E3, the big game industry consumer trade show, has come and gone. As usual, I watched the press conferences, followed other bits of coverage, eagerly devoured previews of games I’m looking forward to, and generally enjoyed the energy and buzz.
I’ve stepped back from the wrapup style posts I’ve written before, and the professionals are doing much better work anyway. One of my favorites this year is Leigh Alexander‘s particularly insightful article over at Gamasutra. It’s so damn good that I’m going to quote a few paragraphs whole cloth:
No longer is the broad connectivity of online platform services enough. Publishers believe their audiences want social wrappers unique to major franchises everywhere it makes sense.
The third-party publishers are more different from one another than ever. There are so many choices for how to set a brand against the market that major publishers are rapidly skewing toward what they are best at, and find most important. A glance at the show floor proves it.
And this year’s event played more squarely to the traditional market than ever before. Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo seemed eager to emphasize that their newest mass-market devices — motion-controlled Kinect and Move and touch-based Wii U — had numerous applications for core games…The hyper-focus on AAA action entertainment, and the blistering levels of quality and realism the industry’s beginning to achieve seem actually counteractive.
Farewell, E3! See you next year!