I feel like I’ve heard this statement made for the last few years, but leading up to this year’s E3 it feels like the sentiment is shared by even more people. Every gaming podcast I listen to, every gaming related tweet I read, they all say the same thing, because of the internet E3 is irrelevant. Over the last few days, I’ve heard statements like developers should just do what Nintendo does with their directs. With the internet, developers and publishers can speak directly to their audiences without needing a big show like E3. Well, I respectfully disagree. As far as I’m concerned, big events like E3 are a near necessity for the gaming industry. Allow me to quickly explain.
Every Tuesday I write about the newest releases that are coming to the PlayStation store and while doing that over the course of nearly a year, I’ve seen so many interesting looking indie games come and go without ever getting even a word of fan fair. Yes, there are titles like Celeste are able to generate buzz without the helping of events like E3, but I would argue that if not for IGN giving the game a perfect 10, it too, no matter how good it is, would have slipped through the cracks and gotten lost in the giant library of games that fills every digital gaming store these days.
This is why I think something like Cuphead is a perfect example of why E3 is so important. We all remember the first time we saw Cuphead on Microsoft’s stage. Literally, every single person watching that press conference sat up in their chair and went, “wait, what was that game?” Immediately, every games journalist was looking into who was making the indie game. They wanted more information on what was easily the best looking game of Microsoft’s show. On top of that, hundreds of thousands of streamers all around the world were watching Microsoft’s event with their audiences, both big and small, and they all collectively said, “man, I can’t wait to play that.” Suddenly, a game that no one had ever heard of went from obscurity to being one of the most talked about games at E3 and it would remain that way for three more years until the game’s release. All of that buzz simply wouldn’t have happened if only a third or even a fifth of the audience was watching an “Xbox Direct.”
E3 is a chance for gamers both casual and hardcore, to come together and enjoy this event. It’s a chance for everyone collectively to feel an actual connection and comradery as we all discover something new together. We all remember how excited we got when PlayStation revealed the Final Fantasy 7 trailer and then followed that up with Shenmue 3 or even on a smaller level when Microsoft showed off yet another amazing looking indie title called The Last Night.
I have two friends that help me with this site and one of the many reasons I like discussing games with them is because they aren’t always on Reddit looking up every bit of information on an upcoming game, they’re not constantly checking out IGN or Game Informer to learn about the latest indie title that’s coming to their console. Instead, whenever I present a game to them that I think we all might like, I get a unique take because they aren’t constantly looking at everything like so many others are that cover this industry.
The three of us can’t wait to watch E3 together. As I’ve said multiple times now, it gives us a chance to all discover something together. Because at some point during one of these press conferences, someone is going to show off a game and all three of us, along with the rest of the gaming community will lean forward in our chairs and collectively ask the question, “wait, what was that game?”
Like so many on the internet, I’ll be doing my best to cover E3 and while I’ll obviously have the more classic E3 style articles discussing what happened during the major conferences, I do plan on trying my best to discuss all of the craziness that’s going on at this year’s conference in a more unique way. And before I go, it would be a mistake on my part not to share one of my absolute favorite gaming moments of all time. For your viewing pleasure, here is Game Trailers crew, now Easy Allies, freaking out over the announcements of Final Fantasy 7 and Shenmue 3.