Who won E3? It’s an asinine question, but one that’s asked after the end of every E3 press conference season, as pundits and the public alike take to the internet at large and share their opinions on who was better.
If you need to catch up, here’s all our E3 2018 coverage from the last few days, and if you just want to catch the 10 biggest game reveals? We’ve got that here.
So who did win then? Let’s check in with the menagerie of staff and writers that frequent TSA to find out whose showcase was the best.
Microsoft approached this year’s press conference like a company with something to prove, and they do. Sony felt like they were resting on their laurels by contrast, while Micosoft’s conference looked to what Sony’s showcases in recent years and followed through on it. There was enough future proofing and enough coming soon to have the balance just right, and I’m far more excited about Gears Tactics than I should be.
The thing I enjoyed most about Bethesda’s E3 showcase was that they actually talked about their games in a clear and concise manner. It’s something that few companies have got right in recent years, either deciding that humans are bad and we just want to be buried under trailers, or doing whatever it was EA were trying to do at EA Play this year. There were some slightly awkward moments, the obligatory push for that Elder Scrolls card game, but on the whole Bethesda had plenty of surprises, a couple of games to really delve into, and Todd Howard, who’s relaxed manner and humour just made the Fallout 76 (and Starfield and The Elder Scrolls VI) reveal a joy to watch.
Also Devolver’s second press conference was just as bizarrely on point as the first.
Who won E3? Microsoft, because for the first time ever, it made me think I might buy an Xbox. I probably won’t, but they had a good line up and Ninja Theory were amongst their developer purchases. In comparison, Sony’s show was just odd, but I appreciated they gave us a longer look at the games than usual, Ubisoft were predictable and fell flat, and EA were just awful and spent more time discussing the developers careers rather than the games. Coming closest to Microsoft, Bethesda’s show was the most enjoyable and effortless.
Although I’ve not watched every conference from E3 yet, I’ve really got to pick out Bethesda’s conference as the highlight for me. It was the only one the felt like it had been planned as a whole show, rather than a series of trailers, and a clear tone for the whole event was obviously established. It was a simple, humble conference that wanted to talk about not just the games, but the people behind the games. The whole thing flowed wonderfully, and while there wasn’t really a wasted moment, it felt like everything had time to breath. If I’m honest, I would have just watched Todd Howard talk for 90 minutes about the history of E3 or, frankly, whatever he felt like.
Microsoft won this year for me. The sheer amount of games they revealed was astounding – no, not all of them were exclusives, but it was still an amazing show. That being said, Nintendo was the most interesting one for me personally. Smash Bros. is all I wanted to see and we even got a few other things before it. But it’s mostly about Smash Bros. Ultimate. It looks so good!
Full disclosure here: I really don’t like E3. The endless hyperbole, the cringe worthy attempts at humour, the dull speakers and the horribly false developer interviews *cough* EA *cough*. There’s the befuddlement caused from wondering how a company can spend so much money on an event and end up with something so bad? Which is why I was tempted to give my pick to Square Enix, who did away with all that talkey nonsense and just showed a bunch of trailers, but then Bethesda came along and bucked all my negative expectations with a presentation that was genuinely interesting to watch from beginning to end. That’s why they are my winners of E3 2018, even if the games I actually want to play are from Ubisoft and Sony.
None of the conferences were amazing this year, but overall I’d have to say that Microsoft did the best. They needed to show a lot of games for Xbox and that’s exactly what they did. Sony’s conference showed some exceptionally strong games, but the conference itself was a bit weird and they didn’t bring much we didn’t know about already, while Ubisoft had a lot of good looking games between their little characteristic flashes of weirdness.
The best show at this years E3 was Bethesda, purely for the range of games unveiled and how they were presented. Fallout 76 made me love the franchise all over again and Rage 2 looks incredibly fun and beautifully violent, but there was more for to reveal and each surprise was better than the last. It’s good to see they’ve begun work on Elder Scrolls VI.
With all the fuss around E3, I find myself feeling that nobody really aced it this year. Sony’s attempt to capture a festival feel by gathering lots of expected headliners gave us much of what we expected, but was more of a development update than a showcase of games to play this year. Microsoft showed an ambitous plan for the next gen in buying up dev studios and, again, revealing the titles we expected. Nintendo, on the other hand, focused so much on Smash Bros. that it felt like an overlong YouTube breakdown video.
So I look to the third parties, and a strong showing by Bethesda will have been many people’s pick and I’m also excited by the range of single player games in their lineup. But for me, jaded old man that I am, Devolver Digital’s now characteristically over the top sendup of many of the game industry’s worst excesses was my favourite part of the whole circus.
Well, apart from Resident Evil 2. In fact, can I just say that Resident Evil 2 won? Rest in peace, Mr. Rat.
It looks like we have a tie between Microsoft and Bethesda this year, but I have the casting vote and, if Steve weren’t so jaded, his vote would likely have gone to Bethesda so I’m giving it to them.
Congratulation Bethesda, you won E3 2018!
Do you agree? Let us know in the comments below.