Well, the dust has finally settled and E3 has officially concluded this year. So let’s look back at what was a ‘sort of’ stellar year. Like every E3 ever, some of the things this year landed, some fell flat, a few things blew us away and a few opportunities were missed.
This year’s E3 displayed what was perhaps the most obvious behavior from the respective companies’ press conferences based on their current stance in the industry. While ranking the conferences from worst to best is a topic for another day, we do need to acknowledge that each press conference was the way it was because it needed to be that way.
So it was Microsoft who uttered the Holy words “Next Xbox” to set things in motion on an E3 stage. While Sony took the clever approach of starting the conversation before E3, it was nice to see Microsoft throw in their chips at the grand stage. Bethesda went one step further to announce two new games for next gen already. What was surprising, however, was Sony being tight-lipped about this during the conference. Sony had a quiet year this time as all the teams within worldwide studios that have released a game this generation are probably working on titles for its next console. And them having not mentioned this may indicate that they are watching Microsoft closely and are aware of them gaining momentum. All of this seems to be paving the way for a memorable E3 next year when the next generation of consoles are hopefully announced.
Although the execution of the press conferences ranged from Epic to Weird to downright Abysmal, one thing just stood out. And that is the quality and complexity of the games shown. We are in a time when games are taking advantage of the current generation of consoles in their prime. And this resulted in some truly great games showcased across all the major press conferences. From The Last Of Us 2, to Gears of War 5, to Shadow of the Tomb Raider, to even Indies like Unravel 2, we could see quality ooze out of these games. And that has me excited for the months to come when these games are released. And even more excited for what we have not seen that are in the works.
This year’s E3 may not have been the best, but one that the companies needed in order to convey their message loud and clear. And while they succeeded at this in varying degrees, the message that gamers received seemed to be more profound. That games are getting better than ever, and ofcourse, it is a great time to be a gamer. This year made me drop my jaw on multiple occasions, and that was not due to the epic-ness of the stage or what was shown on them. But to the little and more important things like when the words “No Lootboxes or boost packs” were uttered on an EA Show. Like Microsoft announcing that Ninja Theory is part of their family of studios and will work “with full creative freedom”. Like when the crowd response was strongest during the announcement of the Resident Evil 2 remake. All of this shows that the industry is evolving. So E3 2018 may look dull in comparison to the last couple of years, but read between the lines and you are sure to smile at what you can interpret.