Top 10 Things About E3 I’m Sick Of

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Reggie, I love you, but even you're guilty of some things on this list.

E3 is that big magical event that happens in the gaming industry every year around June and this year it happens to occur on the 15th through 17th. Big games are announced, new hardware is revealed, and a whole lot of stuff that blows our minds hits us like a nuke. But guess what? I hate E3. Every year I get more and more annoyed whenever it comes around. Why? Part of it may be because I’m not there, but more than that it has to do with the Top 10 Things About E3 I’m Sick Off, such as…

10. Games We’re Expecting Don’t Show:

"Can't let you do that Star Fox." "Do what?" "Release a new game, apparently."

If you’re a diehard fan of a series that has a rather large fanbase and E3 comes around, you have some expectations for what you’d like to see. So when the convention comes and goes and something you’ve been waiting for, such as, oh, let’s say a new Star Fox game, ISN’T mentioned at all, things can get frustrating. Especially if this happens year after year. Even worse is when they show a game from your series, but it turns out to be anything but the game you really wanted. New Donkey Kong title? Nope, it’s probably just a Wii-gimmick game with Donkey Kong on the cover. Sad day. But even worse…

9. Games We Don’t Care About Appear:

And then female gamers wonder why male gamers are surprised they stuck around.

It can add insult to injury when Killer Instinct has eluded us again, for reasons that can only be “We didn’t feel it was financially the right time,” but we instead see a lineup of games that exist purely for ignorant parents to purchase for birthdays and Christmas. Yes, I realize that E3 is a trade show and sometimes they’re going to show games that all gamers aren’t going to care about, but when the companies make such a big deal about these titles and even go so far as to throw support behind them, placing them in the same reels showcasing the obviously good games already announced, then it gets annoying. But what could be more frustrating?

8. Endless Gameplay Footage:

After seeing enough footage and coverage and developer diaries for one game, I'm pretty much ready to let Kratos Apollo my head right off.

When I’ve heard about a game I want, that’s all I really need. Just give me a trailer and leave it at that. Mario’s back? Sweet. Oh what? Some website’s scored actual footage of the title from the trade floor? I don’t care. Perhaps this isn’t necessarily E3’s fault so much as gaming websites dumping any little bit of footage from the game onto their frontpage as soon as they get their capture dealies into the AV hook up. A little subtlety never hurt anyone. Don’t show us the opening cinematic of the game, even if we’ve been waiting for years. Just leave SOME things up for our imagination. However…

7. Teaser Trailers:

"Guys, sorry, I kinda need to jet. I just wanted to say hey."

Sometimes, we need a little bit more than nothing. If all you have to offer is a blank trailer with the words “The new game is coming” on the screen, that wasn’t worth seeing. Sometimes you don’t even see a full trailer for the game, but just a few seconds in a highlight reel of games the company says they’re making, maybe. Take Golden Sun on the DS. I’d sure like to know more about that one. How much do we know? Pretty much nothing. This year we’re supposed to hear about the new Zelda title for the Wii, but last year all we were given was a hushed mention and a single promotional image to pine over. Speaking of which…

6. Over-Analysis of Everything:

Video games are supposed to be made for entertainment purposes. Just shut up and enjoy them!

This is another problem with E3 that falls on the gaming sites to perpetuate and annoy me with. When a new trailer or gameplay footage or anything comes out, everyone goes nuts in an attempt to figure out the most minute of detail from a 30-second clip that essentially shows nothing. And of course game companies love this sort of over-analysis for their product because they don’t have to spend any more money on advertising. They just sit back smiling as people approach them with possible solutions to the puzzle and all they do is look coy and say, “Oh, you’ll see.” Now that you mention these important people…

5. Big Names Speaking:

I want to play a game where I raise Molyneux from a fetus to an E3 announcement, just so I can make the moral decision not to let him get on stage.

I can’t listen to Peter Molyneux say anything anymore. No, I don’t think his games are bad or anything, I just can’t listen to him, like most other big names in games, masturbate on camera for the internet crowd by saying his game is awesome, revolutionary, the next step, or all sorts of other crap that won’t be nearly as impressive if he just said, “Hey, we made a game and it’s pretty good.” Hideo Kojima seems to take the stage every year to say something about his new Metal Gear game and “surprise” everyone with the new features and what it could mean. He even went to far as announce his new Metal Gear game at Microsoft’s press conference, making it a possible Xbox exclusive, or so we thought…

4. “Exclusives” Announced:

Remember when this was the best game on the GameCube? Capcom apparently forgot really quick.

There is no such thing as an exclusive title in video games unless the title has been made clearly for the system’s company in question. All Mario games will be exclusive to the Wii and DS, much like all Ratchet and Clank games will be exclusive to the PS3. But everything else made by companies that generally make games for every console will inevitably be released on, surprise, all consoles. This is just a means for those big names in the industry to have something nifty to say at their press conference. Usually these exclusives tend to be exclusive for maybe a year, if even that, before they’re released to the other systems, or quietly mentioned to be a “timed-exclusive,” which ultimately means nothing to someone that buys their games used way after the fact, such as myself. But maybe these announcements aren’t aimed at me, such as…

3. Booth Babes:

"Video games? Ew, no, those are so gross. Just look at my rack and stop asking me questions."

I’m not a feminist or anything, but booth babes infuriate me on a basic level. Why? I don’t like being lied to in any manner. How does this relate to booth babes? Booth babes are placed in companies’ booths in order to draw the crowd to them and promote their games, purely by showing attractive women in chest-popping clothing. The implication is that either these women are just display pieces (which is also bad), or that they have a real connection to the games they’re posing for, and I know that’s not true. It’s the same reason I don’t go to Hooters since I know the waitress flirting with me is only doing so in order to make me give her a better tip. I can’t stand this amount of fakeness thrown in my face, and the degree that booth babes are more or less worshipped at E3, getting articles on gaming sites devoted to them, is sickening. But then again, you can’t have people ogling women without people, so maybe the problem is more closely tied to…

2. Fanboyism:

I hate all the systems for one reason or another by the way.

The fans of the show, or more specifically, the fans of their companies. You can’t utter a comment on a game website about how you like the PS3 without someone else telling them the 360 is better. You can’t mention how you love Smash Bros without someone slamming you over the head with how bad the multiplayer is and how much better it would be online on one of the other two consoles. Every new game for “your” company is looked down on by the elite fanboys of the other systems and vice versa. I’ve never hidden my love of Nintendo, but sometimes I acknowledge that they make some really strange decisions, such as renaming the Revolution the Wii or purposefully not releasing an HD Wii forever. I buy every first-party Nintendo game usually on Day One. However, I play games on my 360 more often because I’m catching up with games I missed, and I don’t play the PS3 much only because I don’t have enough money to buy one myself. None of this matters if I make a comment on Nintendo’s press conference and say, “Man, I really liked their showing this year, I think I’m most excited about what they’re gonna offer,” because someone else will inevitably come back at me with “facts” regarding how their company of choice is better and nothing you say will change their mind, possibly because their company said this next year was…

1. “The Year of the Blank”:

Oh hey, right, that PSP thing was supposed to be really great. How'd that turn out?

This is the single most annoying aspect of E3 or any other press conference held by game companies. Someone important to the company steps up on stage and proclaims at some time or another, “This is the year of our system,” or some variation of this. Sony, we all know this has been your defining fault for a while now. Every year Sony decides that “This is the year of the PS3,” and what happens? It sells okay and the games do well, but it ultimately turns out to be just another year. But that’s the thing about game companies: They talk a lot of @#%&. You can look up quotes from pretty much every company and find something really good that makes them sound stupid and, more often than not, hypocritical. Sony and Microsoft both seemed to hate on the Wiimote, but now they’re releasing their own motion-controls. Nintendo said that gamers didn’t care about online support, but then they released a console that had wi-fi built in. No one is innocent from this, and part of it is just the nature of the convention. They are required to get on stage and assure their investors that they have things completely in control. I get that from a business standpoint. But the conference, ultimately, becomes a spectacle that gobbles the internet and gaming community whole for the better part of a month, both before and after, so when someone makes a bold claim, they really need to have some humility when that doesn’t turn out to be true.

Arg, I think I’m done griping about E3 for now. I won’t be able to escape it completely for the next month, but I can at least show my distain here on a small-time website. What about you? What bothers you about E3 every year? Or do you completely disagree with my list? Do you think booth babes are the greatest thing ever to grace the gaming world? Or that every year really is the Year of the PS3? Let me know with a comment. How else will the world know which company you align with?

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Chris was the former Head Writer/Editor of Toy-TMA. He did a great job overseeing the site and getting new content published regularly. Always more than willing to respond to a comment or two, but pitiless with trolls! He has since moved on from TMA, and we wish him the best.

3 Comments

  1. your right the psp should have been great but guess what my little bro bought one on the day it came out and the @$#!ing thing broke when he dropped it, IN THE CASE. And that is why i hate sony and will never buy their products

  2. You know, I’m so glad you mentioned Star Fox right at the begining. It seems like I’ve been waiting for him, Donkey Kong, and Kirby to show up on the Wii forever.

    Most of these, I do agree with you. I personaly think a lot of the speakers at these press conferences are complete tools. And then they have the nerve to make fun of themselves on stage.
    Reggie (2008): That’s why they call me the ‘Reginator’
    …ugh…
    However, I hate to fall into your category of fanboyism right now, but I kind of like Jack Trenton. I think for single handedly running the last couple Sony conferences, he feels very easy going, genuinely funny, and kept the pacing of all his speaches real well. In 2008, he and the rest of Sony did the impossible by making the most boaring part of the E3 conference interesting to watch. By that, I mean when they took all their pie charts and graphs of their companies progress, and showed them by making a Little Big Planet level. I will admit that I genuinely believe that last year when they said it was Sony’s year, it was true, simply because they had such a huge amount of amazing games: InFamous, Ratchet and Clank, Uncharted 2 all in one year. I felt spoiled.
    I think this year could very easily be Nintendo’s, with Maro Galaxy 2, Metroid the Other M, and a new Zelda (one that’s actually made for the Wii and not a port.)

    Sony may suprise me again though. There’s already news of upcomming sequels for Little Big Planet and InFamous, as well as the third chapters of both Killzone and Resistance.

    As far as new IP’s go, “Enslaved: Odyssey to the West” is what I’m most curious about. That looks very interesting.

    Some things at E3, you just have to take with a grain of salt. I’ve had fun the last couple years watching them. And I am curious to see how Natal and PS Move evolve. Thank the gaming gods for G4 and their live coverage every year.

  3. I’m just happy E3 bounced back to be something mildly interesting. But lets face it, E3 is pretty much only for fanboys. Learning about games that are still a year out doesn’t matter to anyone except serious (read addict) gamers.

    My biggest problem with E3 presentations is how fabricated they all feel. It’s a bunch of suits that can’t speak and seemingly don’t know their audience. And if they go the other route, it’s people (celebs) than *can* talk and get some cheers, but otherwise don’t give two hoots about games (Beatles). Maybe it’s too formal? I don’t have a solution in mind, but that’s how it feels to me when I watch the press confs.

    Gotta say, good internet reading like you, Joystiq, Kotaku, and the rest make these things create far less impact than they could. E3 is just about confirming/denying rumors than anything.

    But all that said, I’ll probably tune in to watch the pressers from work.

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