I think the reality of the bad practice around ESA’s E3 is starting to sink in. Developers and publishers sit on trailers for months for the Gaming XMas… only for the presentation to be notoriously underwhelming, because of course not everything can revolve around the title you want. Unless companies are paying or blatantly lying to you, E3 doesn’t have the ability to please it’s viewers overall anymore. And this year, the event has left me incredibly frustrated for a few reasons.
Big publishers pay money to repeat themselves
Did you know Far Cry 6 is coming? Battlefield 2042?
Of course you do. These games appeared in multiple conferences. The intent was to publicize their existence as much as humanly possible when it’s not physically possible. The unfortunate thing is that it’s not necessary.
After a game’s first appearance in a conference, it’s appearance in a second conference becomes a moment for viewers to tune out. “I’ve already seen this — I’ll just check my Twitter,” where they’ll find everyone else is also complaining how they’ve already seen this game, so why are they seeing it again? The long conferences become even longer for seemingly no reason.
Did each presentation show something different? Yes. Was it substantially different from when you saw the trailer from yesterday? No, of course not.
Xbox’s big ego may eventually be the downfall of their newly-acquired developers.
PlayStation no longer attends E3, so Xbox has to fill in the gap, right?
Well, not really. Contrary to Microsoft and Bethesda’s conference today, a few of the games revealed in the conference are actually also coming to PlayStation on the same launch day. Sony also released trailers for the PlayStation versions of these games. But had they released those trailers even an hour early, there probably would have been hell to pay. So despite not actually intending to participate in the “festivities”, PlayStation is inevitably dragged along by the Microsoft Machine.
They were going to reveal these titles anyway. They had to wait, because Microsoft wanted to hold their big presentation.
PlayStation’s State of Play and the Nintendo Direct allows those two publishers to maintain an ongoing level of communication on their own terms and may even give developers a bit of breathing room rather than the desperate rush to “reveal at the biggest gaming event of the season!!” I’d like to believe this is specifically to avoid what happened to Cyberpunk 2077. The CD Projekt Red marketing team hyped that game to astronomical levels — it’s E3, and Microsoft and CD Projekt higher-ups want to deliver something to fans. Tis the season, after all!
One of the game’s developers thought the date announced was a joke. One could speculate the E3 presentation contributed to the crunch those guys had to go through to get the thing out the door, even in the state it was in. Then, shortly after it’s catastrophic release, PlayStation removed the game from PSN. Is this the company taking a quiet stand against the crunch in the video game industry? Probably not, but it’s an altruistic visual.
Far be it from me to defend massive conglomerates like PlayStation and Nintendo from the likes Microsoft, Geoff Keighley and the ESA’s dick-swinging.
Sometimes it’s good for PlayStation’s public perception to take a hit and be humanized when live public presentations inevitably go wrong. But now E3 is in direct conflict with video game players, developers and everyone else in between.
Games that could have had organic announcements instead have trailers put on hold, robbing them their time to shine.
Games that aren’t ready at all are forced into a release date because E3 hype.
I leave you now with the original title of this post: