If you were to tell me last week there would be more Japanese Role Playing Games on Microsoft’s stage then Square Enix’s I would have laughed in your face. I would have done the same had you told me Spider-Man would be Sony’s capstone to their press event. However, that was the reality of the situation and in many ways it summed up E3 2018 for me.
Before we move on it must be established that we all know the hype and expectations of E3 can almost never actually be matched, E3 is an event that is almost always doomed to disappoint. However although we know that consciously we also hope subconsciously for the one in five magic every time. Sadly for E3 this wasn’t one of those times and actually it might go down as one of the worst E3's in recent memory.
That being said I think there is a reason for that. If you look at all the games announced, shown, and not shown a pattern clearly emerges. For games shown and demoed they almost all have a release date within the next 18 months - February 2019 looks especially dangerous for ones wallet. For the games announced and not shown everything looks quite further off.
There is a very clear reason for that, we are in the twilight period of this console generation. Regardless of what Sony or Microsoft says new consoles details will start leaking out very shortly, they always do, and the new consoles will likely see a 2020 release. Interestingly right around the time the announced games seem to be ready.
Bethesda’s Todd Howard, effectively let the cat out of the bag by saying their next large scale single player game Starfield would be “Next Gen” a phrase we haven’t heard in a whole. With The Elder Scrolls VI following after that. Considering how little was shown of either of those games its effeminately possible they both are being designs for next generation consoles and equivalent PCs.
If you accept this theory regarding the next generation it makes sense what all the Developers and Publishers showed off. They’re effectively cleaning house and preparing to move beyond the Eight Console generation which I remind you is five and a half years old counting from the release of the Xbox One and Playstation 4.
It also explains why some many of the games showed off seems so sameish. The Developers are largely holding back fresh ideas and IPs for the next generation where potentially they could be better realized. As such it makes perfect sense E3 2018 was a relative let down we are just in a bad part of the console generation.
It also lends hope to E3 2019. As this next year I believe is poised to be exciting. With major releases in twelve months to keep us playing long into the night and rumors leaking that will keep us talking even longer.
Effectively, E3 2019 has to be better because everything we’ve seen over the past two E3's (and longer) will have already been released. If there is going to be seven or eight hours of press events there needs to be new content to fill them. Personally thinking back of E3 2018 I am no longer that let down the next 12 months are packed to the brim with new games and we know even better ones are around the corner.
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