Don't believe the hype machine.
If your favorite video games tend to be those with massive marketing budgets and day one DLC, you're probably foaming at the mouth for all the HUGE announcements we'll be bombarded with from the big players at E3.
Basically, name a big budget game from the last few years and we're almost guaranteed to hear about a sequel, reboot or new platform for it.
It's the kind of self-aggrandisement we're used to from the big Hollywood film studios, the kind that perpetuates the myth that the marketers and middle-men are the driving force of the industry.
Expect non-representative trailers, flashing lights and egregious use of words like 'emergent' and 'sandbox' to describe the next annual incarnation of a white man with brown hair and daddy issues killing stuff in bullet time.
I'm not a fan of this kind of thing.
There are, of course, a few titles I'm interested in hearing more about. Evolve is an interesting take on asymmetrical PvP made by people who know exactly how that should work, Battlecry has a cool Team Fortress vibe that could add a bit of life to the 'action combat' arena, and The Division looks like the type of game that could do a lot for the image of persistent online gameplay. Also Elite: Dangerous and Wasteland 2, because being different isn't the same as being better.
Of course, we all know about another couple of games that will be at E3.
Landmark should have a pretty strong presence, with a patch on Monday introducing a couple of features that will radically alter the way the game is played . Being able to build underwater and needing to go underground to collect materials will add the first real sense of the 3D space Landmark operates in. The verticality of the game world is a feature that will have a huge impact on systems that come later, particularly exploration and combat, and is something that will immediately set Landmark and EverQuest Next apart from their MMO contemporaries.
If you think the new gameplay features are a big deal, Player Studio implementation will be a game changer. We can expect the quality and variety of builds to explode as players scramble to make a name for themselves in the new market. It seems somewhat unfortunate that this is coming in before more robust social systems. As I've said before, I hope the attitude of Landmark players turns to collaboration rather than competition, and sooner rather than later.
In the long term this system will become an invaluable resource to the community, but for now expect many complaints and cries of 'elitism' from emotionally stunted players.
With such big ticket features landing so close to E3 and a wealth of new additions slated for the following weeks, I've no doubt SOE will want to show off the prelude to the newest incarnation of its flagship series.
Speaking of preludes, the messaging to the community over the last few weeks has started to feature the lore of EverQuest Next pretty heavily. They sure are going out of their way to plug the eBooks to the community. I'm sure this is no coincidence, so this may be a good time to give them a look if you haven't yet.
Since we're on the topic of EverQuest Next, I do wonder if we'll be seeing anything new at E3. While the focus of the team will certainly be on Landmark, giving the gaming press something new to say about EQNext could stoke the fire for the expected reveals at SOE Live, only a couple of months later.
While I abhor watching the industry pat itself on the back as it continues to burn the crops and salt the earth, and I cannot endorse the lazy hype machine that is E3, I am really looking forward to seeing what new info comes out about EverQuest Next and Landmark. Never underestimate the human capacity for double-think style hypocrisy.