What Have We Learned From E3 2018?

Written by Allen

June 18, 2018

So, by now everyone has an idea of what’s gotten revealed at Electronic Entertainment Expo 2018 (E3 2018) and I suppose we can say it’s a pretty good year. In fact it’s the first time in years that not everyone unanimously agrees with who ‘won’ E3, and I would say that’s a good sign. And now that we’re past all the breaking stories and hype, why not calm down, take some tea, and reflect on what all these companies are trying to tell us with what they’ve shown to us this year? After all, a little reflection will probably help us make our future purchase decisions later this year and early next year that much more well thought out, and a less likely for future regret.

It looks like EA doesn’t plan to win over the public opinion at least in the gaming space. That’s probably a good idea for them, considering how they’ve constantly called out for whatever mishap or malpractice they decided to do with some service or beloved title. What they have revealed after a bit of just delivering what’s usually expected of them, they generally presented stuff that nobody would watch E3 for, except if you’re checking if they’ll make money. So yeah, maybe they just wanted to ensure investors that if you give them money, they’ll make it grow. So if you’re a gamer that’s not happy with their announcements in general. It’s like they’re saying “Yeah, sorry to hear that, by the way, are you buying FIFA when it comes out?”

Wow, Microsoft showed a pretty stacked presentation. Despite everyone starting to think that it’ll soon be time to retire these consoles, Microsoft has shown us they have full intention to keep populating the X1’s library with any titles you’d like to play. While there’s not a lot of exclusives that would make the Microsoft console look much stronger, they’ve gotten features to make their gameplay experience more attractive on it. This is probably the first ever E3 where I felt like I might want to own an XBOX One console. And with their intention to expand not only their library but it’s accessibility with their subscription service, it’s probably not a bad idea to own one now. Then again, they already have a new console in the works, so unless they’ll promise that there’s going to be good support for the X1 for some time to come, it’s also easy to be skeptical.

Man, talk about ambition. Bethesda is making some pretty serious promises to the public with this many announcements. We’re not entirely sure what they’ll be bringing to the table but I think it’s safe to say we’re not going to see much from them for a while to come.

The only real news that most would be moved by would be the announcement of Kingdom Hearts 3’s release date. Other studios working under the banner of Square-Enix seem to be doing rather well being able to crank out titles over a reasonable set of seasons. The big trouble would appear to be that ever since the announcement of the FF7 remake, they’ve given nothing for us to bite on. It looks like they might have not really learned from their mistakes with FFXV. Maybe we’re in for another decade of waiting.

Ubisoft certainly showed a lot of games, but like Microsoft, a lot of them are coming from 3rd party developers. One issue I find is that a lot of them are aiming for similar release dates, so they’ll all be competing for your wallet. I personally found it attractive that they showcased a lot variance with the genres and flavors they’re pushing out for until the next E3. I’m a little wary about another Assassin’s Creed game coming out so soon, and concerned that they’re still investing into For Honor. But if them telling you ‘we don’t plan to change much’ is a good indicator for your experience with them, hurrah for you, I suppose.

You know, watching the actual E3 presentation made me very hopeful for PS4 because of how great the exclusives look (even if I couldn’t understand much of what Death Stranding showed). But when you realize that the three biggest exclusives they have don’t even really have a release date yet, it dawns upon you that all they really have are promises. I mean, it’s not Square-Enix levels of bad, where you don’t even know if you’ll get to see these promises fulfilled within the decade, but all you know is that they’re getting worked on. If there’s anything you know about things that are a work in progress, you know that they can drastically change from how they’re being presented to you now. While I liked what I saw, it’s not much to chew on.

I think pretty much everyone got floored with the announcement of the new Smash Bros. game. I’m not a fan of the series myself but I’m happy for those who are. Unfortunately I would find the amount of games being rolled out lacking. Sure, the mention of two great jRPGs is probably enough to tickle my personal tastes but I doubt that would be enough to tide over a lot of other people. They need something like a proper pokemon game, or a metroid, maybe animal crossing. I don’t think the current announcements are enough to tide over the crowd for a year. But hey, at least you know they’re doing all they can  to get you a bigger library every time.

Now before I go on to cast my vote as to who ‘won E3’ I’d like to give a special mention to a publisher who’s focused on getting a laugh out of me and at the same time get me to look forward to a few of their announcements.

I am legitimately really interested in seeing My Friend Pedro and as a mecha fan I’m really excited to play Metal Wolf Chaos since I couldn’t touch it due to its XBOX exclusivity back then. If you haven’t you should watch Devolver Digital’s press conference. Though be advised that it’s for a mature audience only.

Now, among the console publishers, who takes the E3 crown? From a purely consumer perspective, I’d have to say the PS4 took it as the exclusives that was presented to be on the X1 doesn’t really stand out or define it, things like Halo Infinite may very well end up on the new console they claim to be working on. However if you’re the type who hasn’t owned any of the these consoles yet it might be a much better bang for your buck to go with Microsoft, as they’re offering titles previously exclusive to PS4 along with free DLC packs and that’s quite a lot to work with.

To close, I’m quite happy that the Electronic Entertainment Expo feels quite relevant again despite these publishers having the ability to create their own press con events and there’s a legitimate feeling that they are indeed competing for your attention. Because when they’re doing exactly that, it’s the audience that wins in the end. So whichever publisher you’re a fan of, the fact that these companies we’ve built our trust with continue to compete and improve is a net win for all of us. So, thanks for showing us all that, E3.

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