Broken promises of E3 2016 – which studios held up their end of the bargain?
The Electronic Entertainment Expo is arguably the biggest annual event in the gaming industry. With highly-anticipated press conferences preceding the opening of the actual convention floor, E3 manages to generate buzz well ahead of its actual opening. It’s a carefully orchestrated event, available exclusively to members of the press – while everyone wants in, only the select few are given the coveted all access pass. Each year, journalists from around the globe travel to LA’s Convention Center in order to review the future of gaming. With unexpected announcements, reveal trailers and actual gameplay on display, E3 is oftentimes painted as the promised land for gamers.
Unfortunately, many fail to take into account the fact that the convention is also a game of politics – it’s about competitors taking the upper hand, revealing only their strengths while deflecting their weaknesses. It’s about making promises, to fans and shareholders, and about eliciting awe in order to keep the momentum going. Every single year, we happily fall for the same charades without actually holding the Expo to its own high standards. In this article, we’ll take a look at the biggest commitments made at E3 2016 and whether developers were able to materialize their promises.
#1 – NO MAN’S SKY.
I’m starting off this list with a game I have been personally disappointed by. When Sony presented “No Man’s Sky” at E3, the gameplay looked amazing – herds of creatures running wild, alien reptiles looming in the distance and a vastly open galaxy offering unlimited possibilities. When the title was released, we got none of the epic environment we were lead on by initially. The actual game did feature an extensive world but lacked any of the elements that made it buzzworthy in the first place. Whether ‘Hello Games’ is to blame for its own failure or media outlets simply should not have created an unwarranted hype, the pay-off was underwhelming and the drop-off rate unusually high. The game was a disappointment because it didn’t live up to its promises. What once looked like an adventure turned out to be plain boring.
#2 – THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: Breath of The Wild.
E3 as a thing for open-map games. When Nintendo announced its latest addition to the Zelda universe, it revealed the map would be a staggering twelve times larger than the one in Twilight Princess. The playable demo offered at the convention offered a sneak peek by showcasing a mere one percent of the newly created world. After having been delayed once before in 2015, the studio confirmed it would finally launch somewhere in 2017. Unfortunately, in April 2016, Nintendo announced they had pushed back ‘Breath of The Wild’ well into 2017 in order to prepare for a simultaneous release on both Wii U and Switch. While the game still looks promising, we still don’t have a set release date.
#3 – XBOX ONE S & PROJECT SCORPIO.
One thing we always look forward to at E3 are the reveals of new hardware. While game revelations are exciting, new toys simply trump everything. Microsoft one-upped everyone at the convention by not announcing one, but two new consoles in the span of a few hours. The Xbox One S, the slimmer and cheaper version of its predecessor was released in August and delivered on its promises – it supports all Xbox One games and the power brick is finally gone. If project Scorpio lives up to its promises as well as the Xbox One S, we’re looking at a whole new beast as it will be one of the most powerful consoles for mass audiences out there, carrying a whopping six teraflops of graphics power and an octa-core CPU. To be continued.
#4 – MICROSOFT: PLAY ANYWHERE.
Like most developers, Microsoft would only allow its users to buy and play games for a specific platform – until now. In its press conference at E3 2016, the developer announced it just didn’t care anymore about where you played its games. Maybe their new philosophy had something to do with the fact that the Xbox One continues to lag behind the PS4 in sales but as it turns out – it works. As you buy a game on Xbox One, you can now seamlessly play it on Windows 10. A few months after the release, game streaming has shown a lot of potential with minor bugs and features that need to be worked out properly. While it’s still missing a few things, it’s on its way to being what was promised.
#5 – SONY DOUBLES DOWN ON VR.
After the announcement of the PSVR, Sony announced the gory details of Resident Evil 7 at E3 2016. As the studio is rolling out more titles for its newest virtual reality platform, they revealed that Resident Evil: Biohazard will be fully compatible on the VR system – if you think you can stomach it. The reviews for the game’s demo are in and if they are anything to go one, Sony sure is delivering.
While each edition of E3 has its promises, not all are kept within the timeframe that is given. Usually, though, the studios and developers make sure to deliver, albeit with a little delay.