As the 2017 Electronic Entertainment Expo comes to a close, it’s time to look back on the highs and lows of one of the gaming industry’s biggest events.
E3 is weird. Everyone involved is expected to deliver a satisfying blend of what’s just around the corner, and what’s years down the road. The massive hype the event generates has created something of a gaming arms race that’s forced companies to make promises they’re not nearly ready to deliver on.
There clearly are plenty of hands-on experiences available to those who make it to the Los Angeles Convention Center. But for those of us watching from afar, E3 really can’t be summed up any better than this:
Still, E3 is hugely important for its big players who, more often than not, know how to make fans happy. But as we’ve seen plenty of times throughout the years, some companies really didn’t show up to L.A. ready to deliver the goods.
Here are some of the biggest winners and losers from the E3 2017:
With the Nintendo Switch well on its way to reestablishing Nintendo as a force in gaming, it was time for the company to show some great games — and they nailed it. The star of the show was “Super Mario Odyssey,” but “Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle” was a surprise hit, and Nintendo earns huge points for revealing new “Metroid,” “Kirby” and “Yoshi” games. It also was great to see that third-party hits like “Skyrim” and “FIFA” actually are coming to Switch.
But the biggest news of all might have been the reveal of a core “Pokemon” role-playing game coming to Nintendo’s new system. It might not release for more than a year, but seeing a mainline “Pokemon” game on a home console is something fans have been waiting more than two decades for.
Yes, the name is terrible, and the price is enormous. But the fact remains that Microsoft is aggressively placing itself ahead of the curve, and promising fans the Xbox platform will set the standard for technological prowess in the gaming industry. Microsoft likely wouldn’t have suffered if it announced the Xbox One X say, three years from now, but revealing it at this year’s E3 just might be bold enough to pay off.
Among the publishers that held conferences at E3, Ubisoft really was the only one that delivered. “Beyond Good and Evil 2,” Skull and Bones” and “Assassin’s Creed: Origins” were some of the best games shown all week, but were far from the only great titles Ubisoft brought to L.A.
“South Park: The Fractured But Whole” looks great, as does “Far Cry 5.” In a down year for major developers, Ubisoft shined because it prioritized interesting games that are coming out relatively soon.
Listen, Bethesda might be the best publisher in the industry right now, but it fell flat on its face at E3. Sure, “Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus” and “The Evil Within 2” look amazing, but people were looking for Bethesda to branch out a little bit.
Instead, it announced nothing but a few mildly interesting sequels, and continued to show that “The Elder Scrolls” is becoming more of a cash cow and less of a series the publisher intends to make fresh. Plus, the obnoxious 1950’s-style, carnival-themed nonsense of the “Bethesdaland” presentation really was underwhelming.
This was a weird show for VR. We think “Doom” and “Fallout 4” actually might work great in virtual reality, but the technology felt really underrepresented at E3.
We’ve been hearing for a few years that VR is the future, and that publishers have some incredible things up their sleeves. But, once again, casual gamers are left without any compelling reasons to invest in VR technology or games.
Sony gets points for showing some amazing footage of its upcoming “God of War” and “Spider-Man” entries. But as a whole, the company really didn’t show much besides games we already knew existed.
Furthermore, Sony had to be aware of what Microsoft was planning to reveal. The PlayStation 4 currently is the best system on the market, but Sony would’ve been well-served to give gamers reasons to believe that won’t change after the Xbox One X hits the market.
Thumbnail photo via Electronic Entertainment Expo