Over the years I’ve found myself more interested in the developers that take to the stage during the press conferences of E3, rather than the huge AAA titles; I find myself more intrigued by what this unknown industry worker that trembled their way onto the stage, now with the voice of either a large publisher of hardware manufacturer reaching out to hundreds of thousands of people at the same time to discuss their most passionate creations.
It’s nothing new, the excitement of overwhelmed developers is apparent in at least one or two conferences each year, reaching as far back as I can remember paying full attention to each annual event. Although, this year, PlayStation’s E3 2017 press conference reminded me that times are changing: E3 is now a public event. The focus for these major publishers and developers will no longer be their press conferences, given the real challenge will be the following days in which they can finally show their games to the real consumers which can actually try them out and provide live feedback.
Taken from Polygon, they too have found PlayStation’s conference to be, well, very different:
“After attending the PlayStation 4 conference tonight, I walked back into Polygon’s E3 HQ. I wanted to ask a question: Could anyone recall a Big Hardware E3 media event in which only one person took the stage?
No one had an answer. I tried Twitter as well. Nothing.
Sony Interactive Entertainment America president Shawn Layden was the one and only person to appear on stage at tonight’s event. He wasn’t on stage for long. He offered very little rah-rah. He basically introduced a long sequence of video previews at the beginning and then said his goodbyes at the end.”
Although, in an interview with Polygon, Shawn Layden stated his appearances on stage are limited for personal reasons, dragging into the whole unusual fame aspect that comes with being the president of Sony Interactive Entertainment America, but Sony wasn’t the only developer/publisher to resort to a near-entirely digital presentation: Bethesda’s lacking conference was displayed through their kinda cute “Bethesdaland” series of cute theme-park-styled animations that would introduce us to the next, well, unimaginative surprise.
This more digital approach to presenting the latest in videogames has been used by Nintendo for years, and while some do enjoy that, I think we are losing something very special if others are to follow: E3 shines when these small developers are given a major spotlight to use in order to finally speak about the projects they’ve invested so much time and effort into over the last few years. It shows that deep within the millions of dollars AAA titles invest, there’s a seriously passionate and unheard group of voices just waiting to be heard. And often, those voices have a lot to say.
This is what we stand to lose: