of anything really truly special. It seems like less of a stage show and more of a hands on experience for gamers and media to see this stuff in person. I think there's still a place for it, but nothing like what it used to be.

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