Who Won E3 2018?

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.



  1. All of us but especially the xbox gamers – Microsoft did what they needed to do in order to encourage their userbase.

    • I think Microsoft did what they neesed to do in order to stop people thinking they’re about to leave the console market completely.

  2. I’m not sure anyone “won” really.

    MS made the mistake of having the most interesting thing they announced being not exclusive (Dying Light 2). And various other mildly interesting non-exclusives.

    Sony showed off some things we knew about already.

    EA was just terrible.

    Bethesda announced some sequels that may be a long way off, and slapped the Fallout name onto something that isn’t Fallout.

    Ubisoft had some games I’m interested in. And a Hobbit.

    There were lots of games though. A lot of which we knew about already. So I’m declaring “gamers in general” as winners.

    A more interesting question would be “who won the e3 bingo?”. But it’s obviously not me, so maybe not.

    • Same here, I think they all did a good job. I don’t think it matters who ‘wins’ except when there’s new hardware about.

      • Given the talk from Sony of the PS5, and the rumours/people stating the obvious of the next Xbox in 2020, I guess next year will be the same. And then 2020 will be when MS hope they don’t get things as wrong as they did with the XBone announcement.

        There’s a good chance Sony might be later with the PS5. So e3 in 2020 could be “MS won with that new console coming later this year. But hang on, what have Sony got coming next year?”

        Or it could just be a battle between MS and Sony both announcing new hardware. Being first might have an advantage, but with Sony so far ahead this generation and the next generation probably going to be “It’s the same, but these numbers are bigger!” and the likelihood of the PS5 also running PS4 games, Sony can probably get away with releasing later.

        Especially if they wait until MS announce something and are just about to release it and then say “here’s our offering. It’s more powerful/cheaper and coming in 6 months time”

      • I think Sony has a big decision to make sometime soon, do they keep the yen rolling in from the PS4 and risk MS getting a jump on them or do they announce the PS5, which would start the slowing down of sales of the PS4?
        I know the PS4 will still sell pretty well after the announcement, just as the PS3 did, but there will be a growing number saving their pennies for the next gen console.

      • It just means 2020 turns into a interesting game between MS and Sony. Announce too early, you kill your current sales and risk the opposition having time to react and make changes. Too late and you’ve got some catching up to do.

        But if you’re as far ahead as Sony, you can probably afford to be later. Any announcement from MS risks a “Nice, but let’s see what Sony have coming”. It’s the Dreamcast/PS2 thing all over again.

        If the PS5 can play PS4 games, that could possibly reduce the drop in PS4 sales when they announce a PS5. Anyone buying a PS4 in the next couple of years isn’t going to be rushing to buy a more expensive PS5 at launch. Buy a PS4, lots of games to keep you going, buy a PS5 later when it’s cheaper. Might mean we get a lot of PS5 games cut down to work on a PS4. Or hopefully we don’t have a PS4 and a PS5 version of a game. One version, works on a PS4, get the full fancy experience on a PS5 without having to buy it again. Do you sell a game twice, or sell it once but sell more copies because people know they won’t have to pay again when they upgrade?

        Big rambling post there. But my guess would be MS announce a new XBox at e3 in 2020, to release late 2020, and Sony release a PS5 around March 2021, with an announcement sometime in the autumn of 2020.

        And a huge amount of luck will be involved for both sides. I think Sony got lucky with the PS4. Decisions to make it more powerful that could have ended up with a PS3-style launch price, but worked out for them in the end. Along with some bad decisions from MS, of course.

  3. I can’t remember the last E3 that got me excited. Was definitely PS3 era though. This year was no different. All the decent surprises leaked in advance and most of the other rumours were a no-show (Watch Dogs 3, F Zero, etc..) If I had to choose, Microsoft probs had the best show. Ubisoft is usually my fave, but was the most disappointing this year imo.

  4. Personally, Devolver takes it for the 2nd year running!! I can’t wait to see the unveiling of Nina 2.0 next year!!!

    Runner up would be Time. The majority of the most interesting games at the show didn’t even have a nebulous release date.

    After that, it’s all a tie – I’ve never believed in the Highlander (“There can be only one”) outlook. There’s a ton of great looking games coming across all the systems – so enjoy!!

    • Biggest disappointment was Time. 2019, 2019, and sometime in the future. I feel like nearly everyone has stepped away revealing stuff at E3 for the same year.

  5. I think Sony painted themselves into a corner by getting in the habit of announcing games way too early, and now they either reveal ps5 games or just give updates.

    Microsoft was decent but most games shown were multiplatform. And while I think their acquisition of Ninja Theory is news-worthy, some of the other stuff (other studio purchases, an algorithm that makes some games load faster) wouldn’t even have made it into The News At Sixth.

  6. It never mattered less who won this E3. Microsoft messed up, and made Sony win this gen. Sony doesn’t even need to make an effort anymore. This gen is approaching its last lap, just isn’t over yet. So, E3 was a filler, the most unexciting one in years, with no halfway relevant surprises at all.

    The important question will be how Microsoft can win back gamers in any relevant numbers in the transition to next gen, gamers who will experience a lock-in on the Playstation by then, with loads of Plus games and a backlog, which will all still run on the PS5. What could possibly make gamers give that up, that’s the question. And it won’t be loads of trailers of games that run just as well on a Playstation, and it won’t just be the odd exclusive either, for which there are three exclusives on Playstation.

    • Lmao at how defensive that comment is.

      I am interested that Sony don’t ‘want’ to make an effort, irrespective of their need to. Their conference was badly paced, and they were carried by the exceptional work of three first party developers and one second party developer. With effort like that, the only thing Sony will win is an arrogance contest.

  7. I haven’t seen anyone actually run the numbers, but I feel like the vast majority of Xbox’s reveals were multiplats. I don’t think releasing iterations of Halo, Forza and Gears is going to extend your appeal to people who either have never had Xbox, or the many who jumped ship this gen. And many PC gamers will obviously just be able to play the games without buying a Xbox console. Their acquisitions are good but smacks of the Man City approach to success and it’ll be several years before we see games from these devs.

    Ubisoft were charming. On a number of games they “nailed it!” I’m duty bound to say they did well just as a counter to the toxic response to their French staff on twitch chat.

    Squeenix – if you can’t be bothered to turn up, don’t piggy back on the event by just showing trailers. Also this whole – “Lara becomes who she was destined to be” nonsense really puts me off Tomb Raider – her character arc seems to be turning her from a relateable character into an asshole. Also no FF7? Jeez.

    Sony – some great gameplay interspersed with absolute nonsense. And we still don’t know what Death Stranding is. And they let Bungo kill Cayde in a desperate marketing stunt. BOOO!

    EA – no games, monetisation strategy thankfully failing. Anthem looks great but I still don’t get what we’ll be doing in all those beautiful playspaces. A lot of things need to change in Destiny, but no one wants a switch to third person.

    Bethesda – just great. Even a mini-revival for the unjustly ignored Prey.

    Props also to Limited Run Games – made a virtue of small budget and actually revealed some good games in cool, physical editions. And support for Vita!

  8. It was a bit like Eurovision really. Non of the contenders were particularly good and some of the more desperate countries tried too hard. Then there’s the voting which is obviously politically motivated. Nil-pwa! :D

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