It’s been nearly a week since E3 2021, and consumers are still talking about the events that transpired during the expo. Some events left an imprint on their fanbase while others left their users to question why they attended this showcase, to begin with. And people are wondering if E3 is relevant for major publishers and studios. I’m here to give my impressions on E3 2021.
It’s safe to say that E3 has seen better days. This use to be the event that gamers, developers, and publishers would prepare for year-round. Studios would come together in support of one another to celebrate all things gaming. It was a magical time of year that I looked forward to watching with my friends. This event was Christmas time for us tech-heads out there. Sad to say that E3 has been on a major decline within the past 4-5 years. A lot of publishers are starting to branch out and host their events, and I don’t blame them.
From a business standpoint, it makes sense to save that E3 entry fee (plus other expenses) and host your event at your speed or when you have something ready to show. We have seen companies such as Nintendo and Sony go off the beaten path and host their direct live feeds. At first, I was shocked these companies would ever dream of doing anything other than E3. But now I realize it’s a system that works. Regrettably, most studios refuse to follow this trend and continue to show up empty-handed to E3.
This year’s E3 was a disappointment and a disaster. We had multiple showcases throughout a 4-day event, and only 2 companies had something beneficial to convey. Microsoft and Nintendo showed up to E3 with the big guns and gave consumers something to look forward to for 2021 and beyond. They addressed games such as Starfield, Halo: Infinite, Metroid Dread, and The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild 2 just to name a few. If you searched the definition of transparency online Xbox and Nintendo would be at the top. They brought their “A Game” and understand the importance of E3 and why fans tuned in to watch this annual event.
I wish I could say that the other showcases were as memorable as Microsoft’s or Nintendo’s was. For the life of me, I have zero reasoning or inkling as to why Capcom, Bandi Namco, Square Enix, and especially Gearbox attended E3 this year. I understand they have announcements they want to display to the public and from a business standpoint, it makes sense to announce this with the whole world watching your event However if you have no relevant announcements to make you have no business attending this event.
The reason was to why I’m not singling Ubisoft out in this article is because they did have a horse in the race but it was underwhelming and their. the showcase was paced terribly. And that statement can be applied to the event in its entirety. For some reason, the ESA (Entertainment Software Association) loves to drag E3 across multiple days, and in 2021 this is not needed anymore. The internet is constantly evolving and media outlets and especially fans should not have to cover an event that is purposely stretched out between 4 days just to consume the big events that take place. This year proves that E3 can be done over a 2-3 day span. I felt like a lot of the less known showcases like the PC Gaming Show were overlooked and understandably so. A lot of these small showcases were not as engaging as people would have liked. They displayed a level of cringe that I never want to see again.
Final Thoughts: E3 2021 was a disaster outside of the Xbox and Nintendo showcase. The expo has been running on fumes. And has struggled to maintain or adapt to how the gaming industry consumes its media in today’s world.
My Score : C-
Christian is a film critic and founder of the Film Optix Podcast. He is a member of the Music City Film Critics’ Association. You can find him on Twitter @Musiccitynerd