As in the past, I’m going to be watching the livestream of E3. But this year instead of adding my own commentary on top of the show (which made it easy for ME to miss things, or to make it so I would drown out the presenters so YOU miss them) I’m just going to live blog it.
E3 is such a strange beast. There are three groups involved, and they all want different things:
The publishers want to get the biggest bang out of their marketing dollars by making announcements at this point of maximum public interest. All eyes are on E3. Well, not really “all eyes”. The vast majority of “gamers”Whatever THAT means. ignore E3. But the core audience is keenly interested in it. These people are the big spenders, early adopters, and platform loyalists, and with the right touch their enthusiasm can be harnessed to generate even more hype.
So the publishers invest a lot of money trying to control the narrative. They want favorable coverage with timing they control. They want everyone to buy as much as possible, as soon as possible, with as little scrutiny as possible.
The audience wants accurate information to inform their future purchasing decisions.
Is Shoot Guy 3 going to properly support 60fps at launch. Is it worth holding off to buy Shoot Guy later in the year, or would it be better to spend that money on Punch Guy 5 right now? If the multiplayer is fixed then I want Punch Guy on the GameStation, but if it’s still a load of crap I might as well get the cheaper PC version. Is it worth getting the MMO spinoff Shoot Guy Online? I like the Shoot Guy games, but this MMO is being developed by a different studio and I’m worried it’s just a branding trick and it won’t have anything that made the Shoot Guy franchise great. Do I NEED to get the next-gen GameStation, or is the old one going to continue to get worthwhile titles for another year? Is the Pelvic Thruster motion controlled codpiece peripheral worth getting? Why is the wireless version SO much more expensive? Is it really worth the extra money? Is International SportsBall 2018 going to fix the wonky team management AI that ruined ISB 2017?
The gaming journalists (or rather, the sites that employ them) want trafficI suppose you could argue that “journalists” and “gaming sites” are technically two different sides in this conflict, given how often journalists are frustrated by the sites they work for. But whatever.. They don’t care if the news is good or bad, as long as it gets people talking and generating traffic. Does the new trailer for Karate Assault Girls Turbo show a bunch of sideboob? That’s worth a million clicksSome get their clicks by using the sideboob to stoke outrage, and others get clicks by using the sideboob as a titillating lure. Either way, that’s how you pay the bills.. Was Shoot Guy Online development “put on hiatus”, leaving thousands of preorders in limbo? That’s worth a million clicks! Does the next-gen GameStation catch fire when connecting it to a USB hard drive? That’s definitely worth a million clicks.
Everyone’s goals are at odds with each other. Publishers want fawning softball coverage, consumers want accurate details, and gaming sites just want traffic because that’s what keeps the lights on.
I suppose that consumers and journalists have goals that align. If there’s bad news, they want to know about it as soon as possible. Sadly, in the calculated hype of E3, journalists can’t really get that. All they can do is repeat the announcements, show the trailers, and speculate.
Speculation sounds fun, but the public can be kind of picky about this. If you’re too positive then you’re a shill, and if you’re too negative then you’re guilty of hating on a game before you’ve had a chance to play it.
So what’s the point?
“Shamus, if E3 is so worthless then why are you bothering to cover it?”
I wouldn’t say it’s worthless. The publishers still have things to tell us, even if we have to sift their words to get the truth. When Ubisoft tells us that the upcoming changes to Uplay will bring “A more exciting and engaging experience for fans”, we can see where the corporate leadership is headed. UPlay probably isn’t going to be more “exciting and engaging”, but we can tell that the leadership is once again doubling down on the system everyone hates and they haven’t begun to grasp the basics of what’s wrong with the platform.
More importantly, I think it’s a cool excuse to hang out, take in the “news”, and see what’s coming.
I don’t want to give every single presentation its own post, since that would bury the site in a dozen posts over the weekend. On the other hand, putting all of E3 into a single giant post doesn’t make any sense either.
So here’s what I’m going to do: Each day will get its own post. The post will be updated with my thoughts and impressions as the day goes on.
Here’s the schedule of all the stuff I’m planning to watch.
|Saturday 3PM||EA Press Conference|
|Sunday 6PM||Microsoft Press Conference|
|Monday 1AM||Bethesda Press Conference|
|Monday 5PM||Ubisoft Circus of Tone-Deaf Idiocy (AKA press conference)|
|Monday 11PM||Sony Press Conference|
|Tuesday 1PM||Nintendo Press Conference. (I might skip this.)|
There are more presentations planned for individual games, but I’m not sure what will strike my fancy or if we’ll still care by Tuesday. We’ll see.
 Whatever THAT means.
 I suppose you could argue that “journalists” and “gaming sites” are technically two different sides in this conflict, given how often journalists are frustrated by the sites they work for. But whatever.
 Some get their clicks by using the sideboob to stoke outrage, and others get clicks by using the sideboob as a titillating lure. Either way, that’s how you pay the bills.
Artless in Alderaan
People were so worried about the boring gameplay of The Old Republic they overlooked just how boring and amateur the art is.
The Plot-Driven Door
You know how videogames sometimes do that thing where it's preposterously hard to go through a simple door? This one is really bad.
The Best of 2018
I called 2018 "The Year of Good News". Here is a list of the games I thought were interesting or worth talking about that year.
Mass Effect 3 Ending Deconstruction
Did you dislike the ending to the Mass Effect trilogy? Here's my list of where it failed logically, thematically, and tonally.
Resident Evil 4
Who is this imbecile and why is he wandering around Europe unsupervised?