Summer game party, then. I think we can all agree on the most important takeaway from the evening’s festivities: what was going on in that eternal fuck Geoff KeighleyJacket ? Was it polyester? Pleasure ? Had he fashioned it from the remains of a broken gaming chair?
An hour into my wife appeared, having successfully put the youngest to sleep, and guessed it was duchess satin, a fabric commonly used in the bridal scene. Was Geoff Planning A Live Goth Wedding With His Eternal Best Friend Hideo Kojima close the show? You wouldn’t let it pass, would you. Either way, yuck. Fuckedness Satin, more like.
After that, I’m afraid I can’t focus on video games anymore; it was now a deeply strange fashion show. Glen Schofieldhandy to show The Callisto Protocol, shouldn’t wear a blazer, although of course I would never say that to her face. Despite his gruff, menacing voice and intimidating weight, Glen is actually a sensitive soul and a true lover.
A few years ago I had dinner with him and his COD brother-in-arms, Michael Condrey. I arrived early to find that Glen was already there; he was drawing in a portfolio and he spent 20 minutes talking quietly and very precisely about his art while I sipped my gin and tonic.
So, yes, handsome man. The blazer looked terrible, but next to Geoff in his mismatched bridesmaid suit, Glen almost got away with it – unlike Johanna Faries, the general manager of Call Of Duty who, opening the doors of her wardrobe before taking part in a stage show broadcast live around the world and watched by millions of people. , let his eyes wander over the power suits and casual affairs typical of the executive ensemble and thought, “Yep, overalls.”
Later NFT Love Voice Actor Troy Baker it looked like he had knocked over a drink backstage and had to borrow pants from a runner who was a foot shorter than him. The closing of the show was Neil Druckman in a $125 henley that didn’t fit. It wasn’t until Geoff walked off stage and handed over to Day Of The Devs that we finally saw people who looked like they’d dressed with their eyes open.
If anything, I was grateful for the distraction, given the caliber of play Geoff had to show us. As I pointed out earlier in the weekHype God’s decision to lower expectations for the event was a worrying sign, but looking back, I’m not sure he went far enough to prepare us the way he prepared a fart.
It wasn’t all about quality – I’m sure a lot of these games will run very well. It was more a question of curation. There was way too much sci-fi, way too much horror, and also too much science-fiction horror. And violence was the dominant language of the time. No surprise with things like that, sure, but with so much gender sharing, it felt even more prominent than usual.
Every once in a while in my old days on Edge, as we were putting the finishing touches on an issue, I would suddenly realize that the review section was full of 7. I would re-read them all; maybe a few were secretly 6s in disguise, and maybe one, on closer reading, deserved an 8. Maybe we could push one of the 7s to next month? Most of the time I couldn’t do anything, but at least I tried. I’m sure Geoff tried his best too, but he ended up in the same situation.
Just as I always had to fill a review section because the magazine had a fixed page count, Geoff has now committed to filling a 90-minute show three times a year with exciting new video games (mostly) triple -HAS. And sometimes, as we saw last night, the industry just doesn’t have enough games to back it up, especially at E3 when every platform holder, publisher, media company and their dog host their own show. There are only a limited number of games to browse.
Geoff did his best to style it – no small feat in this jacket – and after Druckmann followed his t-shirt off stage, we got the only really big news of the night: an open declaration of war at E3. “Summer game party will return in June 2023,” he said, “as a digital and in-person event to bring the gaming community together.
This only a few days after the Entertainment Software Association promised that E3 would return, as a digital and in-person event, in June 2023. Clearly, Keighley calculated that E3 had been gone too long and had done enough to claim the void while it was gone. E3 is dead; long live Keigh.
I kinda respect that, if I’m being honest – especially from someone whose career really could have ended when the Doritopop meme was born – but he will have to do much better than he did last night if he is ever to succeed in sending E3 into the dustbin of history.
His gauntlet firmly thrown down, Geoff then passed the baton to Day Of The Devs, the Double fine indie shindig which celebrated its 10th anniversary this year. I’m not sure the creative divide between triple-A and indie games has ever been steeper (and not just because of the outfits).
As the Venn Diagram of Science Fiction and Horror from Summer Game Fest showed, triple-A bodies tend to think in terms of genres — and verbs, as Troy Baker acknowledged in the ‘one of the show’s few moments of insight – as the indies swap concepts. We went from “sci-fi horror third-person shooter” to “you run a bed and breakfast in the woods, but you’re a bear” and honestly, it wasn’t a contest.
There was a lot to like here, but my choice fell on the opener, Time Flies. It’s a great idea, terrifically funny and it was a real tonic after the ultra-violent, over-the-top, extravagant oppression of the show that preceded it.
And then there was Devolver, the final act of the night but by no means its main act. Quite the opposite, really. I never bought into Devolver’s countercultural anarcho-punk shtick. It always felt contrived, overly precise and polished, like the marketing copy on the back of an overpriced craft beer can.
I thought last night was a new low in that regard, mainly because Devolver went public in early 2022, floating on the London Stock Exchange worth nearly $1 billion. I don’t think you can make fun of industry consolidation when sony and NetEase used said IPO to take a significant stake in your business.
I’m not sure you can still satirize the business and labor practices of traditional video game companies while across the hall the bean counters are looking for possible efficiencies in order to maximize shareholder value. You’ve become what you say you hate, Devolver, as if you weren’t already. Glass houses and all that. The clothes were okay, though, I guess.
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