The mind of our editor is a crazy place and sometimes it needs to be emptied. Thoughts flutter through the empty caverns of his mind that need to be placed on the virtual page. These ramblings are presented without context and perhaps a warning is required. Dive into the brain of the Editor at your own peril.
Editor’s Thoughts – 2017: The Quiet E3
A Subdued Hype Train
E3 is usually a time of hype and hyperbole. Of excitement and craziness. Of B grade celebrities and A grade executives. We get ready for the tons of new games, new trailers and new concepts that are piled on us during those magical three days. But this year seems different. It seems a little subdued, a little quiet, perhaps even a little dull. There doesn’t seem to be the usual amount of exuberance that typically surrounds the event and that makes this something of a unique show.
I think it comes down to a few things. Firstly this year has been a spectacular one for games. Horizon, Zelda, Nier, the list goes on. Hit after hit after hit. The quality of games in the first half of the year has been exceptional and this means that as gamers we are actually quite content at the moment. For once a lot of us are happy with what we have and not what we are looking forward to. It is a strange place to be in.
Another reason is I think a little case of fatigue. It is hard to be bitten by hype when a lot of big releases fail to measure up when they hit the streets. Mafia III, Mass Effect: Andromeda and Yooka Laylee are just a couple of games from recent times that have failed to live up to what the pre-release hype promised. As a result, gamers are starting to get jaded and view these events with a little more cynicism. The big companies like Ubisoft and EA need to earn back our trust and deliver on their promises. If they can deliver this year it will go a long way to gaining back that faith and in turn, lead to a more hyped E3 2018.
The Small Players.
This year’s E3 will, of course, be dominated by the big publishers. But the smaller dev’s and companies are not to be discounted. People like Devolver Digital, Team 17 and Focus Interactive are bringing some great games to the show and they deserve some serious attention from gamers. The PC gaming show is usually a good place to catch these games but the abundance of ads during the show makes watching it a painful experience. I strongly suggest people go out of their way to find out what Deep Silver are up to, what Croteam have in store or what Evolve PR have brought to the convention because there is a host of great games coming to E3 that won’t get the attention they deserve. It is up to you to fix that.
The Wish List
This year it is my hope that Microsoft puts in a big show. I honestly think that gaming in general needs this to happen. Competition is good for everyone, it forces developers to push boundaries and not rest on their laurels. The situation at the moment with Sony so far out in front means that more and more publishers are taking their games to Sony first, leading to a lopsided market. This is great for Sony now but I worry that without someone to push them to greater heights then a little bit of stagnation may set in. I think the market needs both consoles to be healthy, it benefits everyone, regardless of people’s console of choice.
I also hope that EA remembers how to wow the crowd. The past few years have been nothing but mediocre from the giant publisher and I think it is high time they brought some creativity back to things. They have a huge amount of money up their sleeve thanks to massive franchises such as The Sims and FIFA and I would love to see that invested into new IP and exciting ideas.
My final wish is that developers everywhere focus on one thing first, fun. It is a cliche to say this but in 90% of cases, the whole purpose of a game is to provide entertainment. At present it seems that developers focus too much on the systems, the graphics or the technology and somewhere along the way the “fun” goes missing. If this year shows a marked increase in the focus on entertainment as opposed to what fancy tricks they developers can pull I will be a happy man.