It is officially the second most wonderful time of the year: E3 week! This is a time where all gamers unite to be given presents after presents of gaming related announcements. It is also where publishers attempt to “win” E3 in gamers’ minds. With that said, each conference in itself features winners and losers. So, we will be recapping each day featuring conferences by picking our own winners and losers! Monday brought the second meaty press conference day with Square Enix, Limited Run Games, Ubisoft, PC Gaming Show, and Sony.
Winner: Avalanche Studios
Not only do they have Rage 2 but also Just Cause 4. With the latter getting an extended look during the Square Enix press conference, the studio has been featured in three of the four major press conferences thus far this E3. It is an impressive feat for a studio that has been pretty quiet since 2015. Not to mention, they were recently acquired by Nordisk Film and should be more financially stable to keep two large teams together in-between projects.
Loser: Still Showing Concept Art For A Game Releasing In Three Months
Square Enix started off their press conference with Shadow of the Tomb Raider’s opening cinematic before cutting to one of the developers talking about the game with some concept art flashing in and out. While they showed a bit of gameplay right after, it really felt strange for them to include that as opposed to clips or even nothing at all. It quickly made me worry that the game may get pushed back.
Winner: Short Press Conferences
Press conferences used to clock in at around an hour, maybe ninety minutes. When the TV deals started ending, the publishers started to extend the timeframe and in effect have bloated the conferences. So, when Square Enix clocks in at just over 30 minutes and Nintendo will be around 40 minutes, it is very refreshing and gives the audience less time to get bored. I wish the rest of the publishers would start making theirs shorter!
Loser: Sea of Thieves
During 2017’s E3 reveal, we all knew that Sea of Thieves would be in trouble if Skull & Bones fulfilled the early promise it showed. One year later, Ubisoft released more of their own shared world pirate game and not only does it look bloody fantastic, it sounds like what Sea of Thieves should have been. This does not bold well for the former, but at least it has ’til sometime 2019 to cultivate a dedicated userbase.
Ubisoft started in their typical fashion with a dance piece promoting the next installment of the Just Dance series. Except they took it to the cringiest of heights because… because Ubisoft. They had a dancer in a band major panda suit dancing and leading a marching band. Ubisoft literally made furries mainstream everyone and potentially birthed a new meme because, well, that is what Ubisoft does at E3.
Loser: The Splinter Cell Series
After many rumors and “leaks,” Sam Fisher is again missing in action at E3. It is long overdue for a current generation Splinter Cell game, yet there is not even a tease from Ubisoft that a game is in development. At this point, we will gladly take a VR or Battle Royale game in the series if it meant we got a game. Well, there is always next year… (Again)…
Ubisoft’s Beyond Good and Evil 2 is still likely a couple of years away, but they made a big splash by partnering with HitRecord and bringing out the founder Joseph Gordon-Levitt. This is most likely the online social and collaborative production company’s most high-profile broad bit of news since it began back in 2004. The servers taking an immediate hit, as gamers rushed to help produce art that would appear in the game upon release, is proof enough of this. A neat idea all around that will be enjoyed by everyone involved!
Loser: Assassin’s Creed Truly Abandoning the Yearly Release
Maybe we were naïve enough to believe the vows and marketing Ubisoft made around Assassin’s Creed Origins, but we really thought they would take breaks between the games moving forward. However, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey throws all of that out of the window. We really should have known better and expected this after the massive success last year. With that said, the game looks amazing and I’m stoked to play it, as the series is one of my all-time favorites!
Winner: LGBTQ+ Community
The Last Of Us 2’s video package to open up Sony’s show featured Ellie sharing an intimate kiss with a new female character at some type of party or dance. While we already know that she takes a romantic interest in women from the DLC of the first game, this was a very prominent placement with a large audience watching it. The only thing was at the time it seemed awkward that there was no resonant clapping or cheering after the video, but it seems the audience was being moved to another venue.
Loser: Sony Having Two Venues
First place Sony has shown their ability to continuously make the worst choices they could ever make. This is further highlighted by the fact they had everyone move from one venue to another after the The Last Of Us 2 section of the press conference. This caused the at-home audience to be treated with a panel discussion for several minutes before they gave us video of a few upcoming games. I know we have asked Sony to change up their press conferences, but not like this.
Loser: Death Stranding
Hot take time: I have never been sold on this game. Now we have seen the game for the fourth time and have yet to be told what the game actually is. This is not a good impression from a developer that is known to have butted heads with Konami over creative pathways and budgets. Worst yet, we were not even given a release timeframe, so this could still be YEARS down the road. I wonder if Sony is regretting picking up this project?
In short Monday’s E3 was a miscellany- an amalgam that was both desirous… and not-so. While Square Enix was short and to the point, gamers wanted more. In fact, there was seemingly no new game revealed and viewers had already seen most of everything showed outside of the Shadow of the Tomb Raider gameplay footage. Things did not get much better as Limited Run Games went the Devolver Digital route of press conferences, except with a much lower budget. Luckily, Ubisoft brought the day back from the brink and gave huge hitter after huge hitter after the Just Dance 2019 opening. Then, Sony happened. They had great content for the games shown, but the format was simply horrendous and really shows that Sony does not give consideration to the at-home audience and media members. One could argue they did not give consideration to the in-person audience either. All in all, it was a rollercoaster of a day that featured mixed feelings amongst the gaming world.