For the last month, it has seemed that nearly every day has greeted us with a new announcement or game leak as the hype train for E3 2014 chugs on. Leaks are to be expected every year, albeit this year’s number of fake-outs have been at a record high, but the number of pre-reveals has reached absurd levels. Most of the announcements, such as the the GameCube Wii U adaptor or the Halo 5 title reveal, have felt like news that would usually be reserved for E3.
But why is this happening in such alarming doses this year? Could it be that all these announcements are happening now because this year’s E3 is set to contain so much wow that they just couldn’t fit it all in and are getting some of their smaller bits of news (though they seem quite large) out of the way now? Is it simply a result of the continuing trend that we’ve been seeing more where every trailer needs a teaser the day before the trailer is released? Or is it that E3 just isn’t that important anymore?
It’s probably a bit of all three.
The first option is certainly the optimistic route. However, I doubt very much that this year’s E3 will reach god-like levels of greatness just because of a few bigger-tier pre-reveals. When it comes to E3 presentations, none of the companies are known for their efficiency; they all have some fatal flaw in their presentation styles, some more than others; there’s a reason so much news comes out between all the major press conferences during the show. If anything, all the development teams and publishers are making up for these deficiencies now; hoping to get certain things out of the way to more quickly springboard into the meat of their planned presentations. They will still have to mention most of the news that has sprung up in the last month for those in the gaming and journalism communities who aren’t checking their GenGames every morning, but they won’t have to dwell on them for long.
A very large bit of this can be attributed to option two, especially since it’s a trend completely based around building hype, and if E3 isn’t a place for hype, I don’t know what is. I don’t know who’s brilliant idea it was to start having trailers of trailers, but it’s here to stay, at least for the immediate future. However, while there have been some teaser trailers for what we can assume will be much longer trailers and gameplay videos at E3, some of the trailers have gone beyond mere teasers. Most recently, is the announcement trailer for Crytek’s Homefront 2., which is a full two minutes and thirty-eight seconds in length.
Finally, route three. Of all the reasons for the trigger-happy pre-E3 announcements, this is the one that the facts are most inclined towards. E3’s audience is primarily North America, and companies like Sony, who have had bigger followings in the likes of Europe, have more recently been saving their goodies for shows like GamesCon. Besides the likelihood that both games are simply behind in development, Kingdom Hearts III and Final Fantasy XV’s absence at this year’s E3 could be because Square Enix is saving both for this year’s Tokyo Game Show. Furthermore, with Nintendo’s frequent digital Direct conferences, the company has less pressure to give away all their plans at E3 each year. Essentially, there are other stars in the sky besides E3, and the spacing between these big-name gaming press events allows developers and publishers to more evenly distribute their announcements throughout the year. The reason why E3 remains as big as it currently is, is because the tradition of what E3 once was hasn’t had enough time to die away yet, and, unlike the other gaming press outlets, it is the one that gets the most public attention, attracting non-gaming mainstream media coverage.
With only seventy-two hours remaining, I can’t help but wonder how many more announcements are going to be squeezed in before E3 is underway.