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Lgndary Thoughts - This Year's E3 Keynotes Ranked


E3 is over, and the dust has settled. This year we saw a total of 7 publishers/developers host a keynote, and I am here to rank them. Starting with the worst, and working up to the best, here is what I think:

Square Enix - Square Enix comes in last, not because their conference was bad, but because it didn't really feel like a press conference. It was only 30 minutes long, and offered nothing more than slightly interesting reveals. Babylon looks interesting, sure, especially since it is developed by Platinum Games. But I don’t put too much stock into CG reveals that show no gameplay. 

Kingdom Hearts III was present and looked great, of course, but this is a game that has already had a lot of gameplay showcased before. New trailers of it were also present at other keynotes, which further diminished the impact it had during Square’s. If they had saved the release date reveal for their keynote, it could have made a difference. But that too was announced a couple of days before.

Sony - Sony just barely avoided being bottom of the pile this year. I was immediately suspicious when Shawn Layden announced that they were doing things a little differently this year, because that is almost always code for “we don’t have much to show so we have to mask that somehow”. Unfortunately for everyone, the masking only made things worse. 

If having to sit through two separate out of place musical performances, as well as a weird intermission where everyone had to switch buildings was the only problem with Sony’s keynote, I think they would have been okay. But even when their conference started to build up it disappointed. The footage of their games we saw looked great, assuming non of it was scripted (looking at you, The Last of Us II). But the show still lacked any big surprises, or a deep dive of any of their titles. Resulting in a very disappointing E3 for them.

Ubisoft - Ubisoft’s conference wasn't anything too spectacular, but it certainly wasn't a disappointment. Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, Beyond Good and Evil 2, and the Star Fox and Donkey Kong announcements made for a pretty solid lineup. Just like the other keynotes, a big surprise reveal could have taken it over the top, but I am satisfied with what they presented. 

EA - EA’s was fairly similar to Ubisoft’s in that they were both standard press conferences that featured exciting content but lacked a huge surprise. I actually had trouble placing these two, but in the end I gave the edge to EA for a couple of reasons. The first was a great gameplay showing of Anthem. I feel it is always important to not only show gameplay, but to show it how players will actually experience it. That means having a UI and controls readily apparent.

The other reason was the announcement and launch of Unravel 2. I’ll talk more about this later, but I always appreciate when publishers actually launch games at E3. It gives gamers more than just things to look forward to, and I feel not enough publishers do that these days.

Bethesda - Bethesda also had a pretty good show. It was full of odd announcements that felt a little out of place a gaming’s biggest event of the year, but they didn't detract from Bethesda’s reveals in the end. The bulk of the show went to the recently announced Fallout: 76, a game that I was ready to write off the second multiplayer was mentioned. But I actually walked away impressed with the vision for 76. I am still a skeptic, but I plan on watching the game closely before release.

Having said that, if Fallout 76 was the final reveal for Bethesda, I would have been let down. But the Starfield and Elder Scrolls VI announcements saved the show. I do hate that we got nothing more than a logo for each of them, but knowing that Starfield exists is enough for me.

Nintendo - Nintendo comes in second this year because, despite not having too many announcements, they did provide an exciting E3 by giving more to gamers now. An Octopath demo, Hollow Knight, and the Splatoon 2 expansion were all surprise launches that made Nintendo’s showcase about more than just the future. 

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate also gave Nintendo a significant lead this year. Not only does the game look incredible, they also provided those watching with a ton of real gameplay. They even hosted a tournament that allowed professional Smash players the chance to play the game and voice their impressions to those not lucky enough to attend. 

Microsoft - I’m putting Microsoft on top this year because they were one of the few that had what I would consider a real press conference. They announced some interesting exclusives for Xbox, talked about more than just games, and even got to reveal exciting 3rd party titles like Sekiro and Cyberpunk. At the end of the day, the gaming experience is still going to be best with Playstation, as the best games Microsoft announced will also be on PS4. But as far as keynotes go, Microsoft has risen above all others for the first time in years. 

EA Play 2018 Livestream

Show starts at 2PM ET!


A Way Out - Launch Press Release


Coming from EA:

Today, Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA), in partnership with Hazelight Studios, has launched A Way Out, the co-op cinematic story-driven adventure game, available worldwide on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Origin for PC. Developed by the team behind the critically-acclaimed indie title, Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons, players will take on the role of Leo and Vincent in A Way Out and must work together through their riveting escape from prison and beyond.

A Way Out is part of the EA Originals program, which provides an elevated platform for up-and-coming independent game studios and their talented teams to bring innovative, memorable gaming experiences to players around the world, with the studio as sole profit beneficiary. As another prime example of the EA Originals core values, Hazelight is making it easier than ever before to play a co-op game by offering a “Friends Pass” program where, for the first time ever, players who purchase the game will be able to invite a friend to play the full experience of A Way Out with them for free online.


EA won't make any money off of A Way Out


Speaking to The Sixth Axis, A Way Out creator Josef Fares revealed that EA will not make any money off of his game, even though they are publishing it. Here is what he had to say:

Here’s the thing, and you have to understand this: with this deal that I have for this game, EA is not making a single dollar out of this. Every single dollar is going to the developer. They’re not even making any money and all I’ve got is support from EA.

They’ve not questioned the vision – they can’t because I won’t allow it – so they’ve been super supportive all the way. Even with this buy one [Friend Pass] thing, no problem.


I honestly have a hard time believing this. What does EA have to gain by pulling a move like this?

EA Play 2018 Dated


Electronic Arts has announced that EA Play 2018, their annual E3-like event, will be held from June 9th - 11th (Saturday 2pm - 8pm; Sunday & Monday 10am - 8pm)

Tickets are free, and EA has promised that the following games will be playable:

  • The next Battlefield
  • Anthem
  • The Sims 4
  • New EA Sports titles
  • Other surprises

As usual, I will be covering the event. So start thinking about what you would like to see from me here on the site!

Electronic Arts Comments Again On Battlefront II Controversy


EA's CEO had the following to say at their latest investor meeting:

"We never intended to build an experience that could be seen as unfair or lacking clear progression, so we removed the feature that was taking away from what fans were telling us was an otherwise great game. We are fortunate to have such passionate players that will tell us when we get it right, and when we don't. We're now working hard on more updates that will meet the needs of our players, and we hope to bring these to the Battlefront II community in the months ahead."

Anthem Has Been Delayed

No longer launching this year


At their latest financial meeting, Electronic Arts has confirmed that Anthem will not be launching this year. Instead, they are planning on releasing Bioware's latest title in 2019.

This news comes after reports saying that EA has a lot riding on Anthem, and could potentially shut Bioware down if it doesn't perform as expected. 

Let's hope this delay gives them enough time to get things right. 

EA to partner with ESPN, Disney, and the NFL to reach a gaming network agreement


You can find the press release here:

Today, Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) and the National Football League (NFL) announced they are teaming up with ESPN and Disney XD for exclusive broadcasts of the upcoming EA SPORTS Madden NFL 18 Championship Series. This starts with the final rounds of the EA SPORTS Madden NFL 18 Club Championship and the brand-new EA SPORTS Madden NFL Ultimate League, marking ESPN’s first-ever long-term, multi-event competitive gaming agreement.

EA Completes Acquisition of Respawn Entertainment


Coming from EA:

On November 9, 2017 we announced an agreement to acquire Respawn Entertainment, LLC, one of the leading independent game development studio and creators of AAA shooter and action games including the critically-acclaimed Titanfall franchise. Today, December 1, 2017, we have completed the acquisition of Respawn on the terms previously disclosed.  

EA isn't done with micro transactions just yet


Despite the anger and frustration of the past few weeks, Electronic Arts is still going to continue ahead with micro transactions. Speaking at a recent conference, EA CFO Blake Jorgensen had the following to say:

"We're not giving up on the notion of MTX"

He continued on to talk about micro transactions in Star Wars: Battlefront II, and when they would be bringing them back.

"We're really watching how people are playing the game. We're trying to understand are there certain modes where MTX may be more interesting than not? What are the consumers saying about it? How are the consumers playing the game? What do the metrics look like? We're learning and listening to the community to decide how best to roll that out in the future."

The idea of micro transactions making a mode more interesting is insane to me. But I guess I am not one of the worst companies in the world!