Every E3 we salivate feverishly at what the many wonders of the Electronic Entertainment Expo will bring us, which makes it all the more disappointing when the big hitters such as Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony deliver a big fat stinker or bore us to death.
Based on our expectations for this year’s E3, we have a short list of things we don’t want to see during the event.
A ton of time spent on Kinect
The legendary Kinectimals demo from 2010. I wonder what Skittles is up to these days?
Microsoft finally, finally seem to understand that basically nobody cares about the Kinect. Ever since the first Kinect was revealed, we groaned as it dominated the Microsoft conferences year after year. If we arrive at this year’s E3 and Microsoft shows us an extended tech demo of a new Kinect casual game that lasts for 10 minutes and features horrendously awkward “performances” on stage then the audience will be lost in a sea of indifference.
A classic franchise gets unrecognisably “rebooted”
This is a picture of a Bomberman game. Just imagine what could happen to other classic series.
With great fanfare and a huge build-up, a lone developer will eventually take to the stage and say “Ladies and gentlemen, I’m pleased to announce…..Banjo Kazooie!” to rapturous applause.
And the trailer shows us Banjo as a gun-toting wise-cracking badass with sunglasses hiding behind chest high walls, with the developers calling it an “entry level shooter” or some other PR nonsense.
Reboots rarely work; in a previous article I explained the ins and outs of rebooting a franchise (long story short: don’t), and a negative reaction to a big E3 reveal would likely be carried over right up until release. The long and painful path that the otherwise-excellent DmC took on its way to release essentially guaranteed its commercial failure, and should serve as a lesson to other developers.
20 minutes of sales figures before getting to the games
Blah blah blah padding. Blah blah blah Last of Us later. Maybe.
While there will definitely be a few parts of any conference dedicated to a big or good-looking game, you can bet that it’ll be preceded by slideshows telling us in painstaking detail just how many Vita units were sold or how many people are subscribed to whatever. Yes it’ll be good for investors, and yes it’ll help provide concrete evidence of your success, but guys, your audience will be mainly sat at their monitors halfway around the world shouting “Where’s the new trailer?!”
If you can get through your sales figures briskly on as few slides as possible and with only one round of forced applause as opposed to three or four, you’re doing it right.
Comedians who aren’t funny
Battle Tag was bad enough, but McHale somehow made it worse.
Someone at whoever organises these events needs to actively ensure Joel McHale is denied entry to the expo at all costs. OK so that was an exaggeration, but you get the drift – “deadpan” humour is difficult to improvise on the spot and it often comes off as genuinely hostile or annoying in most cases. Likewise, a “comedian” who attempts to be ironic with over-enthusiasm will also annoy. What we need is someone with a distinct, not-annoying voice who knows what they’re talking about at all times.
Essentially just get Mark Cerny to do the whole thing. We could listen to him speak for days.
“We’ll be looking at innovative ways to dynamically deliver premium content that’ll let gamers customise their digital experience”.
This sentence means nothing. Avoid. Also, you totally read that in Phil Spencer’s voice.
A sequel to a multiplatform game is announced….but it’s platform exclusive
Nobody likes exclusives anymore, and it’s not even cost effective for third party developers to even go exclusive anyway.
Exclusives used to be that Holy Grail for platform holders, the concrete, demonstrable reason why their console was the one to buy. But it became less profitable and more about fanboys arguing on forums as the PS3/X360 gen went on, and developers wanted to be able to sell their games to more gamers.
The wave of disappointment that would knock gamers over would dominate such a game’s lifespan, causing nothing but negativity right up until release.
Saving the game people showed up for until the end of the conference
If you sat through this demo then you’ll probably remember thinking how cool it would be if Ezio Auditore jumped in and made that Rabbid requiescat in pace.
Ubisoft and EA, we’re looking at you. Make no mistake; people watch your conferences for whichever game they’re interested in, and nothing else. While it could be argued that you have to end strong, sometimes these conferences just take the cake. You’ve been hard at work on the latest Assassin’s Creed game and we can’t wait to see it, but just don’t make us wait too long.
Trundling through a seemingly endless demo of some Raving Rabbids game waiting for Assassin’s Creed II to show up was the lowlight of a past conference, so hopefully the publishers will learn to bring out the big guns sooner.
Every E3 has its fair share of ups and downs. Last year’s E3 was one of the best, with the sort of games people have been wanting for years getting announced, along with new consoles stealing the show. While we probably won’t get something quite like that this year, you can bet that if we see too much of the above we’ll certainly be disappointed.
As E3 gets nearer and nearer, we’ll be riding the hype train along with you so stay tuned for our coverage in the days leading up to and during the gaming world’s biggest event.