Thursday, June 12, 2014

E3 Excuses

Image from PopMatters
I’ve been traveling this week, which means I’m just now getting caught up on E3 news. Before I left, I wrote a little bit about why I still bother following the show.

Glancing through the highlights (or perhaps we should lowlights?) I see that my assumptions that E3 will continue to be gross were well founded. Polygon’s coverage on the high amount of violence and the low amount of diversity suggests that the big companies (or at least their marketing departments) haven’t heard or don’t care about people’s calls for variety.

I’m also increasingly uncomfortable with the amount of money spent on the event. I find it weird that many of the games that get splashy reveals seem to be the ones that don’t need the press. Activision is going to spend ridiculous amounts of money promoting Call of Duty, so what’s the point of a huge E3 booth? Is the momentary hype all that important? In a world where Kickstarter and independent games are increasingly successful with little-to-no marketing campaign, should the way companies spend money change? When I look at a huge booth for a well-known game, I can’t help but see the a small game that never was.

Despite all this, I can’t help but get excited about the unknown. It’s probably just downright hypocritical, but the big reveals still draw me in. Thanks to today’s constant news cycle and steady stream of premature content leaks, surprises are infrequent. This rarity makes them even more alluring, which means I’ll probably keep paying attention to E3 for the foreseeable future as a guilty pleasure that I indulge once a year.

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