The Road to E3 2018 Podcast highlights all the best and worst E3 2018 could have to offer, as well as some fond memories our hosts have to share. Join Matt, Caleb, and Eric as they take the rainbow road to E3 2018! Like the actual rainbow road, this podcast is a ton of fun but it can get crazy really quick! Enjoy!
Gimmicks – You know what sells consoles? Games. Really good games. We all know this, and it’s one of the few things that most gamers agree on. Even so, that hasn’t stopped developers from using crazy gimmicks (whether we’re talking about actual hardware or marketing ones) during their E3 conferences to try and hype us up. Remember Sony’s “Wonderbook” on stage demo disaster, Wii Music, or Usher’s surprise performance during the 2012 Xbox presser?
Not only did these feel out of place, they sometimes straight up killed any hype they’d previously built. This also extends to hardware. I mean, Hololens is a cool idea and looked great, but we haven’t heard much about it since, and it’s ability to actually enhance games has yet to be proven. Same goes for the Switch’s motion controls and HD rumble feature. It’s neat, but it’s not a selling point.
Loot Boxes – Complaining about Loot Boxes is becoming something of an old hat. I get why developers were going for them, and there are plenty of games that use them effectively. Even so, I don’t want to hear about them at E3, or catch wind of them in games. I highly doubt we’ll see anything even remotely related to loot boxes (developers seem to have caught wind that the mere mention will instigate backlash), but who knows!
Long Distance Stuff – Some of the coolest things to come from E3 are the surprise game reveals/announcements, but I gotta say, seeing reveals for games 3-4 years down the road just aren’t all that exciting to me. Bethesda and Nintendo have expertly shown over the last couple years that it’s possible to announce big, important, titles and release them within the same year and still get the same amount of hype and sales out of it.
I mean, at this point, I don’t even care about the Final Fantasy 7 remake that was announced. It’s been 3 years since it’s reveal and we’ve heard nothing since then. I’d love to see all the hype inducing surprises be games we’ll actually play within a year or so.
Celebrity/Athlete Appearances – Very few things in E3 conferences are as cringe-worthy as when they drag out a celebrity to talk about an upcoming game. Too often, it’s obvious they’re there to fulfill a contractual obligation. That or they bring an athlete out there and talk for WAY too long…I still wake up in cold chills at night remembering Pele‘s appearance at EA‘s conference a few years ago.
This isn’t always the case, and there are plenty of times when we’ve seen celebrities, who are really enthusiastic about games, come on stage and are just fine. On the whole, however, they’re not as exciting as developers think/hope they will be.
Weird Dance Shows: I swear, there’s one at every E3 and they always come off as something that’s just a distraction from the actual ‘point’ of the event. “Sandwiched between some mediocre game reveals is this awkward dancing panda, everybody! Hopefully the colorful costumes and loud dubstep will distract you from our flaccid lineup of games.” I get these are usually for games like the Just Dance series, but do you really need to choreograph an entire dance number for a game that’s released every year?
Awkward Tom Clancy Game Commentary: I’m torn on this one because while it’s so obviously scripted and the gameplay is pre-recorded, I sort of love laughing my ass off at the way they seem to think real ‘gamer humans who are totally not robots’ communicate. It almost feels like an E3 tradition at this point, but I’m totally fine with letting this one die.
Triple A titles That Come Out Every Year: I know, I know, this is never going to not happen and it sounds cynical, but hear me out. What if, instead of scraping the bottom of the creative barrel for another Assassin’s Creed or another Call of Duty, we just let those titles go? Strive for some other creative endeavor, put some real passion into a new IP, give this generation some awesome new characters and stories and games! At the very least reboot the series like God of War did. Seeing Kratos in a new setting with new problems and becoming a character I actually sympathize with? I never saw that coming and it absolutely refreshed an old IP in a meaningful way.
Too Many Console Exclusives: Don’t get me wrong, console exclusives have the potential to be absolutely amazing games. They have the funding and representation of huge corporations behind them who have a lot invested in whatever title they’re releasing. However, it can feel really alienating when there’s a game that you just have to have and at the end of its announcement it says it’s a console exclusive for a system you don’t own. When Bloodborn and Horizon: Zero Dawn were announced as exclusives, I was devastated that the games I looked forward to the most were decidedly out of my reach. It’s a tall order, so I’ll be willing to take all the console exclusives E3 will inevitably hit me with so long as somewhere down the line Red Dead Redemption 2 comes to PC.
Battle Royale Cash Grabs: Games like Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite have absolutely exploded in popularity recently, and we’ve already seen many developers jump on the bandwagon. It’s a genre that’s quickly becoming oversaturated and, ultimately, it’s time better spent on something more original. We’ve seen it before when every developer and their mother was making MOBA games with the success of games like League of Legends and Dota 2. If you’re not a huge MOBA gamer you’ve still probably heard of these games and little else. That’s because these two dominated the scene no matter how hard anybody tried to bank on the genre’s popularity. It’ll be the same with the battle royale genre and it’ll be potential lost for the sake of a quick cash grab.
Anything VR-related (Unless it’s tech like in Ready Player One) – To me, VR has been one epic let down. They dubbed it as the future of gaming, but really all it’s been used for are gimmicks. Furthermore, quality tech is just too expensive for most gamers. Now, if you sell me on tech that fully immerses your mind inside the game, then you’ll have all my money.
New Consoles – The console wars are just around the corner, we all know it. To answer Snoke’s (RIP) question in The Force Awakens, “Yes, we can feel it.”. It’s just that Xbox just came out with the X and Nintendo just released the Switch, let’s breath for a bit and let these consoles have the spotlight for some time. I get that Sony is next, but even they know it’s not time yet.
Twitch/YouTube Celebrities – Let me start by saying that I think what some of these guys do is absolutely incredible and entertaining. I thoroughly enjoy the performances they put on on a daily or weekly basis, but that’s on their own turf in front of a lone camera. To put them on stage to present a game they barely know about is just cruel and doesn’t do much for anyone. The people who work on the games are the stars at these events.
New Cars – I will say it until I’m blue in the face, the worst thing Xbox did last year was show off an overpriced car to sell a game. What does showing us a Porsche 911 Turbo do for us? Even if you’re a racing enthusiast, what does seeing it on the stage of a video game showcase do? The answer is nothing. No one bought Forza because they saw a car they can’t afford on stage.
Someone on Stage Playing a Game – I realize this is simply not possible and relatively minor but I just don’t like it when people are playing on stage. I know they do it for proof that it’s actual footage, but if you think about it, is it really? They can simply be moving a joystick and pressing buttons and no one knows the difference, so why have it at all?
Skittles the Tiger– If we see anything in the realm of Skittles the tiger or NFL to sell a console, I’m going to lose it. After a five year console cycle don’t give me tertiary reasons to buy your console, give me the games.
Less Personalities– I agree with Jordan, Let’s keep the sports personalities to a minimum, heck I’m still a firm believer that EA should have two Press Conferences. One for the EA Sports and the other for everything else, otherwise you lose half the audience.
Long Release Dates– It would be really awesome if developers would stop announcing games that have a release window of sometime in the next two decades. That way of debuting a game is becoming unnecessary and tiresome.
OLD GAMES– As much as I love good remasters, I really would like E3 to be dominated by new titles not the games games we have played for years. That also means I don’t want to hear about backwards compatibility.
Behind the Scene Videos– I really hate it when a game is super pumped up, people are excited to see new gameplay, then all we get is some behind the scenes, concept art trailer. If its not ready DON’T SHOW IT!
SPORTS GAMES– I think I can finally come to realization that I am done with sports games. NOTHING CHANGES, THERE ALL THE SAME.
HAND-HELD NEWS– I think we need to hold off for a few years on a new hand-held from both nintendo and sony, hell even if microsoft wants one PLEASE WAIT!
Bland Indie Titles– Don’t get me wrong, I support indie games and think they can be great. However, we have hit a point where a lot of them are very cut and paste side scrolling adventures, or top down shooters, and it’s beyond boring to me. I get some of them are fun, but why again do I own two 400 dollar consoles and a gaming PC for this? My PS3 would have done just fine. E3 showcases should be for the big kids. I don’t mind a game like Battlegrounds or No Mans Sky, but endless games that look just like Sega Genesis titles isn’t why I walked into E3. At least change it up dramatically like Cuphead or Don’t Starve.
Ubisoft’s Awkward Presentations– I love Ubisoft games and get excited for them showing off new things, I don’t get excited for the presentation. If it isn’t a very awkward gameplay where the people playing act nothing like actual gamers (at all), then they go off on tangents that have nothing to do with the game. One year they had spent way too much time talking about the Assassin’s Creed movie when they had so much more to offer. This is also where the awkward dance presentations and other garbage comes from. I rather sit through another awkward Square Enix show where developers are simply being geeky. Ubisoft has 3 solid games to show off this year, let’s not waste time on stupid things…. Please.
Microsoft Pretending Anything Is Exclusive- I get true console exclusives are needed, that’s why I bought both an Xbox and PlayStation. I like Halo and I like Uncharted, they both get me excited. What isn’t exciting is when they start buying “timed third party content” and pretend it is exclusive. Both fall victim to this, but last year Microsoft was touting “exclusive” numbers that simply didn’t exist. They were using fancy words like “console launch exclusive” or “world wide premiere” which meant literally nothing in terms of being exclusives. Then Microsoft went on to say they “demonstrated 30 exclusive reveals,” or whatever made up number they had. We want real exclusives, we want AAA studios pushing boundaries, not these timed exclusives that do nothing but aggravate gamers on the other side. I’m not buying Battlefield on Xbox because the content hits 2 weeks before PlayStation, I’m buying it because my friends are there, and my friends won’t be there if all you have is Battlefield while the other side has Battlefield and six other exclusives.
EA Not Showing Me Star Wars– How many years has it been now where EA has shown us a long list of developers supposedly working on Star Wars titles, and yet we haven’t seen even a single tech reveal of a game? I mean two Battlefront titles later and still no Jedi based game, no KOTOR challenger, nothing. Star Wars is rich for storytelling and EA is totally wasting this opportunity. Last year they said Respawn was hard at work on it, and they even pushed aside Titanfall for it, so there better (at the very least) be a new shooter-based game. If I’m Disney, this is their last strike. If all we get is another promise that something is coming, without any proof, then hello other developers! Time for someone else to take a swing.
Youtube Influencers– I don’t want a big gamer that’s just all loud, flashy or “IN MY FACE”. Look around, prepare, find a designer or a developer of said game that is comfortable in front of a camera and have them present. Don’t hire a ringer that will seemingly barely learn anything about your product and promo your game while layering on a clearly visible amount of bs on top of it. (looking at you EA)
Toys to Life– As much as I love them I F*$#@ing hate them. I’ve already collected every single Infinity figure and once I found out Skylanders was on Switch, I have been scouring Toys R Us stores in a 50 mile radius looking for skylander figs on the cheap. But i swear to god if you guys release some new TTL game or even tell me hey we got a new skylanders game coming “Skylanders – just gimmie your cash” it will be SCORCHED F#@*ING EARTH.
Thank you for those games though.
PS5- Don’t … JUST DON’T, OK. I’ll be ready for it next year, maybe. I understand that we’re close to the time that we should should be seeing it, but I feel like I JUST got my PS4 and I’m just really starting to use it. PS – if you perfect Virtual Reality or even simsense in the next month then go right ahead and introduce the PS5
Reggie Fils-Aimé- his face angers me. There’s no deep reason for it.