This E3, we were pleasantly surprised by a number of games shown off during the major publishers’ conferences, including the excellent Resident Evil 2 remake, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.Yet not every choice made during E3 was a smart one. From messaging snafus to announcement-light events, these are the biggest mistakes made during E3 2018.
During Ubisoft’s E3 press conference, we saw a gameplay preview of the long-awaited sequel Beyond Good & Evil 2, which is an extremely ambitious open-world game with enormous environments and a ton of customization options. It’s so ambitious that Ubisoft wants the community’s help in creating everything from art and music to written copy for in-game radio messages. With the help of actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s company HitRecord, fans can have their work appear in Beyond Good & Evil 2 a dream come true for those who have waited over a decade for the sequel.
Ubisoft and Gordon-Levitt failed to mention any details on compensation for user-submitted content, however, leading us to speculate if they would be soliciting this work for free. As it turns out, HitRecord will be paying those who get their work put in the game, but it remains unclear how much money is being allotted to this. Gordon-Levitt said $50,000 has been initially set aside with more possible in the future, but Ubisoft should be willing to pump far more cash into the program if they want quality work.
There is little doubt that Electronic Arts’ upcoming mobile strategy game Command & Conquer: Rivals will make the publisher a ton of cash through microtransactions, as we’ve seen from other mobile spinoffs like Nintendo’s Fire Emblem Heroes.
However, the Command & Conquer series was basically dead before Rivals was announced, and no other mainline entry for PC or consoles was announced alongside the mobile game. This meant franchise fans had to sit and watch their beloved series reduced to a one-versus-one small-scale duel, with no promise of another game to follow.
Were Electronic Arts to even announce a remastered collection of the Red Alert games alongside Rivals, it would have given players the peace of mind that the publisher wasn’t reducing the series to a simple cash grab. As it stands, however, they aren’t happy, with the video’s “like” bar on YouTube almost impossible to see.
Bethesda’s E3 2018 Showcase was one of the best of the entire event, if the not the best outright. Games like The Elder Scrolls VI and Doom Eternal were officially announced, with the latter releasing in 2019. Also announced was the much-rumor science-fiction game Starfield, which is the next title from Bethesda Game Studios and director Todd Howard.
All we saw from Starfield was a short clip of a satellite floating next to a planet before the game’s title appeared on-screen. This would have been perfectly fine as a teaser, but Howard later confirmed that Starfield is in a playable state. If that’s the case, why not show off a small bit during the Bethesda conference?
Square Enix usually skips its own press conference at E3, preferring to announce new games and details during the Xbox, Nintendo, and Sony shows — but after several years away, the company held its own event in 2018. We were hoping that meant several new game announcements were on the way, including news on the Final Fantasy VII remake, or additional Nintendo Switch games.
Instead, we got a whole lot of nothing. The majority of the trailers and gameplay we saw had already been introduced during Microsoft’s show, including the announcement of Just Cause 4 and the Xbox One port of Nier: Automata. An all-new look at Kingdom Hearts III’s Pirates of the Caribbean world wasn’t shown until Sony’s conference, and the two new game announcements The Quiet Man and Babylon’s Fall — told us almost nothing about the titles aside from their developers.
Head of Xbox Phil Spencer has made a big deal about removing the barrier between players on different platforms, opening up multiplayer across different devices, and launching Xbox One games on PC. It’s a philosophy that lets more players enjoy Microsoft’s games — so it came as an unpleasant surprise when the company announcedGears Tactics would only be coming to PC.
Strategy games play best with a mouse and keyboard, sure, but they can be played on a console. XCOM 2 is perfectly serviceable with a game pad, and is turn-based just like Gears Tactics. Even the real-time Halo Wars 2 released on Xbox One. The decision to leave out console players who made the Gears franchise successful is downright bizarre.
An E3 press conference is meant to get players hyped to try out your new games, even if they won’t be releasing for a year or more. Microsoft and Bethesda clearly understood this with the massive number of new games they announced, but Nintendo instead chose to focus nearly its entire show on the many characters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The company announced that every character from previous games would be coming to the game, and chose to detail them for over fifteen minutes.
Aside from a sizzle reel of a few indie games, Fortnite, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, and Super Mario Party, Nintendo didn’t have anything to announce. It left us wondering what to expect from the Switch in future, as previously announced games like Bayonetta 3 and Metroid Prime 4 didn’t even get teasers. We also didn’t hear anything about brand-new franchises, and given the rapidly growing player-base for the Switch, Nintendo can afford to go in some weird directions. Consider us disappointed.