My E3 2016 Conference Reviews
First off, I want to state that these are my feelings about the main E3 conferences that took place and what I thought about them. I’ll also say that going into E3 I kept my expectations lowered due to the leaks and announcements close to E3. I’ll be saying IP a lot which means Intellectual Property; you can think of it as game franchises or individual games. I did leave out the PC Game Show mostly because I didn’t feel the games showcased on the PC Game Show compare well with the other conferences. Lastly, each title will link to the corresponding conference. Alright, so let’s get into it.
This was a conference I wasn’t expecting much out of. There was Madden 17 and FIFA 17 of course. Now, this brings me to a side note. I know a lot of people go “oh sports, greeeeeeeat”. You have to understand two things. One: Madden and FIFA makes EA lots of money. I mean lots. Two: some people like sports games. Honestly when eSports is made fun of by people who believe in “actual sports”, it’s a bit hypocritical to turn on people who like these games. To each their own I say. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to talk about it. In fact, FIFA 17 The Journey actually looks interesting as they’ve added a story mode.
One of the revealed promising games was an indie game called Fe which I’ve heard it be called a Dark Souls cross with Journey. Both games are popular some maybe Fe will make waves.
Overall I didn’t feel impressed with the EA conference. It may be because most of the content was predicted or shown before E3 already. Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2 looks really good but were announced before the conference so not much extra was shown. Mass Effect didn’t have gameplay yet so we’re probably looking earliest next year holiday season. Star Wars was nothing really significant outside of updates that weren’t visually represented game-wise. All they really talk about is the multitude of teams working on different Star Wars games hard at work on these updates or new games.
This was another conference I didn’t expect much out of. Surprisingly, Bethesda did decently. They surprised the world with Quake and Prey. Releasing a popular IP that hasn’t been touched in a while is a good way to garner views. Also, the Quake and Prey announcements were actual announcements, not leaks.
In addition, they touched on Elder Scrolls Online with updates and DLC which one lady in the crowd was super hyped about mind you. Fallout 4 has come DLCs and updates as well. Fallout Shelter is getting updates and a PC port. There was the Elder Scrolls Legends Card Game which could make waves as Online CCGs seem to have quite the audience.
Finally we had Dishonored 2 which was the highlight of the show. It looks amazing with the two playable characters and their abilities. The world itself is gritty but has a fantasy feel at the same time. There’s also a time mechanic involved. It will do well.
I feel like Bethesda’s conference was ok. There was some sort of an extra vibe to the conference that made the content shown feel acceptable. Not really sure I can put my finger on it. I think it was the combination of new IPs and visual representation of the updates a few games were going to have.
Now this was a conference that’d I thought would be 50% hardware/software and 50% games. It felt pretty much that with Microsoft introducing an Xbox One Slim, custom controllers, MMo-like features for Xbox Live and the teasing their next console Project Scorpio. However, they also introduced Play Anywhere. A new program where any “Play Anywhere” games can be bought once and be played on Xbox One or Windows 10. Furthermore, progress is synced so you can play on one system and easily swap to the other if needed. I found this rather genius on Microsoft’s part. One: it opens the door for PC gamers to have more games that would have been just on console, Xbox One players can swap to a PC when they want, Microsoft actually gets more money for providing exclusive games on PC.
Overall, I think Microsoft did fairly well with Play Anywhere feature in . Gears of War 4, Recore, and Scalebound being some of the games I see a lot of players enjoying. We Happy Few also debuted at the Microsoft conference and definitely has good potential.
Expectations for Ubisoft conference were a little higher but still expected a lot of games announced from last E3 and Watch Dogs 2 which was announced/leaked I think literally a week before E3.
Results were pretty good. We saw gameplay for games teased last E3 such as Ghost Recon: Wildlands, South Park: The Fractured But Whole & For Honor. We also got teased of a possible Watch Dogs movie. Ubisoft also revealed some new IPs, some of which were VR such as Eagle Flight and Star Trek Bridge Crew. Both look cool but the issue I see is playing with a multitude of friends with VR sets may be an expensive endeavor.
Of course there were other new IPs such as Trials of the Blood Dragon (which is out now) and Steep which is an open world alpine sports game. It reminds me of SSX but on a bigger scale. I’ve seen quite a few people liking what they saw so this game could have some decent popularity.
Ubisoft did a solid job providing gameplay for last year’s teased E3 games while offering new things as well. There’s no Assassin’s Creed game this year but there is the movie; .
Sony, I was expecting some kind of play that will compete with whatever Microsoft has currently. Then there would be some games, announced games from last E3 and I expected some new IPs and VR. Man did they deliver.
It was pretty much a strong string of games. Sony started which epic orchestral music which was the prelude for the trailer of the new God of War game. There was Horizon, The Last Guardian (with a release date finally), Detroit: Become Human and some new IPs such as Days Gone and VR games like Flashpoint, Here They Lie, and Batman: Arkham to name a few. The difference between these VR games and Ubisofts is that they’re geared towards single player which is probably the stronger market to aim for rather than the party game and multiplayer (in the same room) market.
There were quite a few games I didn’t mention but I think what really made the Sony conference was when Hideo Kojima stepped onto the stage and the crowd went super hyped when he debuted Kojima Productions first game: Death Stranding which is a PS4 exclusive.
Sony presented a strong set of games for this and next year. Better than all the other conferences. I think Sony did extremely well given that there was no hardware/software discussion of any kind; just really good games.
Nintendo only had to show off The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and the new Pokemon games: Sun and Moon. Now, you’d think that Nintendo being one of the bigger companies would have more to offer at E3. However it seems like the focus was to be on Zelda this year. the Treehouse stream spent about 20-30 minutes on the new Pokemon game and literally the rest of the time on the new Zelda game which was hours.
Don’t get me wrong, the new Zelda game looks fantastic. It is very different from the Zelda games on console. It’s more open world, there are a ton of interact-able things to do. I had to pull myself away a bit because I didn’t want to see too much in order to play and explore the game for myself. It will definitely be a big seller and that may be what Nintendo is looking for right now in focusing on Zelda.
To conclude, I think Sony won game-wise due to having more strong IPs that had more impact. I think Microsoft won in the hardware/software department. No one was competing in this section but the Play Anywhere program alone made Microsoft win out. Nintendo seemed to focus on quality over quantity by showcasing three games (I really want to say two since the Pokemon games are really similar). The main games each conference had were all quite good. In the end, this year’s E3 wasn’t as quite impactful as last year but there were still a few surprises and new content that satisfies.