E3 2021 Monday Winners and Losers

…what was that?! After fantastic E3 and Summer Game Fest showings sent us soaring on Sunday, Monday’s E3 2021 events made us crash land back to Earth. Here are our winners and losers from Monday. (Note: Summer Game Fest didn’t have Monday on their schedule. Therefore, they are excluded from this list.)

Winners

Limited Run Games

Monday saw several major companies bomb hard with their E3 showcases (see losers list), but the one that stood out among the rest as the clear winner of Monday was Limited Run Games.

With their trademark quirky style, they took the stage and entertained players while showing off 30 titles the publishing company will be releasing in physical form. Now, not every title was likely up to everyone’s taste, but they had something for everyone with games ranging from Zombies At My Neighbor to Castlevania, Dusk to Contra. It was a wide variety of games that did a nice job of raising excitement.

Much like Devolver Digital did on Saturday, Limited Run Games proved that presentations such as these can be more lighthearted and fun and less stiff and scripted. It was the kind of well-written, well-crafted brevity we needed from an E3 that was clearly dealing with a case of the Mondays.

Razer

For the first time ever, Razer held an E3 keynote, bringing innovative new products for consumers to get excited about. Now, by no means was it a great show, as it just saw CEO & Co-founder Min-Liang Tan doing his best Steve Jobs impression on a massive sound stage. In fact, it was a presentation that felt quite lifeless and long-winded in how it was missing music, action, and audience reactions. The 1-2 minute trailers for new products at the end of each reveal served as a refreshing respite from the bare showcase.

With all that said, why is a winner? Well, while the presentation wasn’t the best, the products shown were sensational. Razer showcased what they call “the most powerful 14” laptop” with the return of the Razer Blade 14, a handy new laptop charger capable of recharging 4 devices in the GaN Charger, and the world’s first THX recognized gaming monitor in the Razer Raptor 27. 

These products wowed and sparked renewed interest in the prominent gaming tech giant. Their first presentation may not have been perfect but they still brought it where it counts and for that they had a successful debut, in my book.

Sunday Press Conferences

Monday was a rough day for showcasing new games and tech. Everything just felt so uninspired and unnecessary, which when you think about it makes you really appreciate what Sunday’s press conferences brought.

Between Xbox, Bethesda, and Square Enix we had loads of new games to get excited about, talk about, and make memes about. 

Sunday was the blueprint for all games shows and everyone needs to make a note of that, because what these companies did on Monday and even Saturday (excluding Limited Run and Devolver Digital) did no favors for their games or their fans. But hey! At least we got one good day! RIP…

Losers

E3 2021

In all my years of covering E3 events both in-person and online, this may be the worst E3 I’ve ever experienced. For starters, there is no benefit of having media credentials outside of getting put on an email list, the virtual booths are unnecessary, and all of the showcases feel so lacking they’ve been largely disappointments.

The reason for the lackluster showcases may be due in large part to the pandemic, which is totally understandable. It was an absolutely brutal and tough year for all, but I keep going back to the point of “If there’s nothing really to show, then why attend at all?”

Monday was a clear indicator of this. As companies like Verizon, Mythical Games, and Capcom laid an absolute egg in the spirit of just doing something at the event. The reality is that last year showed that we don’t actually need E3 and this year hasn’t helped their case.

Capcom

While we’re here, let’s talk about Capcom. What was that? The show was essentially announcing that Resident Evil: Village would get a DLC and seeing a few updates to Monster Hunter Stories 2 and Rise, footage of The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles, and then a whole boatload of esports stuff. 

When your entire E3 presentation showcases games that either already exist or are frequently updated, that’s pretty big letdown. 

It’s an even bigger letdown when you consider that this time last year we saw this first cinematic trailer for Pragmata, a game that generated a lot of buzz. With that missing and having no new games shown at all, it makes you wonder why Capcom had a presentation at all. Yet, it goes back to having a presentation for the sake of having a presentation.

NFT Scams

I think we can all agree that NFTs are a huge scam. You’re paying to buy the rights to digital audio, video, and whatever other digital thing people can sell. Well, it looks like the shady world of NFTs is starting to creep into gaming.

That’s mostly evident from Mythical Gaming’s Blankos presentation which will allow players to design their own Blankos and sell the individually licensed design to players to own and sell at their will. They kept saying that it was “a real thing that you own”, which sounds all well and good but what is the market for buying designs on knockoff Funko figures?

Publishers trying to earn an extra buck have already made purchasing separate DLC, season passes, subscription services and microtransactions a thing on top the initial purchase of the game. We don’t need NFTs and honestly neither does the world.

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RPG Gamer by Day, FPS Gamer by Night. Matt has been covering games for nearly a decade. The quickest way to his heart is discussing anything The Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy, Naughty Dog, Bungie, just any game really. Also into movies, TV, travel, and anime.