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.

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?

Tagged with Bethesda Softworks, E3 2018, Microsoft, Square Enix.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Read this next

More Opinions

Opinion | Onimusha (and Dino Crisis) Deserve The Same Love Resident Evil 2 is Getting

Onimusha: Warlords sees a re-release today, but where are the new entries?

Opinion | Battle Royale at an Itty Bitty Scale: Why Recent Efforts Like Red Dead Online's Fall Short

Games are starting to implement their own battle royale modes, at all sorts of scales.

Starting Screen | The Emerging War Between the Epic Games Store and Steam is Just the Beginning

STARTING SCREEN | The digital ecosystem is undergoing its biggest shakeup since 2005.

More on Xbox One