Impressions of E3 2018

E3 2018 is now a couple weeks removed. The presentations have been consumed, the trailers watched, the podcasts reviewed, the articles read. It was a great E3 for games, hands down, but that doesn’t mean the show did not feel a bit off.

Gamers watch, and attend, the E3 spectacle to feel a part of the latest in an industry that brings so much enjoyment to so many. For me, watching the presentations from Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, and the others is like being on the inside, getting that first look. This year was no disappointment in the games presented. Top notch examples of graphics, animation, and story were shown again and again, making me only want more and wishing I had more time to play. I’ll cover my specific favorites of E3 in a later post.

That being said, the emotion of E3 was lacking this year. I felt it while watching the presentations and in the voices and words of those covering the event. There just wasn’t a lot of…pop. Perhaps the primary cause of this was the Walmart Canada leak a couple of months before E3. This leak showed most of the unannounced games coming into the show, forcing many devs and publishers to go on record early. Industry journalists were already talking about these games weeks before E3, leaving the shiny new games feeling much more been-there-done-that.

In addition, the presentations have changed over the last few years, removing any personalization and attempt at connection with the audience. Many of the presentations were essentially sizzle reals with no one from the companies speaking. All of us can sit down and watch a trailer at any time. We watch E3 to see what the devs and platform makers have to say, to connect with us as gamers and pull us into their world. That rarely happened in this year’s presentations.

Finally, I think the platform holders were not sure how to put on the presentations this year when only games were involved. This is the first E3 in a few years in which we were not taking about new or half step consoles. The hardware has taken the spotlight for so long that the platform holders seem unaware how to just showcase games, the very games that sell their product in the first place.

In the end, it seemed that everyone responsible for the presentations needed to take a step back and figure out how to celebrate the games being showcased. There’s nothing wrong with a full fledged pep rally to get us excited about the future games we are going to love to play.

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