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Monday, June 17, 2019

E3 2019: Company Conference Tier List

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - My controversial and personal opinion not representing the KoopaTV staff.

Alright, this year's E3 2019 was a bit awkward in terms of KoopaTV coverage. You can see a bunch of missing spots in our E3 2019 Schedule since we did not cover every company's conference with a reaction log.

There was a very, VERY good reason for all of that which you can read in last Friday's narrative-for-an-article, here

I'm going to try to make that up to you, however. All-in-one E3 2019 coverage: Behold, the E3 2019 (real) company conference tier list! (AKA my way of never having to watch the PC Gaming Show, and not rating Devolver Digital.) For E3 2019, that leaves five companies. Here's my tier list from worst-to-best, that every other KoopaTV staffer disagrees with (and they, as well as you, are encouraged to write their own article or lengthy comment expressing that) along with my reasoning:

  1. Bethesda
  2. Ubisoft
  3. Microsoft
  4. Nintendo
  5. Square Enix 


Bethesda's conference was completely insufferable. The presenters were awful and saying horrible things, such as un-ironically said, “At Bethesda, we, like you, like mobile games.” The audience was even worse and encouraging the stupidity, and that is definitely the fault of Bethesda. They're too small a company to warrant a whole E3 press conference, but since they think they're all that and more, they open it to an audience of delusional diehards AND give them access to the microphones. Or however they took advantage of the sound system.

Here's my example:

Anyway, I don't think there's anything in that conference I even consider liking, not even on a memetic basis. Really, at this point, Bethesda has more than outworn their welcome. All of their conferences are the same. That's what happens when you run several games-as-service and just talk about those (or frequently reoccurring sequels). And show employee and fan reels every year.

My gosh, they really were encouraging their freakish fanbase. Why the hell did they give those...things... airtime?

(And those who watched the conference know that there are visually worse people than this guy.)

Bethesda E3 2019 fan reel Greg trying to be artist add more dragons
This is Greg. He is a Bethesda fan. He is “trying to be an artist.”
He also doesn't want Bethesda to “ever stop adding dragons” to their games.


I didn't watch Ubisoft's conference until... today. First of all, I thought it started very well with the Assassin's Creed orchestral group. That surprised and delighted me, since I didn't even know Assassin's Creed really had music. Plus, that didn't take away from my favourite annual Ubisoft moment, the Just Dance show. Like previous years’ Just Dance titles, Just Dance 2020 is releasing on the Wii. Unlike, say, Just Dance 2019, it's not releasing on the Wii U. Ouch.

Just Dance 2020 releasing on Nintendo Wii Switch Stadia PlayStation 4 Xbox One
You can see the Wii logo (without a U) in the middle-right.

A lot of Ubisoft's games were boring and very shooter-oriented, and they even managed to ruin The Division by having its theatrical debut be... a Netflix exclusive. Way to screw it up, Ubisoft Motion Pictures. Speaking of which, there was this weird “Mystic Quest” TV (?) show that Ubisoft is helping make, where they make up a nonexistent mega-popular MMO (that I'm sure they wish they could actually make) and follow the developers around in some kind of situational comedy. I don't know.

The most interesting thing was Watch Dogs: Legion. It actually looks super-interesting as a concept—you're in London as part of a decentralised resistance movement against an authoritarian regime, and you can recruit any NPC to be a playable character. And they have their own backstory and animations and storyline. The actual gameplay doesn't seem to be all that riveting, but I can overlook that.

I'm trying to overlook what the developer said after the gameplay demo, which is that this is basically Ubisoft's commentary on a post-Brexit United Kingdom. ...Yeah, I don't think that's... a good perspective from which to develop the game. That really soured my mood because it's just so stupid. It didn't occur to me that this would be a political commentary until the Ubisoft guy name-dropped Brexit. Then it was... oh. Of course.

Still, that shouldn't dramatically impact my original thought on Watch Dogs: Legion, which is “this is interesting.” I can think the product is interesting while simultaneously thinking that it's developed by absolute morons.

Ubisoft's audience was just fine. 


Microsoft's conference didn't give me strong feelings either way. Definitely average. I mentioned in the reaction log that the most interesting games were RPG Time: The Legend of Wright, and Way to the Woods. Low-budget stuff. Microsoft Flight Simulator is high-budget and was welcomed, though. Meanwhile, Project Scarlett was met with... mockery.

Microsoft had an audience. They were fine. 

I don't know, there isn't much to say here. We all want to know what Rare is working on next, but it wasn't shown. I don't give a damn about Keanu Reeves, or any other celebrity that appeared in any of the other conferences.


It's controversial to not have Nintendo in first place. First, let me make it clear... I'm not thrilled about the Dragon Quest Heroes or Banjo & Kazooie. I don't hate them and I know there are many worse choices that could have shown up. I even love that Slime is a part of the Hero's moveset. But just know that I think it's silly that Nintendo's biggest announcements are two downloadable content fighters—a tiny fraction of additional content—to a game that's out already.

As anticipated in the reaction log, my biggest takeaway is that No More Heroes III exists, which makes my still-unplayed purchase of Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes very much worth it. 

No More Heroes III 3 logo E3 2019 lightning flashy effects
A transition screen into the actual No More Heroes III (Roman numerals?) logo, which is flashier than the real logo.

Everything else was “whatever.” I will never care about Luigi's Mansion. I'm not a rabid Animal Crossing fan and that's a series with dramatic diminishing marginal returns—hundreds of hours of Animal Crossing on GameCube and Animal Crossing: New Leaf are more than enough Animal Crossing for a lifetime. I've left the Fire Emblem series for dead, so screw Fire Emblem: Three Houses. It's UGLY.

At least we saw more of Mario & Sonic at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. It's as bleh as I thought it'd be.

Ultimately, the E3 Direct ended with an announcement that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is getting a sequel. Until further notice, I consider that bad news. I thought that it was going to be another DLC pack... but it's a full sequel with full development attention. I'm greatly concerned that it's going to be another open-world experience. Unlike the majority of the people who played The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, I think the game is worse off because of that design decision. A sequel may double-down on that... and thus double-down on what I don't like.

Square Enix

I'll be perfectly honest here: Square Enix started their conference with the Final Fantasy VII REMAKE (well, actually, they pre-started it with some great music) and I already decided that they won E3 2019 (possibly pending Nintendo) right from that.

I was and still am totally impressed with the game, and am very jealous of PlayStation 4 owners. ...And maybe you'll need a PlayStation 5 for the entire game, with all of the multiple disks and all. I'm super-conflicted on if I should buy Final Fantasy VII on the Nintendo Switch now or... wait and see what happens with this REMAKE a decade from now.

Um... I sort of zoned out from everything else in the conference that wasn't a Dragon Quest Slime, or wasn't Final Fantasy VIII being remastered—and that last one is huge if you've followed people trying to figure out why Final Fantasy VIII has never been remastered anywhere.

There was a kind of bad Marvel's Avengers thing at the end that was all kinds of awkward and also relied on dreaded celebrity star power to get through it, but that can't dip Square below Nintendo because Nintendo showed their own Avengers game that actually showed gameplay reminiscent of a 2000s-era crappy licensed game. It's a wash.

Square was, by far, the most friendly company to Nintendo systems outside of Nintendo themselves in terms of non-Final Fantasy VII REMAKE games. Square Enix also is expressing interest in making the rest of their library available through digital methods, which really gets me excited.

In the end, Square's conference was the only one of the conferences for the entire Electronic Entertainment Expo that had me excited for a sustained amount of time. That's why I'm rating them as the best company from E3 2019. 

One caveat: I had no expectations for Square Enix's conference going into it. They couldn't possibly disappoint me, no matter what they did. Therefore, it was impossible for them to fail. This may have influenced how I perceived their conference versus Nintendo's activity. 

E3 2019 as a whole was clearly below-average compared to historical events, even with the two worst companies removed from it entirely. KoopaTV doesn't know what E3 2020 will be like, but perhaps it's best to downplay that a year from now like 2019 was downplayed. Or maybe it'll actually be unmissable.

Read the E3 2018 tier list here. It's actually dramatically different than the 2019 one.
Read the E3 2021 tier list here. Devolver was finally allowed in.


  1. Having two more fighters in advance known along with the released Joker makes me only have to worry about 2 more fighters so the Nintendo Direct satisfied me.

    1. Does that sentiment become retconned if the remaining two are a disaster?

    2. 'cause, if, say, SORA was always intended to be in, him not being announced as first, second, or third doesn't raise the chances that he's not fourth or fifth.

    3. Well it buys me some time to stay calm at least.

    4. See, I'd rather spend my time in anticipation and excitement brought by Square Enix's conference (and I'll be waiting a LONG time for the whole Final Fantasy VII REMAKE to be complete) rather than have a “calm” but really fear-filled time anticipating what the last Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Fighter's Pass characters are.

  2. When I first saw that list, I almost had a conniption fit from Nintendo being in 4th place until I read the bit where you said they were organized from worst to best. That's...not conventional "tier list" organization as I understand it.

    1. I wanted to match the order that the article is laid-out, and it's more interesting to go from worst-to-best.

  3. I'd swap Bethesda and Ubisoft. At least Bethesda had Ghostwire.

    1. For transparency, the other staff members have converged at Ubisoft < Bethesda < Microsoft < Square Enix < Nintendo.

      I attached a much harsher penalty for Bethesda's idiocy than Ubisoft's.


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