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Garrett Fuller: A Month Before E3 and What Do We Have?

Columns By Garrett Fuller on May 09, 2017

A Month Before E3 and What Do We Have?

Over the years we at MMORPG have attended countless game shows. Every one of them is unique and has surprises that we try our hardest to share with fans. This year, however, on the heels of a very strong PAX East we are entering the E3 territory and many of the big game reveals do not seem like they are on the horizon. How will E3 play out in a few months is anyone’s guess, but here are a few theories for you to consider.

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The Era of the Console MMO

With Destiny 2 leading the charge we are starting to see more and more online games being played from the console. Elder Scrolls Online has seen huge success in the console market and other games like Neverwinter are doing extremely well. This is an area that could see some rapid growth over the next few years. E3 will be focused highly on Destiny 2 for now, but playing in instanced games with people while sitting on your couch really has become the new definition of the MMO space.

Many of the games over the last few years that have ported over to console have done extremely well. The big question here is whether publishers will start filling in the market with new products? Games like Sea of Thieves keep making everyone’s top lists for 2017 and these online experiences will begin to translate to new audiences.

It will be interesting to see how new MMOs fair on consoles. Right now if you look at Destiny and Elder Scrolls Online, they are doing insanely well. Still, publishers are cautious after the MMO bubble popped about six years ago with Star Wars: The Old Republic. I do think you will see a resurgence of games coming that host online worlds where people connect, it just may not be the classic form we have known for decades.

The Heavy RPG

In the past two years, you had Fallout 4 and The Witcher dominate the RPG market. Games like Dark Souls and other also continue to do well and host a loyal following. Mass Effect tried to capture that space in the sci-fi market this past winter. You also had great offerings like Final Fantasy hit the market as well. There will always be RPG games coming, however, will we still get the full in-depth quality we had in the past. There are two reasons the answer is an absolute yes. The first is that RPG fans are always hungry for the next adventure. The second comes in the form of DLC. The small expansion packs for solid RPGs have proven to be a big money maker for publishers. It also extends the life of the game and builds a community around the product.

RPGs will continue and we may see a few pop up at E3 this year. The interesting story will be the changes to game mechanics and ideas that come out of the studios. If RPGs need anything it is some new ways of playing to change up the genre a little.

The Indie Market

E3 does very little to support independent developers. Shows like PAX is where indie game shine and if the people at E3 learn anything it is that the game industry loves their indies. PAX has a proven system to support smaller games. E3 was always so quick to host giant booths and large press conferences that they lost sight of the core that holds games together. As we see companies branching out to host their own events and fans able to buy tickets for the show, only 15,000 mind you, that is a blip compared to PAX and Gamescom. E3 needs to do more to support independent development and new business instead of just trying to host the same publishers every year.

Overall, I do not expect a stellar E3 this year. I think it is still suffering from the drop off it had in 2016. The team is trying to find a way to patch things up and remain the premiere game show, however, PAX seems to have far surpassed the event in the hearts of gamers. 

Garrett Fuller Garrett Fuller Editorials
Garrett Fuller has been playing MMOs since 1997. He originally joined MMORPG.com as a writer in 2005. In 2007 Garrett went on to handle Industry Relations for TenTonHammer.com. Then, in July 2009, Garrett happily rejoined his old team at MMORPG.com as the site's News Manager. Garrett lives in Hillsborough, NJ with his wife, son and daughter.

His column appears here every Wednesday.
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