Did Ubisoft Just Win E3?
So, after several amazing presentations and perhaps a few mediocre ones (hello, EA and Microsoft), I’m left with mixed feelings. This year didn’t have any spectacular surprises, and we already knew about many of the announced games and products. Microsoft barely presented games, and instead focused on…adding Internet Explorer to the XBOX. Really? Sony put on a good show, but they also focused mostly focused on how their console and handheld were still relevant, rather than the games that made those systems relevant. While I was expecting Nintendo to pull through with an awesome show and plenty of gameplay, their presentation was a bit lackluster, which brings me to my conclusion: Ubisoft won E3.
Appearing in many of the shows, Ubisoft always brought something new to the table. They do have a slight advantage over console companies because they get slightly more screentime, but they still made each presentation entirely different than the last, and always made sure to reveal new content. Their presentations remained interesting because they showed new gameplay, new concepts, and teased new games—in other words, they focused on games rather than sales. It might seem like an obvious point, but I feel that many of the other companies forgot they were at a game-focused presentation, and instead pitching their consoles to market analysts.
Ubisoft is part of what made the Nintendo conference actually interesting, since they presented a total of nine—you read that right, nine—games for the Wii U. The company has always had a history of supporting multiple console releases, and their dedication to having launch titles available seems to be getting an upgrade as we move into the next generation of gaming. They have also continued to support the PS Vita, with Assassins Creed: Liberation looking just as impressive as its console releases and sporting its own intriguing plot. The presentation of several new IPs—namely Watch_Dogs and ZombiU—was stunning and something you’d expect to see at a larger corporation, and not from a single company in action.
Even though Ubisoft represents just one company, it still managed to give a more diverse presentation than all of the other presentations combined. It might be a stretch to say that Ubisoft won E3—since bets are usually on the big three console companies—but the other three definitely didn’t win it. Microsoft brought very few games to the table, Sony didn’t focus their presentation very well and ended it with a somewhat glitchy Playstation Move demonstration, and Nintendo focused too much on Fitness games (let’s be honest—most people watching E3 probably aren’t into fitness games) and its Miiverse. Nintendo does get a special mention for its commendable customer service—they’re continuing to support many of its old accessories, and they went ahead and streamed a demonstration of many of the Wii U games only attendees could play. Along with that, they have another show planned tomorrow specifically highlighting the 3DS.
Given that Nintendo hasn’t officially finished presenting, it might be too soon to call it. But it’s clear that among the current presentations, Ubisoft far outshone its other E3 competitors, and actually made a few of the other presentations more interesting than they would be without. Because of their focus on games and demo presentations, I’m going to have to name them the winner—at least until we hear the last word from Nintendo.