What to Expect from the Massive E3 Games Conference: Guns, Explosions, and Cool Indie Titles
Explosions, murder, and mayhem. Blood, guts, and gore. A post-apocalyptic dystopia where robots, zombies, and aliens run amok.
Welcome to Los Angeles during E3 week.
Starting Monday, June 9, L.A. plays host to the biggest gaming extravaganza on the planet. Yahoo Tech will be there to bring you a running body count (and other highlights) from the show floor. Here’s what to expect.
Rise of the indies
At the 2013 Electronic Entertainment Expo last year, two new consoles — Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One — were battling for the hearts and thumbs of hard-core gamers. With no new gaming systems to unveil this year, E3 2014 will largely be a contest to see who can make the most noise about upcoming big-budget games that run on those consoles.
“Last year, it was all about, ‘What are these new consoles and what can they do for us?’ ” says Mike Schramm, manager of qualitative insights for gaming consultants EEDAR. “This year we know what the consoles can do. Now people want to know where the software is and how it’s going to play out.”
If it’s E3, there must be guns — and Halo’s Master Chief is likely to bring some. (Commorancy/Flickr)
The most heavily anticipated titles — like Halo 5, Mortal Kombat X, Assassin’s Creed: Unity, and dozens more — are almost all sequels to previous blockbusters. Like Hollywood, the game industry tends to favor bankable franchises over original ideas.
The more interesting and unusual games will likely come from smaller independent developers like Thatgamecompany (Journey, Flower) or Playdead (Limbo). Over the past few years, the major gaming platforms have embraced the indies, who have their own show within the show: the “IndieCade.”
Indies may not generate the massive revenue numbers of the big-budget titles, but they enhance Sony’s and Microsoft’s reputations with the core gaming community, says Jesse Divnich, VP of insights and consumer experience for Tilting Point, which helps independent developers bring their games to market.
“Every year at E3 there are always two or three independent titles that come out and surprise everyone,” he says. “For independent developers, E3 can be a launching platform and is generally the first time the world finds out about these future critical darlings. But nobody can predict in advance who will emerge at the show.”