Its seems really weird to have an e3 where Sony has not had an event. There is a presence of course, we see the games, there are carataily enough PS4 logos on trailers, and there is discussion of what Sony has in store in regards to how it stacks up against Scarlet. Or, maybe it's just that overall there seems to be a muted atmosphere this year. There are games, there are innovative concepts being put forward; yet I think everyone is experiencing the 'shoe about to drop' sensation. I think for teh past few years people have asked if e3 can last, but this year seesm to be a year where the media in particular is saying, "Well, this is the last one, right?"
I think this year's e3 was hit with a dozens of whammies coming together
- Sony has no stage show
- Stadia is announced this year, seemly going to be a disruption to every aspect of gaming
- A general feeling that the 'value' proposition of buying a base game is not there - games don't cost $60...they really are the base + DLC
- The PC space is disrupted by AMD, coming off of a year with high prices for RAM, storage and limited availability of video cards
- VR is seeing much slower growth than people thought would occur
- The past five year have been marred by big-name unfinished games being released
- Loot crates, blind boxes and gambling mechanics
- Todd Howard, Randy Pitchford, and other CEOs continued unfaithfulness, without apologies
- PC gamers feeling disrupted by too many story fronts, their preferred storefront having games taken away
- A growing political, social, and cultural divide that game developers want to (& do) use as backdrop; but they fear offending anyone by taking a stand.
- The first six generation of consoles has expected price drops in hardware cost; however, the last two have not. Gaming has developed a high barrier to entry. A system start T $400-$500 and drop to $199, but really doesn't hit that $99 mark anymore. With gaming PC alos rising in pcie because of companat costs staying high gaming is expensive.
- Increasing awareness that a job in game development sucks. Long hours, abusive working conditions, always in crunch, and an awareness by trolls that they can silence people if they put enough pressure on a company
- Increasing awareness tech industry is broken and destroying the social fabric of some cities. Technology heavy cites are coming unliveable for the middle class - home prices crazy, homelessness out of control.
Many of these issues are not new, many of these issues have been occurring for years, but I think when all put together that make gaming feel "stressful" and "uncertain".
I think the biggest issue this year is there is no "big" positive concepts to latch on to. No new consoles this next year. No tech like VR to capture people's wonder. No "never seen before" game that say, "This is going to be huge!"