June 12th marks the last day for E3 2014 and there was a lot of news and reveals this year. The big players: Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft showcased their plans for the coming year with the return of old and new franchises. And Xsolla was there to take pictures and talk to developers.
Today’s post highlights some of the highs and lows from the conference, including the recent controversy from Ubisoft.
Many popular series had sequels revealed during E3 this past week.
Brand new iterations of EA Sports’ lineup were expected along with new information on the next Mass Effect and Dragons Age titles. A big surprise from EA’s conference given the sports and RPG focus was a quick mention of Mirror’s Edge 2 that was sandwiched in between the sports titles.
EA also announced the next game in the Battlefield series titled Battlefield Hardline which looks to play off of the cops vs. robbers combat that Overkill Software’s Payday the Heist and Payday 2 have been working with. But watching trailers and their live play, the games are completely different.
Before the controversy from Ubisoft which we’ll get to in a minute, they showed off some impressive titles. Farcry 4‘s footage continued to showcase the latest villain in the series and Rainbow Six is back with the cooperative tactical shooter Rainbow Six Siege.
Both Microsoft and Sony showcased potential system sellers for their respective consoles. Sunset Overdrive is the next game from critically acclaimed studio Insomniac Games featuring open world destruction in a violently animated world. After Insomniac’s previous title Fuse who had an equally animated introduction at E3 was changed to a more gritty style, hopefully Insomniac has learned their lesson.
While over at Sony’s conference, the big news was From Software’s next title Bloodborne. The project that Demon’s Souls designer and Bloodborne’s game director Hidetaka Miyazaki has been working on instead of being part of Dark Souls 2’s development. It’s still very early in development but From Software has been on a roll lately and this looks to be another great game for hardcore gamers.
Nintendo went in a different direction compared to the other major companies and had an online conference which you can watch from their E3 site. Nintendo’s lineup featured returns of many of their popular characters such as Yoshi’s Wooly World and Kirby Rainbow Curse. Two interesting developments from the house of Mario was the reveal of the next Zelda game being open world and a Mario level editor.
Nintendo also revealed their foray into online multiplayer with Splatoon: A title where players use paint to cover areas that represent their territory. Allowing them to move through the paint like a squid to cover gaps and avoid damage from other players.
Nintendo also talked about two mature games coming to the Wii-U’s lineup, Bayonetta 2 and Xenoblade Chronicles X. Bayonetta 2 is going to be packaged with a remastered edition of the first game that never made it onto a Nintendo platform. And Xenoblade Chronicles is the sequel to the original game that was part of a petition to get it ported to the US in 2012.
But perhaps the strangest bit of news from Nintendo was discussing their take on the Skylanders/Disney Infinity action figure craze with amiibo. The first series will work with the upcoming Super Smash Brothers sequel for the Wii-U and allow players to download characters into the game and improve them. Other than that, not much is known about the pricing or their use for other games.
The call for greater diversity in the Game Industry has been gaining traction over recent months and Ubisoft made waves the wrong way when talking about Assassin’s Creed Unity. When asked if the developer would have playable female characters, Ubisoft said that it wouldn’t be possible due to economic costs and that female avatars had to be cut.
This sparked a lot of angry customers and Ubisoft trying to claim that they did it from a business standpoint with no ill will towards women. But this raised the debate about how important is it to recognize multiple genders in your games and the changing viewpoint among consumers in the industry.
To make matters worse for Ubisoft, a new hash tag: #womenaretoohardtoanimate has gain traction among people who are calling Ubisoft out and accusing them of lying about their reasoning. Several artists from Farcry 4 and Unity’s development team stated that it wouldn’t have been a big deal to have female avatars and that female characters were also cut from Farcry 4.
At this time there have been no official updates from Ubisoft and whether or not they will change their minds.
For more on E3 as well as watching replays from all the conferences, make sure to check out the official E3 Expo page.