How Bout That E3, Eh?
What I’ve learned, though, is that these events are really about the spectacle. They are the 200 proof hype-ahol of the games industry frat party, and as such only focus on the products that would otherwise sell themselves. A whole block of presentation time dedicated to Battlefield 1? What can they say about it that we can’t glean from the fact that it’s a Battlefield installment? Here and there they throw in montages of smaller but decidedly montage-worthy games probably to satisfy existing partners so they don’t feel thrown under the AAA bus, and to tempt would be partners by showing that yes, these monoliths could showcase your product next year if you sign exclusive deals with their platform.
What have I been playing this year? The Division, sure. Halo 5 earlier in the year. Stellaris, which didn’t get any stage play anywhere as far as I know. Guild Wars 2 had an expansion and major patch which were excellent. Overwatch (sort of) which had it’s day in the sun, but only under Blizzcon’s tent. I went back to Wildstar when it appeared on Steam, and even fired up Skyforge despite my hatred of their customer service.
I don’t feel bad about not really remembering much about what was presented at E3 because to do so would be to hang on solely to the hype. Considering that we haven’t heard the last of Gears of War 4 or We Happy Few and other showcase games between the end of E3 and when each of them releases, I don’t think paying attention to E3 matters all that much except in service of being part of the community that’s egging each other on by magnifying the hype that we’re being fed. Our time in between will be spent doing what we’re always doing, playing the games we’re currently playing or will be playing while we wait for these blockbusters to actually arrive. It’s nice to know what’s on the horizon, and marketing departments need to put food on their tables like everyone else, but E3 2016 has come and will go, and next week we’ll be back to whatever it was we were doing before the distraction.