Feeling Kind of Bad: The Not So Great of E3

This will be my last dedicated post about E3 (which I’m sure will disappoint my four readers).

I went back-and-forth on calling this “The Worst of E3” because nothing was truly that terrible this year (or in the sense that it will never be as terrible as the Activision Press Conference of E3 2007). There were just a handful of moments when some of the games, people, or announcements just didn’t quite make the landing as others did for me. I found myself giving pity laughs or fake awes to compensate for the lack of reaction from the audience at the press conference (mind you, I’m in a room alone hundreds of my miles away probably eating Oreos trying to ease the awkwardness). The human component is really one of the downfalls of these press conferences (not intended to be a misanthropic statement). Time and time again people tend to be the worst part of these shows, because those presenting are making everyone cringe and feel uncomfortable: jokes falling flat, setting up for a reaction and not receiving one, unnecessary and awkward banter and commentary. And that is primarily what this list consists of. I understand the need for a person to moderate the show and help introduce games, but I feel like Sony’s Press Conference proved that it really isn’t. Just have the big guys come out at the beginning, and then show up sparingly throughout the rest of the press conference.

On a side note: It was very cool that Phil Spencer (Xbox), Shawn Layden (Playstation), and Reggie Fils-Aime (Nintendo) took time in their intros to acknowledge the tragedy in Orlando and show appreciation to diversity in the gaming community.

Back on track, this list is not going to be nearly as long as my “best of E3” list because I wasn’t quite as bothered by most things of E3 (which means I’m growing up or starting to care less).

Electronic Arts (EA) Sportsmadden
I’m not really into sports games, but this is not the reason it’s on the list. I understand the mass appeal of games like Madden and FIFA. Some people like to pretend to be demon hunters, and others like to pretend their quarterbacks (the only sports term I know). I get it. I just cannot understand why EA felt it necessary to bring out people that do not help in any way market an already-proven gold mine for the company. For Madden 17, they brought out professional competitive Madden players along with their fake on-the-road-to-the-championship drama. Then they had a stage actor come out to talk about how he’s going to be the next FIFA star. Finally, after the three Premier League managers were announced for FIFA 17, Jose Mourinho (manager for Manchester United) “unexpectedly” came out and awkwardly had a conversation with Peter Moore (EA Cheif Operating Officer) and then left the stage (making me wonder what the hell just happened).

All of it awkward. All of it unnecessary .

Ubisoft’s E3 Press Conference Introductionubisoft
I feel like most of these things can be avoidable especially with a dedicated marketing department. I mean it seems as easy as asking yourself “what would embarrass the company the most” and then not do that thing. I figured after the past E3s, advertising a dancing game with actual dancing people would be on the top of the list of “things not to do.” In their defense, it does seem like the best way to advertise a game, dancing people = dancing game. But it’s really not, especially during an E3 press conference and forcing people to have to sit through it.

Hideo Kojima’s Death Strandingdeathstranding
First off, Hideo Kojima’s introduction was fantastic. Like the rest of the gaming community, his appearance gave me goosebumps. After the horrible breakup with Konami (we’re here for you Koji), seeing Kojima on stage yell “I’m back” was a very triumphant experience. Unfortunately, the follow up with some really odd high-concept art visual called Death Stranding by Kojima’s own Kojima Productions didn’t quite hit the mark for me. Don’t get me wrong, it was great to see Norman Reedus at the helm of the game again, but I just couldn’t get hyped for the game. I wanted to like it so much. Diehard Kojima fans and gaming conspiracy theorists (yes, those apparently exist) are already hard at work decoding the meaning of the game trailer. Through their findings, I hope they realize they just can wait for more news about Death Stranding to come out later instead.

Nintendo’s No NX Announcementsnx
Let me preface this whole point with this: Nintendo did a great job at delivering Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (one of my favorite games of E3 2016). So if that was their main goal, they had a successful E3. Continuing my preface, this would qualify more as a disappointment than a negative point towards Nintendo’s E3 presence. We are less than a year away from Nintendo’s NX release date, and we don’t have much to look forward to in terms of the present information. The WiiU lacked content and power compared to the Xbox One and Playstation 4. I’ll be honest, I never picked it up because of that. I’m not one to care too much about power (all that matters is I don’t have to blow into it to make a game work), but power does directly affect what content can be offered on your system (it matters a lot to third party game developers). And because of the lack of content on the WiiU, power will need to play a more considerable role in what the NX can do. No more gimmicky features or unavoidable peripherals. The NX has to be able to compete with the others and not just solely on the shoulders of its first party IPs.

Well, another E3 down. What were some of your favorite or not-so-favorite moments of E3?


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