October 1, 2020

Beware of the E3 Rumour Mill…

 


Hey all, Kami here. I’m gonna do a more personal blog post in a few days, but for now, some more gaming stuff.

Right, so the rumour mills are going full pelt – can you tell there’s just six more weeks until E3? And some of the rumours are… believable, like Fortnite for the Switch (considering it’s on mobile devices, Switch seems like an inevitability but then so do lots of games…) and reports that Final Fantasy 7 Remake is in trouble, with a few YouTubers claiming that the footage and build we’ve seen so far has been erased from existence by CyberConnect2. That I find harder to believe since… well… backups. Surely Square-Enix has some backups, even if the most recent build was a cavalcade of trash. I don’t know if I buy it – yes, it’s believable because Final Fantasy games for the last decade or so have become famous for their tortured development cycles but still… something as massive and public as the Final Fantasy 7 Remake? Something smells off there.

And there are lots more rumours – but know this; we go through this every year.

Sometimes we’re pleasantly surprised, othertimes terribly disappointed, but the story repeats every year; people are super-pumped about E3 but still think they can objectively predict (or even create) announcements, reveals and other things. And there’s nothing wrong with wanting to make some predictions – I do each year. But you need to be clear that they are predictions; they’re not news, they’re barely even content and I know I’m a hypocrite for saying that but eh what can you do.

There are so many things I’d like to see this E3; broader third-party Switch games (I think that’s likely but still, 90’s Nintendo still haunts the company), I’d like to see Sony revisit some older games and maybe break from the in-house Uncharted formula – not that there’s anything wrong with that, mind you. I’d like Microsoft to suddenly have a bunch of massive game announcements. I want all of this because it gives us hope for an exciting, charged year ahead which can excite consumers and the industry and lead to finally burying the first few years of this generation in a ditch somewhere.

But – it’s important to take any “rumours” with a copious truckload of salt. The expectation is delicious, of course it is. We gorge ourselves on hype. But the reality may turn out to be very different; like someone said Nintendo’s whole E3 Direct will be Smash Bros. because Nintendo said that Smash will feature “prominently” at E3; yeah, of course it will. From being on the show floor to the actual tournament they’re holding with the new version, it will feature heavily and I’m sure there’ll be a few character teasers in the Direct. But the whole Direct? This isn’t the Wii U’s final year people; I’m fairly sure right now they’ll have other things to talk about. Switch is doing so well right now that I can’t see the old one-game Direct focus being necessary here.

There’s often a grain of truth at the core of every rumour – it’s what makes them so easy to gorge on. Remember when we had reports of EA killing Visceral Games back in 2014? I do. Took them three years to actually do that, granted, but it’s what EA does – why look too deeply when it’s just so believable? That’s why it’s easy to believe in such rumours. Because it just seems like something they’d do (hence I say take the Final Fantasy 7 Remake rumours seriously, but not TOO seriously; yes, Square-Enix is moving the development in-house according to reports but that doesn’t necessarily mean ‘from scratch’, or that a respectable developer of RPGs in the past would spitefully delete content to flip the bird at their employers…).

In the coming weeks, there’ll be LOADS of rumours; some will be exactly what you want to hear. Others… less so. But that’s the E3 way. About this time, companies start going into lockdown-mode in order to prevent themselves springing any leaks, hoping that they can ride out the storm long enough to make it to their E3 Briefings with at least most of their conference intact and not having been broadcast to the whole world days in advance. I think this is a stupid way of doing things but eh, I think Nintendo’s recorded Direct approach is a good thing on that front too so what do I know…

As news slows down to a crawl, rumours will rush in to the empty space. It’s always the same; post-E3, there’s so many announcements to digest that we tend to push the rumours to one side for a while. It’s a predictable cycle. It happens every year.

Just… be careful this year. With how nasty things have been getting in some places, this could turn into a five-alarm console war and those are never pretty to witness.

Wait for E3. Have some hopes, make some coy predictions you’d love to see. But don’t buy into every single rumour.

That way leads to disappointment.

Kami

I'm the big cheese here. Comment, subscribe, direct waves of hate at me - all the same. Just hope you've had some partial enjoyment here!

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