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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. 

E3 2018 - Ubisoft Press Conference

Show Starts at 4PM ET!


Dean Evans is leaving Ubisoft


In an interview with Game Informer, Ubisoft Creative Director Dean Evans revealed that he will be leaving the studio. 

Best known for working on Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, Evans will be leaving Ubisoft after having worked there for almost 12 years. While Ubisoft did offer him another position in the company, he turned it down. Here is what he had to say:

“I split with my wife, and then the project I was working on was canceled. All of this massive s--- going on at the same time and I started thinking, ‘Is the best option for me to move to another foreign country?’. I’m 40 this year, and it’s so f---ing cliche, but you do think about it in the same way you do when you turn 30. These milestones, you start thinking about what you really want to be doing and whether you’re making the right decision.”

He goes on to say that he will be taking a break for a short period of time, but that he will return to work on video games in the future.

Ubisoft announces The Division 2

Only in press release form for now


Ubisoft has only announced the game through a press release currently, with a full reveal coming at E3. 

You can read the press release here:

We are very pleased to announce that we are currently working on Tom Clancy's The Division 2 . The development is led by Massive Entertainment and driven by close collaboration with Ubisoft Annecy, Redstorm, Reflections, Ubisoft Bucharest and Ubisoft Shanghai. The Division 2 will be based on an updated version of the Snowdrop Enginethat will help us realize our ambitions for this title. More importantly, we can also invest all the experience we've accumulated over the past two years in this sequel to make sure everything is going well.

But that is not all. The division continues. After the celebrations of our 2 year anniversary, we will support the game with 2 more title updates. These will be 2 brand new Global Events; Include more Legendary difficulty missions and an Xbox One X update that will rediscover the beautiful and emblematic New York City with all its stunning details in both 4K and 1080p.

In addition, as of June 2018, players will also be able to play 'Crests', which are specific achievements that will allow them to unlock The Division 2 rewards.

The teams are extremely grateful for all the support over the past two years and we can not wait to show you what we have planned for The Division 2 during the E3 2018 in June.


Blue Mammoth Games Acquired By Ubisoft


Blue Mammoth Games, the development team behind Brawlhalla, have been acquired by Ubisoft. You can read the official statement announcing the news here:

This has been a year of big announcements for Blue Mammoth Games, and now I have the biggest announcement yet.

Quick story: Last year, Brawlhalla was growing, the community was growing, esports was growing, the studio was growing, everything was going great. But as we grew up and up, we also began seeing the ceiling for a scrappy, never-say-die indie studio. We realized that to complete our plan and take this crazy game to the next level, we were going to need help. So we went out looking for a partner.

And I don’t want to brag, but we succeeded beyond my wildest expectations. Long story short, Blue Mammoth Games is joining Ubisoft!

You heard right. Assassins Creed, Far Cry, Rainbow Six, Rayman – that Ubisoft! The list of ways this is good for Brawlhalla is so long, I literally don’t know where to start. We have some power in our corner now; we’re now backed by a big ten publisher known for many of the best and most creative games out there.

So, what does this mean for Brawlhalla? Only good things. Blue Mammoth will continue to run the game just as we always have. The studio will grow (slowly, we don’t want to mess up the good thing we have here by growing too fast.) We will have more stability and more resources to improve the game and add new features (including some long overdue). We will get opportunities to raise Brawlhalla’s profile among gamers. And we’ll be able to confidently share a roadmap with you for the next years of Brawlhalla development.

One thing goes without saying, but I will say it anyway: We’ve worked very hard over the last three years to earn your trust that Brawlhalla will be always free to play and never pay to win. None of that will ever change. Ubisoft shares that philosophy, and that’s another reason we agreed to this partnership.

It’s a big step for us. Blue Mammoth is going from a scrappy, never-say-die indie studio, to a scrappy, never-say-die Ubisoft studio. Thank you all for being here for it. I want to especially thank tournament organizers, clan leaders, streamers, folks making video content, and all the other leaders of the Brawlhalla community. You are the engine that makes Brawlhalla go. Thank you, and here’s to another big year.

Very sincerely,

Matt “Matterhorn” Woomer


Ubisoft CEO on Assassin's Creed in 2018


When asked if 2018 would see a new Assassin's Creed title, Ubisoft's CEO had the following to say:

"We are concentrating on the moment on Assassin's Creed: Origins, for which we are going to launch a few other DLCs. You will be amazed by what will come on Origins, so that's the only thing we can say now."

Ubisoft addresses concerns over Rainbow Six: Siege Pricing


After the fan outcry that came after it was announced that the price would be for Rainbow: Six Siege, Ubisoft has decided to reverse their decision. You can read the details for it, as well as some other plans they have, right here:

  • For our veteran players, any of you that play an online match between now and March 6th will receive the upcoming Ash Sidewinder Elite skin for free. The Ash Sidewinder Elite will be automatically granted to your inventory at the launch of Year 3 Season 1.
  • For our newcomers and those of you concerned about introducing your friends to the game, we will be keeping the Standard Edition in the store at the current price.
  • For those of you who have raised concerns over the Starter Edition when it comes to acquiring Operators, we will be sharing more information about our next steps during the Six Invitational. We recognize that this has been a point of frustration for new players, as well as existing players bringing their friends into the game, and have been working on how to make this process more fluid.

Ubisoft Berlin To Work On Far Cry Series


Earlier this year, Ubisoft announced that they will be opening a development studio in Berlin. And now today, they have revealed what that studio will be working on. 

From Ubisoft:

Ubisoft Berlin will collaborate closely with Ubisoft Blue Byte on AAA franchises, starting with the award-winning Far Cry series. Istvan Tajnay, the new Studio Manager who has worked at Blue Byte for five years, most recently as Studio Operations Director, is delighted by the upcoming projects.

They went on to say that 50 people will be hired during the first year. Those that are interesting in applying can do so at the source link below. 

Ubisoft believes the PS5 won't arrive until 2019 at the earliest


During an investors call, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot stated that he believes the current generation of consoles still has another two years of life left in them. 

"As Sony launched PlayStation 4 Pro last year and Microsoft Xbox One X this year, we think we still have a minimum of two years in front of us before something new is coming."

If the PS5 were to launch in 2019, that would put the PS4's lifespan at 6 years. Which is one year less than the PS3 had. With the release of the PS4 Pro, I'd expect this generation to last longer, instead of getting shorter, and see a new console in 2020. But who am I to argue with the head a Ubisoft!