As someone who has attended every Electronic Entertainment Expo since its inception in 1995, this was one for the record books. It’s hard to say if it’s the best in E3’s 20-year history, but there is no denying that it was the strongest of the last decade and that it supercharged the industry and gamers alike. I left with a renewed excitement for the industry I love so dearly.
I heard E3 2015 dubbed many things over the five-day event: The Return of Triple A, The Year of the Woman, and The Year of VR. The crazy thing is, I believe every one of these is right, and that was the reason the show was so powerful.
Independent developers still had an amazing showing at this year’s E3, but there was no denying the power of big budget triple-A at this year’s show. Last year, the blockbuster lineup was thin, but this year the line of promising big games extended around the block. Return of the Triple A? Check.
Gamers the world over have been demanding more choice in who they play, and this year it finally feels like game developers and publishers are listening. More games that featured female protagonists or the ability to play as a female lead were shown than ever before. The industry still has a long way to go on the diversity front, but this year was a great step in the right direction. Both Microsoft and Sony revealed new series that featured a female lead in ReCore and Horizon Zero Dawn, respectively. Tomb Raider and Mirror’s Edge stood tall with their returning leading ladies, and other titles like Dishonored 2 and Assassin’s Creed Syndicate gave players the option to play in new ways. To top it off, games that featured character creators like Fallout 4 let players continue to play their adventures however they want to play. Year of the Woman? Check.
Finally, while virtual reality still has a long way to go, we played more VR games this year than before that felt more like games than just demos. I still think VR has to overcome some hurdles before it becomes a mainstream entertainment medium, but some of my best memories of this year’s E3 were found in the strange and wonderful VR space. VR may not have won E3 yet, but it most certainly left its mark.