Coming off of a down year in gaming development due to COVID, gamers around the globe were able to attend a newly designed, fully digital E3 convention, and we as fans took in a lot of content last week. Now that E3 has come and gone in the blink of an eye, we can reflect on the great presentations, panels, and new games coming our way. There seemed to have been mixed feelings throughout the internet on if people even enjoyed E3, but that’s not what we’re here to discuss today; we’re here to talk about who the big winners and losers were of E3.
Nintendo has been having record sales with both their hardware and their software in the last two years with no signs of slowing down. Before their presentation, we only knew of a few titles that were set to release this year including The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword and Mario Golf: Super Rush, so fans were expecting to see a lot, and they were not disappointed. Nintendo kicked off the presentation by announcing Kazuya as the 5th fighter for Super Smash Bros Ultimate‘s Fighter Pass 2. After that, we saw 3 series revivals in Wario Ware: Get it Together, Advance Wars Reboot 1+2, and the one that officially put Nintendo in the winners list: Metroid Dread. They also squeezed in a sneak peek of the much anticipated Breath of the Wild 2. We now know what Nintendo has lined up all the way until Christmas, so even if you were excited for a Nintendo Switch Pro, these announcements should hold you over for the time being.
Loser: Square Enix
Square Enix was reminiscent of the kid in class who forgot that their presentation was due that day so they slapped together whatever they had to try and salvage a C for the class. They had three major announcements in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Final Fantasy Pixel Remastered, and Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin. Throughout all of these, I was most excited for Final Fantasy Pixel Remastered, until I saw it was available for PC and mobile only; then I saw the sprites; then I saw that they’ll be released individually. What could have been a great collection of games turned into a weak cash grab pretty quickly. Then we looked at Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin, which released a demo that didn’t even work. Square Enix, you’re one of my favorites, but you have to be better than this.
There was very little shown for AAA titles throughout E3, which left an open window for Indie developers to showcase their games. Indie games are never forced to stay in the realm of the norm, which allows them to stand out as unique gameplay experiences. Throughout the course of the past 4-5 years, Indies have been making a name for themselves, and have taken a big spot in the gaming world. Games that caught my eye were Lake, Endling, Death’s Door, Replaced, and Phantom Abyss. This E3 was a major victory for small developers and a win for gaming as whole.
This presentation was my least favorite in all of E3. Gearbox who’s known for the Borderlands series, Brothers in Arms, Duke Nukem, Half-Life, and many more showed up to basically waste our time. We found ourselves watching Randy Pitchford aimlessly wandering around the set of the Borderlands movie, which I’m interest in, but he wandered around talking about the movie for way too long to not show us anything about it or even a trailer. They did show a trailer for Tina Tina’s Wonderland–which was just a replay from Summer Games Fest, so that lost its excitement. Ubisoft is grateful for that presentation because Gearbox bumped them off the losers list.
Biggest Winner: Microsoft / Bethesda
This presentation felt more like a coming out party for Microsft, and it was the presentation that took the gold from E3. Microsoft and Bethesda combined their E3 into one presentation to showcase their unity as Microsoft just acquired Bethesda back on March 9, 2021. Their presentation was well organized, which had everyone talking about how nice the flow was; they spaced out the heavy hitters such as Starfield, Halo Infinite, and The Outer Worlds 2 with interesting smaller announcements in between. This pace left even non Xbox fans engaged. Lastly, Microsoft set their focus on Game Pass. They’ve supported Game Pass heavily for the last couple of years, which allows gamers to try so many titles that they wouldn’t have tried before. This was as close to a perfect conference as I’ve ever seen, Microsoft, you’re the big winner of E3.
Biggest Loser: Sony
Why? Just why? I understand not wanting to do the in-person event, but this was all digital! Microsoft is their direct competitor and their event had the biggest impact on gamers. I heard many people who were on the fence about buying a PS5 or an Xbox Series X|S say that they’re now leaning towards an Xbox. I know that Sony will be doing a State of Play presentation soon, but the people who mostly watch those are people who are already fans of Sony, whereas if they had presented during E3, they would have reached many more neutral eyes. Sony, you’re the biggest loser of this E3.
That’s all for my biggest winners and losers from E3! Do you agree with me? Let me know in the comments section or on the Boss Rush Discord!