The AggroCast is ready to dive into Summer Game Fest, all that it showed, ups, downs, and why Summer Game Fest could be bad for us
The AggroCast crew is back and ready to talk about the recent Summer Game Fest. Many of you have most likely watched it out there, but here we go with a deeper dive into what it is and what was shown off. Also, David has even more words to have about Summer Game Fest and the various other streams that took place around it. Get ready to hear more ranting on why this is a terrible thing for the industry and gaming consumers in general.
You can also listen to the AggroCast podcast on your favorite streaming services too. That means you can listen and subscribe on iTunes if that is how you want to go. If that is not your jam, you can also hit it up on Spotify too. You can truly help us all out by giving the show on all of those platforms and our YouTube channel as well. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for the AggroCast, feel free to shoot over an email to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AggroCast Resurrected — Getting Ready For Diablo IV [Episode Eight]
Raymond Bruels: Welcome to the Aggrocast. This is Ray Bruels with David Hades Becker. Today we are talking about Summer Game Fest. So David, what the hell is this thing?
David Hades Becker: Uh, Summer Game Fest. It is a project Geoff Keighley has done in the past. And it was usually one of those little hype up teasers when we were coming up to like E3. It was carryover from The Game Awards he would do. Whereas he would get a couple exclusive things here. But it was more or less a hype machine to go, here’s why you need to go to E3 or you need to go to this, this huge gaming event that one of the other publishers or developers are doing. And that’s what it started out to be. Now for this year, it has been literally day one of not E3 become uh, like, I think they showed 40 plus games during this live stream they did for about two and a half hours that they streamed on Twitch, YouTube, everything else. And it was to show off some world premieres and show off some stuff. But on top of that, it was also to get you hyped for all of the other gaming streams that every other developer and publisher was also going to do since there was no in-person E3 this year.
RB: So it sounds like there was a ton of content.
DHB: Yes, there was and like so the whole thing started off with something that I know a lot of people didn’t realize didn’t realize but didn’t expect because almost a couple of days before we heard there was a cancel or not a cancellation but a postponement of a new Prince of Persia game because they were doing a remake of Prince of Persia: Sands of Time and the whole show started off with Prince of Persia: Lost Crown, which is a whole new entry into the franchise, and it’s taking a whole bunch of elements from all sorts of other games. So it’s interesting that they started with that, even though the other one was kind of put on a permanent hiatus. And then they moved into like Mortal Kombat 1, Dead by Daylight showed up, Nicolas Cage is going to be in there, and they actually had Nicolas Cage on stage to talk about it. They hyped up Witcher Season 3, even though I could of swore Henry Cavill wasn’t done with it all, but they featured him front and center, so maybe that’s their sending for the for him as the character.
RB: My understanding was this was going to be the last season for him and then it was switching over to uh Liam Hemsworth.
DHB: Gotcha okay which is probably why they featured him so heavily in the trailer because after that it was it was interesting they went from witch uh Witcher to Witchfire which is an interesting medieval magic shooter which I’ve been excited for and I’ve been covering it quite a bit on the site itself It feels like BioShock, if it was set during a medieval witch period, it’s cool. Then there’s Sonic Superstars, which is more or less a full remake or remaster of the original games in a 3D space, so even though it’s a 2D side-scroller for a Sonic game, it was a full 3D perception on all the characters. They showed off more of Lies of P, which is the new, unfortunately, Death Souls-like video game. Set like in a cool steampunk Victorian age. It looks so cool.
RB: Yeah, that sounds pretty awesome.
DHB: But unfortunately it’s going to be like Bloodborne where it sounds awesome, visuals are awesome, I’ve played the demo, it’s a Souls-like through and through and oh I hate that fucking game game mechanic.
RB: Yeah I love everything about Bloodborne other than playing it.
DHB: Yeah exactly everything even like in the comics everything is amazing. So if you haven’t checked it out check out Lies of P. It’s like they take the Pinocchio story and they turn it into where Pinocchio he’s already gone through the whole transition where he a real boy but he’s still half robot and it’s in a whole steampunk era. And Geppetto has been kidnapped and the blue fairy sends him and he’s just this badass warrior but it’s a Soul-like and I have gameplay coming up on the site soon of the demo. It’s everything about it is amazing I just hate the gameplay. Yeah after that there was there’s a bunch of other things that they showed off there like Crash Team Rumble. They showed off some new stuff for that. They showed off some stuff for Dying Light 2. I think there’s an anime called Sand Land that’s getting a whole first-person shooter type game with that done in kind of the Borderlands style of visuals. It looks amazing. I had no idea, but the small crowd that I was with in where I was watching it, they got all excited. I was lost. And then we move into one of the next bigger things. And it’s one of the bigger talking points I tried to bring up in the last podcast we did about them driving the narrative with this thing. And it was Alan Wake 2. And Alan Wake 2 looks amazing. And it’s a sequel to a game done by Remedy Entertainment and I love the game even though I’m more of a PlayStation player. It was on it was the reason I got an Xbox was to play this game and now they have the full sequel coming out. If you remember back to the past podcast which you might have to go back and listen to about you know E3 getting cancelled and everything this is the one title that it felt like they were trying to push the specific narrative on things and had it not been Remedy I would have called it out beforehand. Because so, they show gameplay and they label it as Raw Uncut Gameplay that everybody’s gonna experience whenever they play this game. And I’m sitting there, I’m watching it, and it looks creepy. It’s awesome. The main character’s Saga’s walking through a forge, she’s got her flashlight out, looking around, and it’s scripted. Everything is scripted as if, the better way to say it is, when you see one of those one-take shots that you see in movies and TV. Where somebody, they have everybody practice it so much that it, no matter how they play it out, it’s gonna play out the same way. So it might as well have been a completely scripted scene as in the game engine running it.
RB: So they really made it cinematic in the gameplay.
DHB: They did, yes. Yes, they made it really cinematic it made it feel like like you were watching just a normal trailer. Even though I guarantee it was also pre-recorded because it was a live stream instead of having somebody sitting there playing it. But when you watch it they’re like oh yeah it’s live somebody’s actually playing this. I don’t know a single person that would play it to where if you’ve heard a sound go off in the bushes they’ll slowly pan the the flash fight over to look at it. Every gamer I know they’re gonna snap too and look over there. At one point during the demo one of the big bads comes out and comes at you with this giant axe or something like or giant axe or hammer and they go slowly running out of the building and they do the smart thing where they kind of put like a park bench between them to kind of like slow them down. But then they slowly take their aim and it’s like you could tell it was very scripted because they still wanted to make it look amazing but it wasn’t raw. I guess to me it was somebody going through they had practiced this 90 to 100 times so that it looked great when they presented it to everybody but people were taking that as that’s going to be the definitive experience everybody has, no matter where they’re playing this game. And the reason I know that is I’ve had other people tell me that’s how they expect the game to play when it’s in their hands and not in the hands of another person.
RB: Yeah, that’s, that’s dishonest.
DHB: It is, it is. And like I said, thankfully it’s from, from Remedy Entertainment. And so far they’ve been one of the few companies out there that’s been completely transparent and so far almost all of their titles they put out have lived up to the hype they’ve built for it. So I’m giving them a pass, but I feel like that’s priming people to start thinking that way, which leads into one of the other games that I saw there was there was a teaser for Assassin’s Creed Mirage, which is the next one coming out in October from Ubisoft. Now, for those just listening and haven’t been in the gaming industry before, please look it up. But there was something, I don’t remember what the internet was calling it, I want to say it was like Watch Dog Gate or something like that because it was like the big thing at the time. During one of the E3s when the first Watch Dogs came out, Ubisoft did the same thing. We’re like, this is raw, unedited gameplay, and they had somebody on stage playing it. And you’re watching this, watching the video and everybody’s like, Oh, this is amazing and everything, but then people were rewatching it and things weren’t lining up and then when more demos came out, what we saw in the very first gameplay, which was the raw unedited, what we should have seen at the very end didn’t match up to stuff that was coming out just before long, but people were pre-ordering, spending money and all this stuff beforehand, expecting to get what they saw as the raw and edited, but then ended up getting, even though Watch Dogs was still a great game, they didn’t get what was sold to them. And that’s why I feel like it was a, it was a priming situation where taking this company that’s known for never doing this build this up and then when you watch stuff for like even though they didn’t do live gameplay during during this event and that that took place in the Ubisoft show that took place a couple days later it kind of sets that sets that emotion where people start thinking all this gameplay they’re seeing is live unedited raw footage and now they’re going to expect that from other games that’s kind of the narrative they’re driving.
RB: Were there any other games during games this Summer Game Fest that did that kind of pushed their own narrative?
DHB: Out of the rest of them, not that I can I… I mean, Mortal Kombat 1 kind of did, but they actually had Ed Boon on stage talking about it all. So he was actively correcting things as it was coming up. He’s like, oh yeah, this is this. Like people were expecting they have the new, they call it the Kameo system. And people were expecting to be kind of more of a tag team system where you choose two characters, you could swap between them. And he corrected that right out the gate. He was like, no, no, no, you choose your character and then you choose another one and they kind of come in as a special move that you can call, um, kind of like one of the environmental attacks. And there’s going to be some that are more akin to the previous Mortal Kombat games. They’re not going to be full characters you can play as but there will be some of those full characters in there so… Like he went out of his way to make sure that people were not speculating on the quote-unquote raw gameplay they were seeing on screen. But that was the next closest I remember seeing that to coming anywhere near that.
RB: But he corrected their expectation
DHB: Yeah he corrected the expectation but I guarantee that was because he was on stage. I don’t think if he was on stage, there wouldn’t have been anybody there to correct that expectation. And they only had like a couple other people on stage throughout the rest of the event that were there talking about stuff. And most of those were just like, oh yeah, we’re just making story places here, or we’re talking about this here. And it was like, it was nothing to where it was like, they were trying to make a big selling point on stuff. But the Mortal Kombat 1, yeah, he was, when people would think, oh, I’m gonna get a tag team Mortal Kombat, he’s like, no, no, no, that’s what the expectation is set. He pulled that back. And I guess Spider-Man was the other one. They had the developers up there for that. And there was a lot of people talking about because Venom is gonna be one of the main characters. And that was a huge speculation online. People were talking about one thing or another. And he’s like, no, Venom is not who you’re thinking it is. It’s not even gonna be Eddie Brock. It’s not gonna be any of the other Venoms that we’ve had in the past as well. It’s a completely new thing for this game. And which I guess spirals into another thing which is interesting because Insomniac, who did the first Spider-Man game, they got caught doing the same thing Ubisoft did that I mentioned before. And this one’s called Puddle Gate, was during the first Spider-Man, they showed out the first Spider-Man on PS4 and then PS5. There was a bunch of gameplay and it looked amazing and like he’s swinging around, you see these puddles on the ground and having one-to-one reflection, and everybody was losing their mind because it was it was on the PS4 at the time, and it was technology that people did not expect to see up there because it was like perfect ray tracing. And then when people were actually playing the game and demo behind the scenes, they were starting to notice that they were no longer there. And then when the game actually came That’s when it came out that the PS4 couldn’t actually run those visuals in the demo Everybody saw in the gameplay that they were expecting was run on a high-end PC that could do it all which was just the development PC and it took them I think it was six months to actually patch the PS4 version to include just random puddles it sounds stupid to talk about but it was like they were sold this expectation on visual quality and then the visual quality they got was downgraded for the actual release.
RB: Wow, that’s funny
DHB: Yeah, and I mean, thankfully, they were out there and they weren’t trying to sell any they were trying to lower expectations on just characters and stories, but it’s interesting that they were out there, even though not even like I think it was like four or five videos before was when they had the Alan Wake one come on and do like this is Raw Unedited gameplay, you know, it’s going to be that way it’s going to be at the very final game like it’s not really but okay.
RB: So there were like 40-50 games that they showed.
DHB: Oh, yeah, and I’ve only I’ve only touched up touched on a few I know on our YouTube And on the website, we’re going to list all those trailers. We’re gonna have all the other trailers kind of in a, here’s everything you might have missed just in case people weren’t able to sit there and live stream the entire event. Because it went on for, I mean, it’s still going on as of this recording of this podcast. There’s still more events going on and instead of doing it all clustered into a couple of days, now they’ve sorted it out over almost two weeks of live streams that you have to log in at random times during the week. Like even Summer Game Fest, it took place at 11 a.m. on a Thursday in a period where school is still technically in session for most places, and obviously everybody else could be in the office working. But it’s not like the prime time to stream, like I think there was a few streams that happened over the weekend, but then there’s a whole bunch that have happened during the week during normal business hours, normal school hours.
RB: So you had to specifically go out of your way to catch this thing.
DHB: Yeah, so I got invited out to go watch one of the live streams of one of the IMAX theaters here in Las Vegas, and I was also invited to actually go out to LA and be in person, and I opted to not drive out there for a two-hour event, even though there’s a whole bunch going on with all of that stuff I can get into in a little bit. But yeah, I got invited out to watch this in a IMAX theater, and there was, including myself, about seven people in this giant theater watching on the screen because it was 11 a.m. on Thursday.
RB: All right. So knowing you, I know there’s a rant somewhere inside you about this.
DHB: I’ve been I’ve been building it up. I have. All right. So here we go.
RB: David has now been aggro’d.
DHB: I have been aggro’d. Now you’re going to see the AggroGamer come out here. So I get invited out to go to this livestream because I have opted to not drive out to L.A. for this two hour event that I’m only going to sit in the audience get to watch. Which, start off the rant, for anybody watching, if you were in the L.A. area or wanted to make the travel out there, yes, you could have gone to Summer Game Fest, you could have paid for admission, sat in the crowd, but for about three to four days leading up to this, every casting site that I know about that does extras or small commercials or anything like that, we’re handing out free tickets to do seat fillers so that the audience felt full throughout the entire event. And I bring this up specifically because instead of having a live E3 where you could have had all sorts of fans and all sorts of people from the industry sitting here, cheering it on, having a great time, it was in an isolated area that you had to pay for or sit there and watch as a stream outside of. And they built it up as this huge thing of like, oh, we’re filled with fans. We have all these people here, it’s all great. And I’m like, 50% of those people were hired actors to stand in that crowd. I had the option to take myself and around 11 other people, if I so wanted to, to go sit in that crowd as seat fillers and potentially get paid to be there. That’s my first part of this rant, is anybody who thinks the event was specifically for fans in person, it’s really not. It’s all to sell ads, it’s all to sell more video games, and I know it sounds like I’m being a catty bitch or anything like that about this, but that’s really what this ended up being, including a point where, in the middle of the stream, Geoff Keighley mentions the next Final Fantasy, and everybody gets excited because they think they’re going to see the next Final Fantasy thing and it’s him literally to shell an ad for Grubhub live to everybody and I’m just like so this is a huge advertisement thing. Moving on from that we go out and like okay so say you can’t make it to L.A. they’re filming it in a bunch of theaters around the country a bunch of IMAX theaters I was like which is what I ended up doing oh yeah here’s a free ticket you can go I think it was like 25 50 bucks or somebody had to go to go sit in a theater and watch it. That’s fine I went and I showed up and the ticket says hey show up at 11 a.m. because that’s when the stream is going to start. I show up at 11 a.m. I’m literally the only person in this quote crowded theater that they report online for the first half hour. At 11 o’clock the lights dimmed down I’m like okay it’s like like a movie’s gonna start. I’m getting ready and I’m sitting in a theater for a half hour in complete darkness by myself nothing on the screen. At this point a few other people kind of mingle in and at one point the max capacity we had in the theater was seven including myself. But so around 11:30 comes about and the screen turns on like okay maybe it’s gonna start now cuz I’m like checking my phone to make I didn’t mess up the times. And according to the ticket, it says 11 o’clock. But then the Twitch stream and the YouTube stream is like, oh, we’re going to start at 12. And I’m like, okay, that’s that’s really weird. But okay, whatever. Maybe they’re running behind. 11:30 comes and the screen pops up. And we see the vertical bars that you see like the different colored bars with the white, white and black, red, all that stuff. And we’re like, okay, you know, they’re getting ready to hit broadcast. Sure. And then that loud pitch beat comes on that whole like, we have no audio, but we’re going to play audio anyway. So it’s like, I put my headphones in because I’m like, I’m not going to deal with this. And I was Maybe it’s gonna take for like 10 seconds, 30 seconds, and they’re gonna realize this. No, 20 minutes of this goes on. That is not an exaggeration. I posted a short about it on our YouTube channel. 20 minutes of this goes on. I would have lost my mind not having my earbuds in, cranking my music to its loudest. Finally, 11:50 comes around and the screen finally changes over. And it’s like, oh, the stream’s gonna start soon in 10 minutes. And I’m like, all right. I’m like, I’m going back and checking forth, checking the Twitch and YouTube. And they’re running all the little lead-up to the show’s type thing. They’re like, well, why aren’t they playing this in the theater? People have already lost an hour of time that they’ve paid for, but they’re not. So we just sit there in complete silence with the screen slowly counting down. So I’m just sitting there playing games on my phone, listening to music in my headset, taking little notes in my notebook, just waiting for this to start. And then noon comes around and the whole thing starts. They start going through everything, the stream goes through, and they make it seem like everybody’s cheering everywhere. That you see the video of the crowd like cheering on everything. I didn’t hear a single peep out of anybody in the crowd outside of when the uh I think it was Sand Land came on and they were excited because like oh we know this anime and I’m like I have no clue what this anime is but good for you guys. That was the only noise I heard the entire time. And then for anybody who watched the stream it continued and continued and then they had Anthony Mackie come on and he started to present Twisted Metal. And I was like oh this is what I’m here for I want to see this. I’ve loved some of these other trailers I’m trying to get hyped about this new show for twisted bevel, he’s talking about it, Will Arnett’s talking about it, let’s do this, and then the screen goes dark, and the entire theater, all the lights turn on, and everyone just kind of looks at each other like what the hell happened. So we all go into our phone to make sure like the stream didn’t die or whatever, we’re looking at it, and the stream keeps going, and one of the patrons goes out to go talk to the manager, and the manager’s like oh no no, they only paid for the theater till this point, we’re setting up for the next Spider-Man movie to turn on, so we’re gonna have to have you guys clear out here. So we sat in the theater, watching the rest of the stream, which was still like or five more game trailers and presentations that went on for about another 20 to 30 minutes on our phones streaming it on Twitch and YouTube which we could have done from home. Like it got so bad I left it. I was like, I didn’t pay for this. I got everything I needed. I’m gonna go talk about it. I’m gonna rant. It gave me content for this podcast you’re hearing me rant right now and I left. But I watched people who paid for this go and demand refunds because they wasted an hour getting there and then they lost the last half hour where they could have been it on their phone all because of whatever was going on when they were trying to stream it and they didn’t contact anybody to let them know what was going on.
RB: what a cluster.
DHB: Yeah and I guarantee… watching… if anybody rewatches the YouTube or Twitch restreams of it all, you’re not going to see any of this stuff because you get to see what was live recorded and that’s what they’re going to replace out there instead of actually showing what happened during the actual live.
RB: Yeah, they’re going to curate that experience.
DHB: Exactly! Because there was even a point I think I got to see live and it was when Nick Cage came on to talk about him being in Dead by Daylight, he was getting ready to leave and he looked confused like he didn’t know where to go. And the camera lingered on him for like a couple extra seconds because he’s like, okay, uh, and he’s like pointing to figure out which way to go because nobody gave him direction on where to leave. And you would think this would have been a meme kind of like the whole John Travolta like, uh, where do I go type meme. Because it literally looked like Nick Cage was doing that because he was confused where to go after doing his presentation. I haven’t seen any of that stuff, which means any of the restreams that have been out there, nobody’s caught that yet. And I’m almost certain because it’s been, like you said, edited and curated specifically to show the highlight. And this unfortunately feels like it’s going to be the way it’s going to keep going moving forward, because even though there are other podcasts in themselves, if you’ve watched any of the other streams that have gone on for like Xbox or Ubisoft or Square Enix or any of the other ones, they all kind of follow the same suit and instead of having true fans there or even showing off the game to people who want to actually experience or anybody who’s not in the top five media outlets give them a chance to actually experience this stuff it’s not gonna happen outside of having an in-person E3. Like I know Mortal Kombat 1 was out there and they were having behind closed doors viewings for certain media outlets. Which were not us. And I any of my press contacts wouldn’t even get back to me on whether or not I could even just show up and check them out because it was literally the big ones out there and nobody else. Whereas if it was an in-person E3, they would have found a way to, to sneak me into the thing or even just make a side appointment to be like, yeah, you can come by, even though you’re not a main, main outlet. We still want to get as many people’s hands on eyes and impressions out there, not only just to obviously help the marketing, you know, me talking about a game is obviously just going to be marketing in the first place, but also get kind of feedback from people instead of being an echo chamber. And it was the same thing I watched with Alan Wake. All of the social media channels for Remedy Entertainment, the Alan Wake channel, and even Sam Lake, the guy who wrote the game, is the game director. It was all like, oh, we had so many people out there checking this out, checking this out. And you only get to see like four or five outlets that were there actually invited to this behind closed doors thing, instead of seeing the 50 to 100 that you normally get. And not only that, 50 to 100 that are global instead of local. There’s been many times in the past I’ve gone to E3, where I’m sitting in there and there’s some some small-time guy from like Germany or somebody from you know the UK somewhere that they flew out to E3 to cover this stuff so they can go back and do it all. I also guarantee these people, unless they live in the town where that developer or publisher are, they’re not going to get any of this hands-on that they would normally get and it’s all going to be this driven media through these specific companies that they know they can manhandle or know are already on board to share whatever vision or narrative they put out there.
RB: So they’ve really discounting grassroots marketing and the everyman. Which in a lot of ways that’s what AggroGamer tries to embody is the everyman gamer for these corporate media.
DHB: That is exactly it. Like I was at a gaming shop a couple of days ago recently, just after all this stuff went down and I was talking to somebody and their very first E3 they got to go to in-person was the one in 2019, which is obviously the last in-person E3. And it was, I think it was the second or third when they actually allowed non-industry or non-media to go to. So like any gamer could show, like pay their money and go, and actually experience stuff. And they weren’t so hyped about getting to, having the chance to go do that. And even this year, they were unaware anything was going on because E3 was canceled. And now all they know is there’s trailers that are getting dumped out there. And they don’t know that there’s this thing going on. And they’re taking things at face value. And that’s kind of the way it feels like. Even my nephew, he’s another one that came up, there was a game that got showed, he got overly hyped for it. And I had to explain to him, that’s not gameplay. That’s a scripted scene that you saw. And I can’t confirm or deny that’s how it’s going to be at your final at the final build. Had it been like maybe Alan Wake, I could have maybe came close to it. But I want to say it was the the new Star Wars game from Ubisoft that’s coming out.
RB: The Outlaws?
DHB: The first Star Wars game. Yeah, Outlaws. Yeah, which is the first Star Wars game that hasn’t been done by EA. And while yes, it looks impressive, I don’t know a single person in any of my inner or outer circles for the media or press contacts that have had a chance to get hands-on with it. Everybody just has the curated video we got to see and the curated gameplay we got to see. Whereas if we had an in-person E3, if they were ready to show any of that, they would have showed the trailer so that anybody who couldn’t make it to the event could look at it and all that stuff, but then be like, oh yeah, you can come over here and if you have a media appointment, hop right in and play the game where you can stand in this line over here for an hour or two to actually play it. So they can get dedicated fans to have it in their hands and actually be like, oh, this game’s amazing. Or, oh, this game is crap right out the gate. And then on top of that, if it is crap, go to the developer who should be right there on site to go, here’s how to change this. And here’s what we should, here’s what you don’t think about here. You know, this is what I like and didn’t like. So it’s almost like getting focus groups that they’re paying to be a focus group for. But we’re not doing that anymore.
RB: Cause you get that immediate feedback.
DHB: Well, like CD Projekt Red, there was, I did it multiple times for Cyberpunk, which I know that that is a game that everybody still even even though it’s gotten much better and the new DLC looks really really cool. Every year for the five years it was in development and they were showing it off at E3 before you could leave the press event or even pick up any of the swag they were giving out, they gave you a survey and they required you to fill it out so that the developers could take that and go work on it. They did that for the Witcher like Witcher 3. I remember filling that out for the Witcher 3. I remember filling it out for Gwent and they would do that constantly where it’s like, you’re, yeah, you’re here as media, you’re here to look at this cool stuff and yes, we’re giving you swag, but we also want actual feedback from gamers to be like, oh yeah, this part sucks or maybe you should change this or this didn’t make any sense or maybe you should fix this here. And they can get that live right there from fans and people in the industry, whereas right now they’re getting it from effectively yes-men.
RB: Well, and you said that this was kind of the way you expected things to go. And sadly, we are now seeing the proof in the pudding, as they say, that you were right on the money with it.
DHB: Yeah. And I wanted to be wrong. I wanted to be wrong so much. And mind you, I’m just talking mainly about Summer Game Fest and what they showed there, but we’ve had so many other streams go on and I’m still, as of right now, going through all the rest of the content because I’m only one person. We have a small team, so we can only do so much and there’s been so much dropped out there that it’s hard to keep up. But I guarantee as we keep going through all this stuff, we’re going to see more and more stuff out there that comes up and goes, here’s the red flag. Here’s a red flag. Like, so even though it wasn’t part of Summer Game Fest, I’ll bring it up. Starfield. Starfield wasn’t because that was the one thing that triggered to me E3 was done and that was when it was done for this year. And that was when Microsoft announced they were going to do a Starfield specific stream on the 12th, 11th or 12th of June, which would have been the day before E3 happened. And to their credit, Microsoft still did that. They pulled it all off, but it felt almost like it was another Fallout 76 type stream. And since there was nobody there to actually prove it one way or another, you’re just getting fed this by the developer. It felt like that’s where that’s going to be. And we have no way of proving that or disproving it at this point.
RB: It’s really, really unfortunate that this is playing out.
DHB: And I am kind of hopeful, which makes me hopeful for Comic-Con, which I know is going to be our next big thing that we’re going have all of us out at, which I know we’ve mentioned before. And there’s already been confirmations that Ubisoft will be out there with Star Wars Outlaws and there’s a couple of other ones. And specifically with people playing the game, either onsite or developers that are playing it live for the crowd, but it gives me a little bit of hope for certain things. But when we’re talking about Summer Game Fest, we have a list of like 40 games just for this. And then we have Ubisoft did like 12 or 14 games. Microsoft did like 20 games. Capcom did a bunch of games. Square Enix did a bunch of games. Like everybody was a PC Gamer had like something like 70 different games they showed off, but it was just trailers where the developers talking about the trailer and all that stuff. That’s so many titles out there that somebody could just easily go, well, that kind of looks cool and the developers really hyped about it, let me throw money at it, not realizing you’re getting bamboozled in because it’s the PR marketing of it all instead of actually getting to experience it or even getting somebody that hasn’t been able to be purchased in the past to experience it and be like, here’s my raw unedited filtered thoughts on it.
RB: Well, with you mentioning SDCC, Comic-Con, I’m worried that with this trend, that even the stuff that might be at Comic-Con, small outlets like AggroGamer, we might not be able to get into the rooms to view or to interview developers or anything like we did last year.
DHB: I am slightly worried about that, but not as much. And that’s only because a lot of the PR people I know, once you talk to them in-person, they will do whatever they can to get you set up, and I have all those contacts ready for us to go. Even though we might be sending emails leading up to that, and they may be like, oh no, we’re only going to let IGN in, we’re only going to let Kotaku in. Once you can actually be in-person and talk to them, that’s usually when it changes, which again comes down to the, this is the same thing I ran into E3 every year. Ubisoft is a great example of it, rarely got invited to go see any of their in-person events they did during E3. When I was on the show floor and showed up and talked to the PR person directly, magically out of nowhere, oh yeah, we can slot you in here, or we had a cancellation here or this here. And it was because you could have that human interaction and it wasn’t just that faceless email or faceless DM or text or whatever. Having that social interaction feels like it makes it better. I mean, games are supposed to be social in the first place. So it’s like, as soon as you remove out that social aspect, you’re going to get this curated stuff where it’s, you know, that’s why I’m not too worried about Comic-Con to get back to the original point, because once we can get there and talking to people, usually that goes a little bit smooth…
RB: kind of massage those relationships with the PR people.
DHB: Yeah. Well, again, it’s like, you’re no longer somebody who’s just out here to try to swag video games or free shit and all that stuff. They’re like, Oh, you’re actually here to cover it. Even though, even though we’re not out there with the fedoras and press press stickers in the hat, which we might have to do, but doing the old like 1930s thing or whatever, even though we’re not out there, the fact that we show up, we’re like, Oh yeah, we’re they could see, we’re excited. We want to see all this stuff. And even though what they’re going to show may not be overly exciting for us, you know, like, like for instance, last year at SDCC, we went to go talk to a bunch of people for MultiVersus. I wasn’t overly excited about it. I don’t, I’m not sure if you even knew what, what it was up until, up until we got the appointment or anything like specifically, but we still went there. We were excited. We were happy to be there and we interacted with everybody. We asked questions, all that stuff. And it was like, as soon as that happened, it was like a completely different world. As you can see, like, yes, we’re excited. We’re here to be happy. We want to enjoy these games.
RB: And speaking of MultiVersus, it was because we were able to go in there and interview and talk to people that I came home, the non-video game player that I am, well I play some but not a lot, I downloaded and started playing that game and was having a lot of fun actually playing through some of that.
DHB: Yeah. See it’s, it’s other things like that. Like you can go out there and find something you never knew existed or never knew, knew you wanted to experience, but like going out there, like, and we, because we interviewed Matthew Lillard and Tara Strong. And I, even, even me sitting there, like talking to Matthew Lillard and going, he’s the voice of Shaggy. He’s not my voice is Shaggy, but he is definitely the voice of Shaggy for the last like 25 years. This is awesome. I still want to kind of like, even though it’s not my game, still want to go in and do this. Cause he got me excited, you know, being in person, whereas if I’m a trailer and be like, yeah, be excited. I’m going to do the voice like, all right, yeah, whatever. That’s just PR marketing, you know, they’re using a face or whatever.
RB: Well, and the same with, uh, was it Arkham Knights?
DHB: Uh, uh, Gotham, Gotham Knights.
RB: Gotham Knights. Yeah. Gotham Knights. Cause we got to meet a couple of the actors behind that and that was super exciting and the gameplay looked super awesome. So that kind of got me excited about it.
DHB: Yeah. Cause even, even me, like I was, I was slightly excited because it was still part of the Arkham series. I, and, or no, no, it wasn’t part of the Arkham series. It was like, it felt like it was part of the Arkham series, but it was done by the developer and a lot of stuff. And then even though we got to talk to some of the voice actors in MoCap, we got to talk to the game director and the writer and all that. And I got overly, I got even more excited than I was because I was, I was cautiously optimistic. It was going to be a decent game. I’ve played it, I enjoyed it. But up until that point, it was like, until I had that and I could see that passion in person, I really didn’t have that. And this hearing them talk about, hearing the actors talk about, which I mean, that’s part of the whole PR marketing, you know, campaign. They go out there to hype their stuff up. But when you do that in person instead of over a video, it works so much better. Which I mean, I guess it could be why Summer Game Fest kind of was very lackluster to me because even if I had been in the crowd in L.A., upfront looking at everything, it still wouldn’t have felt personal because it was just Geoff Keighley up there talking about all of his friends or his quote, friend Hideo Kijima, which he always brings up. You want a fun drinking game? Take a shot every time Geoff Keighley mentions these friends with Hideo Kijima. Depending on the stream, you’ll be drunk within the first minute. But it feels like it’s more about him promoting himself and getting to talk about a bunch of cool games instead of him doing it for the actual true love and true passion of it all. Because I mean even when he has a subbie up there like Nicholas Cage you should even though he comes out there and he’s got like the most erratic energy about it you should see something come from that. And he was talking passionately about Dead by Daylight which is an old game like a 2014 game that’s still been going on he’s a new character and you can just see how passionate he’s getting because it was one of his kids brought it up to him and he’s like oh I got do it because my kids love this game and that’s the whole reason he got into it and you can kind of see just Geoff Keighley just going through the motions. Like, oh yeah, that’s cool uh-huh yeah yeah like not even trying to match that energy and that comes through on the video and even being a person I don’t think that would have changed much. This thing they’re watching somebody else be like oh yeah look I’m getting to do the cool job you get to sit there and watch me do it.
RB: Nicholas Cage is a national treasure.
DHB: He really is.
RB: We’re coming up on time my friend. Are we doing a follow-up on some of these other minor events outside of the Summer Game Fest?
DHB: There’s a couple of other ones I do want to talk about. Cause the Ubisoft one, there was some interesting stuff from that. I wanted to bring up. Same thing with Microsoft and debating on the Square Enix one, because that just felt like one six-hour-long commercial for the next Final Fantasy game more than it was an actual gameplay stream. So we’ll see, we’ll see. We’ll talk about some of that, I guess.
RB: All right. Well, for our listeners, hopefully, the next podcast, you’ll get to hear some more of that, cause I love hearing David rant about the games and the stuff that’s coming out. But until next time, we’ll catch you next week.
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