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Friday, June 17, 2016

E3 2016: Company Conferences Tier List

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - These should've been easy for you to guess, but I'll explain them anyway.

The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) for 2016 is finally over. This has been the week we've been planning our whole year around — a special time in our lives.

We've covered the events of seven companies over the course of seventeen live reaction logs for E3 2016. Through our completely, um, objective voting process (the criteria involved is a trade secret), we've decided which companies won E3, and which lost. Which were the best, and which were the worst. And whatever's in-between. What those words actually mean is also a trade secret.

Sorry we can't be more transparent, but I hope you understand that this site relies on intellectual property to survive. Gotta protect it. We have no choice.

Behold the list, from best to worst:
  1. Ubisoft
  2. Nintendo (Day 1; Day 2)
  3. Microsoft
  4. Electronic Arts
  5. Donald Trump
  6. Sony
  7. Bethesda

I hear this list goes against common opinion, so I'm obligated to explain each company in detail. And I will, for I am not a troll who merely leaves incendiary material without anything to back it up. Let's start from the bottom of the list and make our way to the top:


Bethesda

Previous E3 Rankings: 6/7, 2015.

This is the second year Bethesda has had their own E3 conference. We mocked them last year by watching The Greg Gutfeld Show during their conference, but despite that distraction, at least they weren't dead last.

...Though, given this year's placement, they might've avoided that fate BECAUSE of that distraction. This year, we gave them our full attention, and they demonstrated themselves to be a disaster. First of all, they were late by 18 minutes. Even more late than Sony in E3 2013, which was the previous record at 17 minutes.

That's not respectful of us, so yeah, we're not happy about that.

They also don't know what a segue is, but most of the companies listed don't. Bringing Adam Sessler and Morgan Webb (no relation to Jim Webb) back from the grave isn't a plus.

The presenters seemed to want to be at QuakeCon more than at E3. Bad. As a result of no one there really caring, we had more fun throwing around Star Fox 64 quotes than watching Bethesda's content. And, in terms of content, there wasn't much of anything interesting or new. It's bad that the only thing I can remember off-hand is that Fallout Shelter is coming to PC from mobile (more companies should do that, by the way) and that The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is getting a remaster. That last one only because there's a certain dude who only talked about that.

It was an uneventful mess. Have fun with last place, and don't come back.

Sony

Previous E3 Rankings: 2/5, 2013; 3/5, 2014; 3/7, 2015.

Sony was actually on-time. Good. That still didn't stop them from completely bombing. They're usually mid-high tier in presentations, and even Rawk was saying pre-log how they had the capacity to win. This time? They didn't bring their best. They got the least amount of screenshots per amount of time, which is a proxy for how interested I was.

Sony really forgot what E3 is all about. They had a live orchestra that existed to present massive confusion among anyone watching (is it in-game music or is it the live orchestra?), and their actual conference was pretty much a YouTube playlist. No developers coming to talk about their projects, and, of course, no segues.

Having developers come and talk would actually be really helpful for many of the games shown. For example, the Spider-Man PS4 trailer ended with this confusing title card:


#SPIDERMANPS4 E3 2016 Spider-Man PS4 PlayStation 4 Insomniac Games hashtag
This implied the name of the game is #SPIDERMANPS4.

Why is Insomniac Games working on a Spider-Man game? What's with the title? Wouldn't it be nice to have them discuss it? They had to take to Twitter to explain themselves. ...They actually get huge credit for doing so in response to a KoopaTV tweet:
Unfortunately, that credit goes to Insomniac, not Sony. Sony was a disaster. They finished the conference with Days Gone as their big thing, which was garbage. Like their presenter was.

Donald Trump

Previous E3 Rankings: None.

Donald J. Trump was this year's newcomer. We had YUGE expectations for him, despite his complete lack of experience in an E3 setting. However, he also had inexperience with the Super Contest format, yet still finished an impressive second place in point count. Mr. Trump is unpredictable and highly adaptive.

He did end up adapting, but it wasn't in a good way. His E3 conference was supposed to be all about bashing Hillary Clinton, a vile woman who once tried to destroy the videogame industry. However, with the Orlando terrorist attack, he changed his speech to tie his immigration plans to the LGBT community and national security, while only mentioning Hillary to say that he's a better friend of the gay community than she is. While that may be true, the gay community doesn't seem to actually realise that yet.

Because of that and other moments where he's describing his foes (Crooked Hillary and Radical Islam) in the same terms his opponents use to describe him, the speech went into a lot of awkward moments. While Trump had some great points (such as not wanting to nation-build in other countries), the conference sucked overall. And he had no new games or even policies to announce, leaving this conference lacking. It wasn't as entertaining as expected.

Mr. Trump probably shouldn't return to E3 next year.

Electronic Arts

Previous E3 Rankings: 4/5, 2013; 5/5, 2014; 7/7, 2015.

The header for EA's article made light of the fact that EA has always been the worst overall performer at E3, and for 2016 they're going first. Their terrible performances was even a quiz question for KoopaTV Quiz Part II. (And now, mathematically with 2016 factored in, Bethesda is the worst company for E3.)

EA had their conference without any Orlando bullshit. They were the only E3 presenters to do this. This was criticised by the progressive media, but KoopaTV fortunately isn't part of that and so we don't have to hold companies to acknowledge recent, completely unrelated tragedies. Instead, they had this really weird dual-conference: Both London and Los Angeles. I still don't know WHY they did this, but it was pretty quirky to be talking about Madden NFL in London.

While EA had many faults (Mass Effect Andromeda wasn't exactly shown, Battlefield 1 had its trailer shown twice, Jade Raymond's speaking style), they had many surprises as well. For one, FIFA 17 has a story mode, called The Journey. A sports game has a story, and it features off-field character-developing moments!

...Yes, a FIFA game has more of a story and characters than a Paper Mario game. That's revolutionary. FIFA 17's The Journey features Alex Hunter, who might as well be an original character because the whole point is that no one has heard of him. ...Not yet, anyway. They got a whole page on their site called “Who is Alex Hunter?” And any references to him on search engine are about the game.


Alex Hunter FIFA 17 The Journey EA Sports Electronic Arts
Alex Hunter is the first time an Electronic Arts game has sparked a genuinely curious conversation among our staff since The Sims.

There was the totally-useless but still-entertaining exchange between eSports stars Eric Problem Wright and Serious Moe, who is crippled at the time he's expected to play in the finals of their big tournament. There was EA apparently creating a charity service. Even Mike Tyson showed up in a completely irrelevant cutaway tangent, or at least a dude pretending to be him. All of these things are wacky for anyone, and especially wacky for Electronic Arts. We want to reward them for trying to be different than before, and in a good way. ...Well, it's not like they could be getting much worse.

Microsoft

Previous E3 Rankings: 5/5, 2013; 2/5, 2014; 2/7, 2015.

Microsoft has been improving since their sad point in 2013. That's probably because of Phil Spencer's influence and leadership. While mathematically 2016 is a lower score than 2015, Microsoft should still be kind of proud of themselves.

They were smart enough to fire/kill/transfer their weird closed-captioner that was sabotaging their conference within the first few minutes, demonstrating good awareness. That said, they did announce the Xbox One S (Slim) and Project Scorpio in the same conference, leading one to wonder why anyone would get the former.

They showed some really nice stuff, like Sea of Thieves (when it's not just screaming and facecams) and Recore. Kamek applauded the preferred language no matter your region feature coming to Xbox, too. The Minecraft friendly update Sax Persson and Lydia Winters comedy duo was ingenious. We Happy Few also got what seemed like a lot of time, and that game looks brilliant. The Tekken 7 Japanese dude was also awesome, as was Hideki Kamiya and Scalebound.

Microsoft's E3 was what Sony's should've been, if you ignore the Xbox One S. Great games with cool presenters, as opposed to okay games with no presenters. Topped off with Project Scorpio at the end to have everyone watching think to the future.

Nintendo

Previous E3 Rankings: 1/5, 2013; 1/5, 2014; 4/7, 2015.

Nintendo... Nintendo... well... This was really weird and difficult to grade, since they're just so different from the other E3 presentations. I thought before E3 started that Nintendo's E3 might be good if they followed some of my advice, and they didn't really follow most of it, besides showcasing non-Zelda games after all. No retail event collaboration, no MOTHER 3.

I praised Nintendo back then for announcing they wouldn't be showing the NX because they might not win the news cycle — but with how this E3 actually turned out, they could've easily won it.

Day 1 was actually strong. Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon are very solid games that got hype going. Yungoos is brilliant, especially. However, big disappointment that all Rotom did was censor Yungoos's Pokédex entry. What'd Rotom take our logo over for?! Apparently, they didn't program in Rotom's functionality to the bottom screen for the demo.

Nintendo Treehouse Live Rotom Pokédex E3 2016 Pokémon Sun Moon censorship Yungoos entry
While the on-screen 3DS was loading Yungoos's Pokédex entry, they overlaid Rotom's artwork over it to censor it.
...Then they gave what would be his Pokédex entry and many paragraphs more on the official Pokémon site anyway.

And then there was The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I think that sub-title isn't good, by the way. Quite hard to remember and doesn't flow naturally.

The game itself looks great, though. Lots of really cool things. There are a lot of open-world philosophies about it I'm still not comfortable with, and I'm really not comfortable with the lack of music in the game. Still, it's widely recognised as the game with the most buzz this E3, and it deserves it. Part of that may be because it was shown for hours upon hours upon hours on Day 1 and a bit of Day 2. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the only game shown on Nintendo's streams that we have not covered 100%, because there was simply way too much. Our log of it is already the longest live reaction log (and thus longest article ever) published on KoopaTV. No one's going to read that, and we were literally becoming ill watching the same game for that long.

I was also really sick, physically, by the time Day 2 ended. We watched and logged all of it, and that was over 7 hours of content. The majority of the games shown were garbage, unappealing, not explained well, or hard to follow. It was awful, and besides Rotom, Pokémon GO may have been the disappointment of the day with how BAD it was. Heh, well, I knew it'd be bad the whole time since it was announced, but most people didn't. Day 2 demonstrated that maybe Nintendo's plan of JUST The Legend of Zelda wasn't such a bad idea, because their other games weren't good. (Why didn't they get CAPCOM to showcase Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney — Spirit of Justice on Nintendo's stream?)

Also, minus points for having Kamek show up in Mario Party: Star Rush and then immediately ending the stream, leaving him stuck in Sleep Mode to this day.

...And then came Paper Mario: Color Splash, the one game this whole week that had us all screaming and smashing our keyboards uncontrollably. The game that we looked forward to bashing was the one that got us the most excitable, out of any game from any company this week. Rhythm Heaven Megamix was a sweet way to end, as well. Zero complaints on that. At least that ended well.

Could Nintendo have done better? Yup. There is no reason they couldn't give us a primer on all the games they would show on Days 1 & 2 with a prerecorded Digital Event. There's no strategic reason we couldn't have demos sent to us, or have events placed throughout the United States like they did for 2013, 2014, and 2015.

If there's one point Nintendo gets, it's that they had the best segues. I mean, their segues were literally breaks. Breaks long enough to go to the bathroom. Very considerate.

Ubisoft

Previous E3 Rankings: 3/5, 2013; 4/5, 2014; 5/7, 2015.

Ubisoft has always been below-average. Great at presenting, but not really bringing games we're interested in.

This year, it was different. Everyone else was pretty bad at presenting, and Ubisoft was extra-good. ...And... the games were interesting, too! Ubisoft had the ultimate combination. Just look at their introduction this year, which may be the best E3 opening ever:


Ubisoft actually put a lot of effort into their Orlando tribute. You either don't do one at all like Electronic Arts, or you go all-out and incorporate it as part of the show like Ubisoft did. And Ubisoft did it amazingly. Absolutely stellar.

Don't stop me now having a good time Ubisoft E3 2016 human giraffe Just Dance 2017 Orlando tribute
Brilliant. BRILLIANT!!!

We put a lot of importance to presentation, you know. KoopaTV considers its articles to be works of art as much as presenting information to you, and Ubisoft is the company that most closely follows our own philosophies on this matter.

Ubisoft had amazing presentations and games with their showings of South Park: The Fractured But Whole, For Honor, Trials of the Blood Dragon, and WATCH_DOGS 2. Lots of people are probably happy about the Virtual Reality Star Trek: Bridge Crew and the first-ever on-stage demo of a person vs. person VR game, Eagle Flight VR.

But what was genuinely stunning and surprising to all of us was that their closer wasn't just a very action-packed multiplayer first-person shooter, but it's actually an extreme-sports open-world game called Steep. And Steep's concept was amazing to us. Take Mario Kart TV, re-open it, make it not crap, and apply it to skiing/snowboarding/other snowy mountain activities. And actually incorporate it as core to the gameplay, not some meme-y crap that only helps with marketing but not the gameplay experience.

Ubisoft's finely-honed presentation skills allowed us to be interested in games that we would not normally be interested in, and they kept coming without any significant low points. And it's not just trailer bullshit either, but actual gameplay backing it up. Very, very impressive.

Ubisoft absolutely deserves first place this year. There is no doubt in our minds.


After this is published for a day, KoopaTV will have its banner logo return to the KoopaTV.org one. Say bye to Rotom! Meanwhile, you all are free to dispute KoopaTV and give your own E3 2016 rankings in the comments section.


Here is the E3 2013 list. 
Here is the E3 2014 list. 
And here is the E3 2015 list. That's all of them until next year.
Are you looking for next year's? It's finally time for it!

15 comments :

  1. The hell are you talking about. Sony was loads better than Nintendo this year

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did you read the article? I gave a lot of points as to why I ranked the companies the way I did.

      Delete
  2. The hell are you talking about? Bethesda was loads better than everyone this year.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I wouldn't care because guess what? Skyrim remastered.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wouldn't care if they were late.

      Delete
    2. Oh.
      ...You could've replied to Charssie's comment then.

      Delete
    3. I thought I did

      Delete
  4. I barely watched any of E3 at all. This is how much I care about video games currently.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sad!

      Do you not see the giraffes with Ubisoft? They appeared in the dance number AND in Eagle Flight VR and we noted it in our log.

      Delete
  5. I didn't watch every conference, but out of all that I've seen, Sega definitely had the worst. You cannot even watch the video because it was made private due to the number of dislikes it was getting. Basically, their biggest surprise was an announcement of an upcoming announcement! In response, I typed this in another video's comment section.

    There once was a hedgehog named Sanic.
    But now he is in a terrible panic.
    His games are no more,
    For all they ever do is bore.
    It's driving the fanbase satanic!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Okay, just for clarity:

      The reason we didn't have anything for Square Enix or SEGA is because they aren't "official" conferences. They just had some dinky stream, like CAPCOM had.

      We were going off the companies that had an official presence, according to E3's website.

      Delete

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