Funerals. I can’t stand them. I can understand the reasoning behind them, but every single one I’ve been to is so endlessly depressing. Again, I understand why, it’s hardly a happy occasion. Unless it was Hitler’s funeral.
Lately I’ve been thinking of my own mortality. Mostly because I’ve been working so much it felt like all I could do was die. Being shorthanded at work is draining on, well everything actually. But I’m getting off topic.
Last week we seemed to see the death of E3, the big convention that showcased all the hot new games that were due to be delayed for another year. It used to be a huge event but it was scaled down last year and went from being shown in the LA Convention Center to a bunch of hotel rooms and airplane hangars in Santa Monica. This year it went back to the Convention Center but from all accounts it was a shadow of it’s former self.
Everyone from analysts like Michael Pachter (seriously, how’d that guy get his job? He just seems to make bad guesses.) and the CEO of Electronic Arts John Riccitello think E3 gasped it’s last breath. And maybe it did. There was nothing even remotely earth shattering there this year. Even last year had a better showing. Nintendo and Sony’s offerings were pathetic and Microsoft’s wasn’t much better.
The games that were shown were either weak (Animal Crossing? Really?), unsurprising (God of War 3? They’re making one?! WOW!), or just something we already knew about (Gears of War 2. The game we all knew was coming the instant we played the first one.). Microsoft even seemed to pull a huge Halo announcement from Bungie at the last second because they didn’t think there was a reason to show it. Unbelievable. I guess we all needed to know about the Xbox Avatars instead.
I can accept that the game industry is changing. But I think it still needs shows like E3. Maybe not the spectacle it used to be with half naked “Booth Babes” showing off a game they’d never heard of until that morning, but something that celebrates gaming.
Earlier last week, John Riccitello mentioned that the upcoming BioWare MMO was indeed an Old Republic era Star Wars game. Why wasn’t that at E3?! I mean yeah, we knew it was coming, but show it off already! Don’t mention it in an interview as an offhand comment.
Maybe the Game Developers Conference will become E3 Jr. and I’d be okay with that. Because gaming has hit a high point in it’s lifespan. We’re seeing some of the most amazing products ever. It’d be a shame if there wasn’t a way to showcase them and get people hyped for them. Tone down the pomp and circumstance and just get us interested in the actual product, not the flash.