Surviving the Post E3 Blues
There comes a time every year, in many cases several times a year when video game software and hardware companies all get together to showcase their biggest and brightest new projects. The biggest of these conventions is known as E3 or (electronic entertainment expo.) E3 is an event that happens every summer and lasts for several days. Each day is filled to the brim with millions of dollars spent on showcases, demos, amazing tech, and inventive ways to attract attention to their most cherished projects.
This year Microsoft revealed the brand new Porsche 911 GT2 RS during their reveal of their new racing game Forza Horizon 7 during the reveal of their Xbox One X. Sony had live trapeze artists dressed like zombies hanging from the top of the stage whose sole purpose was to wiggle in sync with the zombies on the screen of the gameplay demo for Days Gone, which was also accompanied by bursts of fire from the front of the stage. One year Ubisoft had a life sized, animatronic mammoth to promote Far Cry Primal, some companies hire celebrities to attract viewers and most of them live stream the chaos so no one has to miss a thing.
With all of this flare it's easy to get caught up in the hype. You might catch yourself tweeting about a reveal trailer, posting articles on facebook, or texting your friend about which games or console you can't wait to get. This massive wave of new gaming possibilities means that your next year will be filled with nothing but good times and zero gain PVP matches with your friends, right? Well... This is sort of accurate.
In the days following E3 and many of these expos, the sad realization of much of the gaming news can quickly pull the breaks on your personal hype train. Maybe during the reveal of that one game, you missed the release date (if there is one,) set for two or three years down the road. Maybe that cool collectors edition you saw is close to $200 but your friend had said it was like... $50, tops. Maybe the early access Beta footage starts to come out a few months later and you realize the review trailer was bunk and that the graphics and gameplay aren't at all what was advertised. For many, the said realization comes when you start to total up the cost of all the games you're "totally gonna get on release date" and figure out you can maybe get one or two of them plus the extra season pass for the DLC.
With all of this post-expo anxiety, how does one cope with it? Well, first of all, stop taking things so seriously. Gamers of all ages and platforms are guilty of taking things waaaayyyy too seriously. "Your console sucks,' 'that is trash,' 'why would you be excited for that,' 'the first one wasn't even that great,' 'if this game isn't the best one ever i'm going to boycott gaming forever." It's all too common to hear this commentary spoken, sith style, in absolutes when all they might know about a game for sure is the title. Here's a list of things to do to avoid the E3 Blues.
- Be Realistic About Your Budget - It's pretty common now for AAA titles to cost somewhere around $60 at launch and indie titles to be somewhere around $20-$50. Most of these however have multiple editions and varying amounts of DLC. While it can be hard to hear your friends talking about how fun that one title is that you couldn't afford, be realistic in knowing you can't own them all (at launch.)
- Avoid The Hype Train - These gaming companies know how to get you hooked. A pre rendered game trailer with cutting edge graphics and thrilling game play can hook even the most stubborn gamer. While it's ok to get excited you need to keep your expectations in check. Sometimes an old franchise you thought was dead will get a new title but it's from a different studio. Sometimes the live demo you played is an alpha version and lots of things can change before release.
- Check Multiple Sources - With so many gaming resources available it can be easy to sift through and find a couple the speak to your interests. Gaming journalists however can be paid, or biased on their reviews of hardware and software. Read everything with slight uncertainty until things are confirmed by the studio or several different sources.
- GAME DEVS CAN LIE - This has got to be the worst because it's bad information coming straight from the source. Yes I'm looking at you Hello Games. No Mans sky was a trash fire that was started by Sean Murray. His many interviews and TV appearances gave gamers expectations for a game that they would never fully obtain.
- Good Things Come To Those Who Wait - It's hard to even think about not purchasing a beautiful looking game at launch but the early bird doesn't always get the best worm. Mass Effect Andromeda is a great example of this. A classic franchise with a new entry, this game sold a ton of pre-orders because some people just can't wait. Those gamers including the ones who bought it at launch were greeted by a broken mess that was underdeveloped and lacked all the good vibes the gamers felt from the E3 trailers and demos.
These expos are important for the industry because these projects are huge investments for the companies and the need reassurances that wallets will be loose when their product is made available. As with any product though, you need to a smart shopper. Don't act like a whiny pleb and comment about how "you're gonna kill the game devs while you hook up with their mom" because you got duped. Buyers remorse is real and it seems exceptionally violent in the gaming world. So watch the live events, read the reviews, play the demos, but don't fall victim to the E3 Blues.