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The Winners and Losers of E3 2018

From announcing the ultimate Smash Bros. game to an awkward crowd during an Andrew W.K. performance, these are the winners and losers of E3 2018.

Opinion by Caty McCarthy, .

Even though E3 2018 is really just getting started today, all the big conferences have officially concluded. Over a hectic four days, we've seen the latest form EA, Microsoft, Bethesda, Square Enix, Devolver, Sony, PC, Ubisoft, and Nintendo. There was almost too much news, and it's definitely been the most exciting E3 in recent memory.

But as with all events, there are clear winners and losers. Last year I compared E3 to the Super Bowl, if the Super Bowl was only commercials. I think that sentiment still stands, especially in a year that had a lot of damn good commercials. So here they are: the winners and losers of E3 2018.

Losers

The crowd during Bethesda's Rage 2 Andrew W.K. performance

Andrew W.K., the patron saint of partying, gave a loud as hell performance to an audience at Bethesda's E3 showcase that looked ungrateful. Whenever the camera panned to the crowd, it was really depressing. Like a cluster of boring people who cross their arms at concerts, no one present seemed to appreciate partying or Andrew W.K.; at bars, I imagine they order a single Bud Light and nothing more. It was a sorry sight, and I'd like to formally apologize on the crowd's behalf to Andrew W.K., should he ever read this. I appreciate you dude. Party hard.

Square Enix

There's always one stinker of an E3 2018 showcase, and this year it was Square Enix. It was easy to expect big things with Kingdom Hearts 3, an Avengers game, and the Final Fantasy VII remake known to be on the horizon. And yet, we didn't really get much at all, just an extended gameplay look at Shadow of the Tomb Raider and a bundle of new trailers for games we've already seen to death. The only true surprise came in Babylon's Fall, the new PlatinumGames project. I'll be honest—I don't really care about this at all. It's all just fluffy marketing. But people on Twitter seemed upset about this and someone whined in a whole article about it, so why can't I in a measly paragraph? How dare ye, Square Enix!

Walmart Canada

E3 2018 would have been so much more surprising if Walmart Canada didn't ruin it for everyone a few weeks ago. Looking back on the list, Just Cause 4, Assassin's Creed Odyssey, Rage 2, and Gears of War 5 all appeared on the leak, and weren't truly introduced until E3 2018. Imagine if that leak never happened, and all those reveals actually debuted on their respective big stages? That would have been far more exciting. Notably, a few games from the Walmart Canada leak didn't appear at all, including Borderlands 3 and Splinter Cell. That's not to say there were zero surprises at the big showcases—just that for quite a few of them, Walmart Canada spoiled it.

People who aren't emotionally invested in Super Smash Bros.

I know I'm not alone here. I've always been more of a Mario Kart fan than Super Smash Bros. fan. So heading into Nintendo's E3 2018 presentation, I knew that there wouldn't be much for me. Still, I held out hope. I wore my Tom Nook shirt for good luck, hoping for an Animal Crossing tease or something. Instead, I got five hours of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate details that mostly could have been left to the Nintendo Treehouse livestream. I imagine I, and the others who agree with me, are in the minority though. Smash fans were freaking out on Twitter and other social media. But for us losers who don't really care for Smash, it was a bummer of an E3 outing for Nintendo this year.

My health

Nothing takes a toll on the body than eating nothing but junk food and sitting in front of your computer for 72+ hours straight, am I right?

Winners

Todd Howard

Bethesda may have kinda ruined its potential announcements for the next few years, but its E3 2018 conference was easily its best yet. Todd Howard strolled on stage with confidence, he called the crowd degenerates and they ate it up, and then he announced a bunch of games. From Fallout 76 getting an in-depth look to Elder Scrolls' first foray to mobile being shown off, Howard's appearance was explosive. Plus with all the things that leak out of Bethesda—hell, we even knew whispers about Starfield before its debut teaser Sunday night—Howard and co. getting ahead of the buzz about inner workings for a new Elder Scrolls was probably for the best. At least now Bethesda won't get any pestering questions from fans about if a new Elder Scrolls is in-development, because now we know definitively that it is. (Even if it is just pre-production.)

The people who have been yelling for a Metal Wolf Chaos release in the west their entire lives

There are games, and then there are ridiculous mech games by famed developer FromSoftware. Once upon a time though, FromSoftware weren't so famed. Long before the era of Dark Souls and beyond, FromSoftware made Metal Wolf Chaos, a campy Japan-only game about the President of the United States protecting his country. He also piloted a giant mech. If that sounds ridiculous and great, then you're in luck, because Devolver's bringing it to the rest of the world for the first time ever this year. You can stop @-ing FromSoftware now.

Microsoft

I think we can all agree that the Xbox One had a pretty impressive showing this week. I'll be straight up though: there weren't a ton of games shown that I personally am dying to play, but it showed Microsoft's commitment to the games, and that's all that really matters. I appreciate Microsoft's ongoing commitment to Backwards Compatibility, Xbox Game Pass, and generally having cross-platform support with PC. And while Microsoft's E3 2018 conference was about 70 percent third-party games, it seemed to excite a lot of people. Hell, it's where Kat's probable game of the show, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, premiered. Phil Spencer even teased that Microsoft is working on a new Xbox One, which is already rumored for release in 2020. Next-generation is just around the corner y'all, whether we like it or not.

Masahiro Sakurai basically saying fuck it and making Smash Bros. game people can't complain about

They said Sakurai couldn't do it. They said Ridley, a powerful villain from the Metroid series, was too damn big for Smash. But boy oh boy, did Sakurai prove everyone wrong today. The absolute madman did it!

At last, longtime Super Smash Bros. director Masahiro Sakurai gets to throw up a peace sign and tell fans to buzz off, and he's sure earned it. Every Smash game fan for the past almost two decades has been nagging this poor man about characters and features that emerge and evaporate from each installment. But with the Switch title Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, he can finally say, "I gave you fools everything you wanted," because it features every character from Smash history. Sakurai is free from complaints, from sin, from the crushing stress of disappointment, from people badgering him about where the Ice Climbers went. He has achieved everything ravenous Smash fans could ever hope for in a modern Smash game. And that's why he's a winner of E3 2018.

Being Hella Gay

Man, it's a great year to be queer and also a fan of video games. Ellie kissed another girl in the latest trailer for The Last of Us: Part 2. In Assassin's Creed Odyssey, you can shamelessly flirt and hook up with whoever you want—man or woman, no matter which protagonist you choose. The hottest woman on Earth, Lea Seydoux, has been cast in Death Stranding—making millions of women gay in turn. And it's Pride Month, so what better time to celebrate than within video games?

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Comments 20

  • Avatar for Woogity #1 Woogity 12 days ago
    Hats off to Andrew W.K. for that energetic performance. Not really the right audience I guess. I hope he and his band were paid well for that.Edited 2 times. Last edited 2 weeks ago by Woogity
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  • Avatar for benjaminlu86 #2 benjaminlu86 12 days ago
    Sony jumped off a cliff 15 minutes into their conference, but managed to open the parachute just before dying horribly on the rocks in the sea.
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  • Avatar for Kuni-Nino #3 Kuni-Nino 12 days ago
    Lea Seydoux is the hottest woman on earth?
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  • Avatar for Godots17thCup #4 Godots17thCup 12 days ago
  • Avatar for Roto13 #5 Roto13 12 days ago
    Walmart leaking everything was great. The less power PR people have over how they reveal their games, the better. Marketing is bad. Press conferences are just a necessary evil to get to the information you want. They're commercials.
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  • Avatar for NiceGuyNeon #6 NiceGuyNeon 12 days ago
    First of all, Caty, how dare you?

    That trailer for Babylon's Fall was pointless. It was stupid. But I refuse to let you have an opportunity to complain about anything. The only complaints that matter are mine! (I'm kidding, you can complain, that trailer was meaningless).

    But yes, that trailer was everything I hate about E3.

    HAVE YOU BEEN ON TWITTER?

    The NBA Finals were over too soon, the World Cup hasn't started yet and motherf***ers are grading these press conferences. IT'S A MONTAGE OF ADVERTISEMENTS FOOLS, KEEP YO GRADES!
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  • Avatar for Kuni-Nino #7 Kuni-Nino 12 days ago
    @NiceGuyNeon I’m with you on everything except on the point that NBA Finals were over too soon. I’m glad the Warriors swept the Cavs. The Rockets-Warriors series should have been a best of 11, and give the trophy to whomever won that.
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  • Avatar for NiceGuyNeon #8 NiceGuyNeon 12 days ago
    @Kuni-Nino The Rockets and Warriors series was definitely the one where we knew the winner was going to be the champ. The East is still developing, but there's some good stuff there with Boston if they're healthy next year and Philly who did better than expected. That said, i really like Lebron James and how he can will a team of nobodies and Kevin Love to the Finals. I just wanted him to win game 1, god damn it JR TAKE THE SHOT MAN TAKE THE SHOT!

    EDIT- worth pointing out though that JR forgetting the score in the NBA Finals makes for, well, a pretty unforgettable moment lolEdited 2 weeks ago by NiceGuyNeon
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  • Avatar for NightingaleXP #9 NightingaleXP 12 days ago
    So you guys know (not sure where else to report this) your page is pulling some video ads going to a Blue Bunny source that FORCES my screen to pop to them repeatedly, which makes it kind of impossible to read your articles!

    I was happy to turn off adblocker for you guys but this really doesn't work.
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  • Avatar for catymcc #10 catymcc 12 days ago
    @NightingaleXP oh geez! that's no good. I'll pass this along to our tech support/ad folks.
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  • Avatar for TheWildCard #11 TheWildCard 12 days ago
    Unless it plays exactly like Melee, there will be plenty for Smashers to gripe about. :)

    Seriously though that Nintendo presser was a snoozer if you don't care about Smash.

    And Metal Wolf Chaos might be the best sneaky announcement this year. I'll pick that up day one for sure.
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  • Avatar for LBD_Nytetrayn #12 LBD_Nytetrayn 12 days ago
    @Roto13 I'm torn on this; I don't disagree, but as far as E3 goes, I felt like we knew most of the best stuff beforehand.
    @Godots17thCup If no one else posted that picture, I would have. The Sakurai part demands it.
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  • Avatar for Maxbeedo #13 Maxbeedo 12 days ago
    We've all but forgotten the EA press conference I think (for good reason), but this was their opportunity to really dig into Anthem and make us like it, but it felt like they've already written it off as "meh, it's ok, I guess" with their "scaled-back expectations". Most of the reports on floor I've read say it's really fun though.

    I wouldn't necessarily agree Lea Seydoux is the hottest woman on earth, but I wouldn't disagree either.
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  • Avatar for un #14 un 12 days ago
    Sakurai’s explanation of what Smash is was a genuine LOL for me.
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  • Avatar for docexe #15 docexe 12 days ago
    @benjaminlu86 I would have liked to be the proverbial fly in the wall of whatever meeting in which that stunt got approved. I just know there has to be some schadenfreude there.
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  • Avatar for kidgorilla #16 kidgorilla 12 days ago
    Losers: All of us for hearing some buttface yell "Free Bird!" during Sony's banjo opening
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  • Avatar for Wellman2nd #17 Wellman2nd 12 days ago
    Don't ever say there is nothing for a Fandom to complain about, there will always be some group that feels some sort of way.

    Such as Lyn not being playable. Or the lack of story mode. You need complaints they are out there for the searching and as the hype mellows they will get louder.
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  • Avatar for touchofkiel #18 touchofkiel 12 days ago
    I was impressed by what I saw, and disappointed by what I didn't see. Sony's deep dive approach worked really well (except for the musical interludes, which were pretty dull for us at home), and showcased what a good lineup of exclusives it has. TLOU2, Spider-man, Ghost of Tsushima, and Death Stranding had really strong showings, and I'm interested in all of them (well, almost all... just not TLOU, because zombies zzzzz). One quick note about Tsushima - how downright idiotic is it to have Japanese characters, in Japan, speaking English, in a Japanese accent? I'm really not a 'subs over dubs!' kind of anime purist... but in an historical setting, it seems really stupid. I know the same could be said for any AssCreed game, but for some reason this stands out more.

    Microsoft had a strong show, too, but still no exclusives outside their usual franchises. A new Fable game is just about all that would sell me on the XBO at this point. Meanwhile, Nintendo had absolutely nothing to offer non-Smash fans, but they've seemed pretty content to cater exclusively to their rabid first-party fanbase for quite a while now, and that's cool, I guess.

    I think the real winner is Ubisoft fans... AC, Division 2, Skull & Bones all look like quality titles, if you're into those type of games.
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  • Avatar for 0xDEADBEEF #19 0xDEADBEEF 11 days ago
    No mention of us PC Warriors who've been whining for Yakuza games to come to Steam? I'd call that a win, too.
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  • Avatar for Flipsider99 #20 Flipsider99 10 days ago
    Honestly I think the biggest "losers" were just the general public, overall. It just wasn't a very exciting E3. Even looking over your list of winners and losers, I feel like you have to kind of reach to come up with interesting things, aside from a few things here and there like Death Stranding. (definitely a big winner from the show, btw.)

    I can't really agree with calling Square a loser when the Kingdom Hearts 3 videos were some of my favorite videos from the entire show. Not only did they show a bunch of gameplay, but it all looked fantastic and just what I wanted. It's among the handful of titles from the show I'm actually excited about. Also, the new Utada song from the trailers is definitely a musical winner!
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