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#1 Posted by VincentVendetta (521 posts) -

I first had this thought last year I think, after watching the EA press conference, and this year simply confirmed it: I've come to hate E3. I hate the face that the biggest event of the year in video games is us sitting in front of a computer watching trailers and marketing for days. I am amazed at the amount of pre-release material for games that will come out in months or even years, only to be released, consumed and promptly forgotten - and also the amount of discourse on this internet for games that haven't come out yet, to the point people rate actual press conferences and marketing. Why are we doing this? What the fuck is wrong with us?

Obviously it's not all bad; I'm thankful for the after hours late shows on this website, but it's because this goes beyond the original mission of the expo.

Am I alone in thinking this? Am I crazy? Is this something I should just accept?

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#3 Posted by MerxWorx01 (840 posts) -

Whether or not you like it we are consumers. This site is literally built around discussing and engaging with retail products.

If your coming to realize this and no longer want to participate in this capitalist ritual that's fine, but realize that unless you decide to go live in the woods it's hard to escape discussion or grading of practically anything.

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#4 Edited by devise22 (730 posts) -

The other thing that is easy to forget is this stuff is also more for casuals. Not in like a degrading way either or anything, it's just not everyone consumes the industry every day like some of us. They like to treat these big events as their moment to be able to take time out of their regular lives to focus on games coverage, even if only for a weekend, or a week, or whatever have you. It's why you see so many trailers covering things we already knew, or just basically existing to hype/market specific things. Because to some audiences, it's all they will see.

I wouldn't take any "rating of press conferences" to serious heart. That type of stuff happens half in earnest most of the time, and comes because if we are going to spend the time every year to watch this stuff us talking about and eventually "rating" our thoughts on how they were presented/handled is just kind of a byproduct to the whole process. Nobody with a brain thinks that the industry lives or dies on E3, and most people acknowledge it for the self indulgent "omega trailer awesome time" that it even leans into.

Personally I love E3. There is an aspect to seeing how not just business people but developers and creatives attempt to market their games when they know they have audience that interests me. It gives you a layer of detail about how the people making the games perceive what they are making to a degree, and then when you tie that up into publishers and specific conferences it can add to some of the narratives already built.

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#5 Posted by Atlas (2739 posts) -

I'm with you 100%. E3 is something that I can't appreciate anymore. I used to eat it all up - the hype, the trailers, the debate about which publishers had the best lineups, speculation, drama, etc. - but I guess I got too old and cynical. It's not even something I can enjoy being snarky about - I can't enjoy hating E3, if that makes sense. I just hate it. Especially the cringy stage presentations/press conferences. Too many games I don't care about and will never play, or some new industry bullshit.

Games I like and will want to play will find their way to me. I don't need E3 as a consumer, and I don't feel like I need it to be part of "the culture", because frankly, I've tried to keep myself at arms reach from gaming culture over the past few years. I'm happy being an observer on the madness - I can claim a "game culture" visa, but I wouldn't get an actual passport and be truly accepted.

The Elder Scrolls IV is the one game, one piece of media, that I want more than any other. Oblivion and Skyrim are my #1 and 2 games of all-time, and I watched the whole damn Bethesda press conference to see if it was there (and to see if Fallout 76 was going to be a game I want to play, which, ehhh jury's still out). It was really disappointing to get just that little teaser after they announced so much other stuff, including that they're working on a game before TESVI that's so far off that they didn't say anything about it, but they super realsy promise that they're working on TESVI after that. I thought to myself "why the hell did you watch that whole thing?". A few years ago, a reveal like that would have me jumping out of my chair. Now, I don't think there's any video game announcement that would get me that hyped.

I'm past hype. I'm vehemently anti-hype. Things like E3, Magic: The Gathering card spoiler season, film trailers - they all killed the idea of hype for me.

If you enjoy and get excited for E3, then more power to you. 5-6 years ago, I'd be right there on the hype train with you. No shade, no judgement, this is purely me talking about me - I can't do it anymore. I changed.

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#6 Edited by nutter (2110 posts) -

I dunno. I usually watch the Microsoft and Sony conferences direct, and the others with GB commentary.

...and that’s about it.

A decade ago I paid more attention and was exposed to more idiotic debates, sometimes dragging myself into it. Jeff brought up the Killzone 2 is real bit, which brought back some memories of thinking half the Internet is insane for buying into that line...

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#7 Posted by FrostyRyan (2920 posts) -

Why are we doing this? What the fuck is wrong with us?

Nothing. We're just having fun getting excited about video games because we like video games. No reason to overthink it like this

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#8 Posted by gamer_152 (14746 posts) -

I totally get where you're coming from, but I would say that E3 is more than just trailers and that showcases of games can go beyond conventional marketing materials. For me, I'm frustrated that so many judgements are made about games at E3 based on brief advertisements and minimal details. It allows companies to tightly control our perception of games, imparting us with an image of what they want us to think a game will be without any such evidence that it will fulfil those expectations. We've been misled based on such marketing again and again, and we're at a time when the unscrupulous practices of the industry should be pushing us towards asking more questions and demanding more transparency from these companies. Yet, it doesn't seem that there's any heightened scepticism towards the methods of advertisement that the industry uses. There is a general phobia of discussing serious real-world issues in gaming spaces such as politics and economics, at the same time as considerable concern about anti-consumer practises, but we need to discuss the politics and economics of the industry to not get screwed over by companies. In this case, while we can enjoy E3, we also need to understand trailers as marketing materials and games as products, not ideal pieces of entertainment untouched by socioeconomic forces that are entirely transparent and not used to manipulate us in some way.

In the face of all that, there are still press conferences and a lot of parts of E3 I enjoy, but they tend to be in the areas where companies are more transparent about their games. Where instead of giving us a trailer and a short feature list, we get to see some of the game running, because in those sorts of demos, we get a more accurate look at what the game will actually be like to play, and there are fewer secrets that the companies can hide.

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#9 Posted by ShaggE (9261 posts) -

For me, personally, all that hype train stuff and ranking of presentations is all in good fun. It's fodder for the internet equivalent of water cooler talk. Speculating on upcoming games, joking about whatever weird things happened on stage, shit, that's half the fun of this whole hobby for me. The actual "playing games" part is only maybe 35-40% of the reason I'm even into gaming these days.

I mean, yeah, it's all marketing bullshit and such, but I don't see why knowing that should preclude enjoying it for what it is.

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#10 Posted by VincentVendetta (521 posts) -

@gamer_152: I don't quite see game demos as more "transparent" than trailers all that much, you need to remember most of those demos are running on tight ropes, and they break if one veers five feet to the left - there are many examples of game downgraded to run on optimal specs. One way or another, they are both encapsulated in this claustrophobic light show filled with crowds and big stages. I feel that's the reason why so many people think fondly of Microsoft's press conference this year; it basically says "Hey remember the E3 of your youth? That was awesome, right? Let's go back to that!" Thing is, that's not something I want or need anymore: I'm 25 now, I grew up.

But perhaps this practice in only logical in a medium constructed entirely on a constant technological race, always living in the future, with barely any present and with nostalgia replacing history. There is always one game, one console coming soon that is more advanced that shall replace the previous one, and we must always pay 60$ to 400$ just to stay in touch. (That's basically Suda51's statement in No More Heroes) Therefore, it makes sense that E3 is its biggest manifestation.

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#11 Edited by mellotronrules (2591 posts) -

i think it all depends on your approach. there's no denying that e3 traditionally has been one giant commercial, trying to sell you a promise via smoke and mirrors.

but it's also a milestone event that provides a real glimpse at the state of the industry. the flipside of every 'call to action' to preorder is the blood, sweat, and tears that devs pour into that first glimpse of a work. just listen to cowboy talk about their TLoU2 trailer- sometimes it's the morale boost they need to see a thing through.

it's hard for me to hate it when it just is what it is. it's not intended to be a fan festival or gdc- it's a place where business and marketing happen. it's the fandom surrounding the raw business that i find most distasteful- but that's easy to avoid.

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#12 Posted by Mamba219 (267 posts) -

Yeah I kind of stopped paying attention to it a long time ago. Uninterested in getting hyped to buy things anymore. I'm pretty content to let things trickle out and buy them at my leisure, or not at all.

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#13 Posted by Brendan (9212 posts) -

I like getting hyped for future games. As a now busy full time working person I don't watch trailers anymore, and only have time to listen to the GB podcasts and watch some of their members series. E3 is that one part of the year when I block off time to watch a bunch of stuff I don't normally. It's like a video game staycation!

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#14 Posted by CrazyBagMan (1646 posts) -

I feel like I might be with you. This was the first year I didn't follow it very closely, and didn't care. Eh. Wasn't super exciting from what I saw anyway.

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#15 Posted by DanishingAct (414 posts) -


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#16 Posted by Naoiko (1676 posts) -

I had a similar conversation with my husband this year about E3. I still like parts of it, but yeah your not wrong. The only thing I liked about it this year was the sales that happen during E3. Honestly though they weren't amazing ether.

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#17 Edited by Stephen_Von_Cloud (1668 posts) -

I can have some fun with it but at this point you are mostly right. Things have changed so much. Back in the day I remember reading 6 page long IGN previews that would break down every single bit of a demo in minute detail. Now I often want to hear just enough to be sold then nothing more.

The Publisher Events/Shows are becoming so uneventful and uninteresting that if it wasn't for GB talking over it I couldn't imagine getting a minute of interest out of it now. Gaming itself has diversified so much. I see people go crazy about stuff like Last of Us II but that doesn't look fun, interesting, or new for a second of that demo they showed to me. I used to get something out of everything watching generally but that's just not gaming anymore.

Times change and E3 is something boring now.

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#18 Posted by Casepb (674 posts) -

I still love it. Mainly for the many new trailers and new game announcements. I've always enjoyed video game news though.

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#19 Posted by Superharman (301 posts) -

I enjoy it to a point, when it becomes a game though, that just seems off. Deciding which corporation outdid the other (especially this year when the biggest story around gaming is Fortnite and it wasn't mentioned on a single stage) is just kind of short sighted really. Couple this with the fact that what will likely, single player sales wise, be the biggest game of the year in RDR 2 wasn't even there.

The focus on what's next is also getting annoying, the comment that really gets me is, "E3 is Christmas for gamers!" No, Christmas is Christmas for gamers because you should be getting games as gifts to play as opposed to watching trailers of things that are unknown quantities.

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#20 Posted by FlashFlood_29 (4414 posts) -

Are you watching E3 against your will?

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#21 Posted by mems1224 (2505 posts) -

I love e3. It's just a fun time and I like seeing what is coming out soon and people's reactions to them. Don't care for the pissing match about what console has the most exclusives and all that. I just want to see these companies put on a good presentation and show what we have to look forward to.

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#22 Posted by Milkman (19286 posts) -

The whole thing is completely stupid when you really think about it. Thousands of people coming together to watch and talk about a bunch of commercials. There's a bigger discussion to be had about consumerism and this deranged idea of brand/corporate loyalty in our society but all that being said, I still do enjoy it. Now, a huge part of that is because of the Giant Bomb night shows but I still get excited about the press conferences and thinking about who had the best showing every year. It is what it is and I think we do things all the time in our lives that really make little to no sense when you step back and examine it. But I'm probably going to keep getting excited for E3 until it doesn't exist anymore even if everything you said is right.

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#23 Posted by FacelessVixen (2577 posts) -

I don't get caught up in hype at any time of the year since that tends to build unreasonable expectations which usually result in a slew of negative opinions and complaining if or when said games come out, so getting overly excited about games and arguing with people over 'who won E3' isn't something that I've been into since my late teens back on GameTrailers. As for E3 itself, I do need to watch the press conferences (as in play them in the background while I'm doing something else) with other people's commentary since the idea of watching them raw seems pretty boring without a second party pointing out certain games or random things that happen during the press conferences, and it certainly makes E3 more enjoyable if I'm watching with like-minded people. So I gotta be honest, watching the press conferences with Super Best Friends Play, particularly Woolie drowning out the boring parts with Devil May Cry 5's soundtrack, was significantly more enjoyable than listening to the Giant Bomb crew (and community) shit on Kingdom Hearts for the umpteenth time.

So in other words, it's less about the event itself and more about whose coverage I'm watching and who I'm talking to about what games were shown.

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#24 Edited by DinosaurCanada (938 posts) -

E3 is a gigantic commercial that mainly spawns stupid internet conversations but so is a whole lot of shit we love. Its all business but what else is there to do.

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#25 Posted by Luchalma (538 posts) -

I mean, if I really think about it, yeah it's a bit silly that big corporations have turned what are essentially advertisements for preorders into appointment television.

But we all just like seeing cool new games. So meh.

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#26 Edited by bybeach (6350 posts) -

Not sure I watch E3 with GB for the show itself. Though they have let civilians in, it is still a shindig for the Industry, people go to see the sights, smooze and party. For me it's more Giant Bomb staff going there, bringing us all along, and entertain us with the goings on, talk over shows, funny Vlogs, and excellent Jeff interviews and hosting. Jeff really shines there.

Otherwise, I would not care much. Just give me the trailers and see what appeals in 1-3 minutes, or not. At least this year seemed that way.

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#27 Posted by deckard (354 posts) -

@bybeach said:

Not sure I watch E3 with GB for the show itself. Though they have let civilians in, it is still a shindig for the Industry, people go to see the sights, smooze and party. For me it's more Giant Bomb staff going there, bringing us all along, and entertain us with the goings on, talk over shows, funny Vlogs, and excellent Jeff interviews and hosting. Jeff really shines there.

Otherwise, I would not care much. Just give me the trailers and see what appeals in 1-3 minutes, or not. At least this year seemed that way.

Yeah - if the GB crew didn't do their thing every year my complete E3 experience would probably be to watch a few trailers. This gets brought up every year but E3 is about 3-5 years away from being completely irrelevant. The "exclusive reveals," the press conferences, the "who won E3?" discussions, all of it seems so anachronistic in 2018. Gaming has evolved so far beyond a trade show based on retail partner relationship management, which is (or was) the primary purpose of E3 in the first place.

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#28 Posted by The_Greg (539 posts) -

I love E3. It's a positive event that's all about releasing news about games. I never usually get hyped about games, but really enjoy a week of getting excited about games to come.

There are specific things that happen that I hate though. The main one in E3 2018 was the Jedi Fallen Order announcement. Absolute embarrassment.

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#29 Posted by soulcake (2753 posts) -

Aside from Microsoft's show and other nit bit's like some of the Ubi stuff and Bethesda stuff. E3 was disappointing and it's only gonna get worse from here cause trade shows ain't a thing anymore. Fuck, Jeff at the Microsoft mixr stage is what E3 has become fucking top ten lists. Goodjob for Jeff being professional cause i would't have lost my mind 20 minutes in.

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#30 Edited by TheRealSeaman (133 posts) -

E3 is getting too stale and rehearsed.

Bring Back the Cringe, where my Miisicians at?

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#31 Edited by Wibblefish (102 posts) -

I love the anticipation of E3 but as soon as the event itself is over I get bored of E3 related stuff and just want my favourite content producers to get back to their normal output, such as The Exquisite Corps.

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#32 Posted by CreepyUncleBrad (229 posts) -

Well, of course E3 is all marketing and stuff, it is a trade show. But the thing they are marketing is video games, which I enjoy and am interested in. Sometimes it is fun to talk to other people about what they liked and didn't like. Sometimes stuff is awkward and forced which just gives me a good laugh. I feel like the OP is painting a picture of everyone pinning all of their hopes and dreams on E3 and becoming some sort of mindless corporate zombie when in reality most people who watch/discuss it just are interested to see trailers for games and stuff. Obviously some people take it too seriously but I don't think it is anywhere near a majority so I don't think we really need to ask ourselves "what the fuck is wrong with us?"

If the whole style of hyperbole and marketing buzz words and stuff turns you away from it, or you don't want to hear too much about the games or whatever that's understandable, I just think getting this worked up over it is taking it more seriously than 95% of the people who watch it.

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#33 Posted by Vookatos (21 posts) -

I understand your general thoughts, OP, but I do think you might be overthinking it a bit. After all, same can be said for all sorts of things. Various sports events, for example, have so much shit accosiated with them, I wonder how some people care. And they aren't that different from E3 for us, regular people. You watch stuff, alone or in a group. Many people go as far as to declare a "winner".

I think there are a lot of reasons to hate E3, but it being marketing is not on the top of the list. It's ok to love a commercial for a thing you think you'll enjoy in the future.

I think I enjoy it less and less each year, too, so I just decided to not care about E3's intentions. For me, and it seems some others, it's a way to riff on awkward and weird conferences with a group of friends (or sometimes just strangers on the internet). If there's a good video game - good. I might buy it and enjoy myself. If not, it's probably just funny. Thinking about it as an event you watch together definitely removes that layer of insane amounts hype, which is a bit weird and usually leads to disappointment.

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#34 Posted by SASnake (612 posts) -

I dont get whats wrong about seeing upcoming videogames.

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#35 Edited by Cheetoman (525 posts) -

Your hate for E3 doesn't make sense. It's because of E3 that you get all the great stuff surrounding it including the late show talks.

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#36 Posted by breq (107 posts) -

The amount of "You're right, but what else is there?" responses is REALLY off-putting.

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#37 Posted by Atlas (2739 posts) -

@breq said:

The amount of "You're right, but what else is there?" responses is REALLY off-putting.


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#38 Posted by MistaSparkle (2291 posts) -

There are definitely people in your same shoes who like video games but don't want to engage with this part of the culture. I personally love E3 and Giantbomb's coverage of it, it's my favorite time of the year; although, there are also comic fans/movie fans/whatever who just do not enjoy the conventions and fanfare of big reveal events. They just want to enjoy the end product whenever it's available, and that's fine.

I don't think it's immature of people to get hyped about these events, but I understand that over time some things just don't excite you in the ways they used to. If you want to enjoy video games, but not associate with this part of them then go for it. Do what makes you happy, and the people who love E3 are going to be doing the same and there's nothing wrong with that or them for doing so. And if you are looking for a game related experience that doesn't revolve around just sitting at home watching trailers, there's always PAX!

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#39 Posted by Ungodly (446 posts) -

I don’t watch the conferences when they happen, and I’m not prone to getting hyped. I just watch out of curiosity, and at my own leisure. It’s a show that happens once a year, where companies that make the games I play, sell me on the new games I’ll be playing. It’s always been a marketing show, and if you’re uncomfortable about it, then don’t watch it. You don’t have to experience anything relating to E3, if you don’t want to. The whole “who won E3” thing is something I absolutely don’t give a shit about now, and really that has never been a thing for me. Also, there are plenty of games that I wanted to play after seeing them unveiled at E3, that I still play regularly and adore.

Honestly I think it’s weirder to say that you “hate E3”. It only has as much power over you, as you allow it to.