Episode 488 - Keigh-3 is Upon Us (feat. Nextlander!)

Gamer's Christmas is upon us, in a new but not wholly unfamiliar form. Rob, Ren, Patrick, and Cado all gather round the traditional gamer's yule monitor to discuss the announcements of this year's not-quite-E3-but-basically-E3 season. But first, Patrick has a tale to tell, a story of wheeling, dealing, and high stakes email ignoring as he finds himself in the middle of a veritable Deals whirlwind that might have knocked a Sonos speaker off of a truck. After the break we have a special section from our stream with Nextlander's Alex Navarro and Brad Shoemaker, who joined us to talk over the Xbox/Bethesda showcase!

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://shows.acast.com/vicegamingsnewpodcast/episodes/episode-488-keigh-3-is-upon-us-feat-nextlander
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I think they’re onto something with just how dispiriting the onslaught of trailers can be, even indie games. It’s really the worst way to sell an industry, makes it all seem like we’ve hit a limit of imagination and possibility and there’s only six actual games getting repackaged endlessly.


Seeing 60 games in 90 minutes is a great way to make sure I remember about six of them. Maybe. There’s a part of me that will always desire the ritual of these showcases, but I feel like Nintendo’s “We’re going to show you like, 10 games in 40 minutes” approach is a little more sane.


It’s hard for me to separate my nostalgia as a young gamer/consumer watching presentations and being wowed by one or two of the “next big things” and as a more savvy adult (and occasional games writer) viewing these with a more critical eye. As folks above have observed, 60-90 minutes of trailers is a great way to overwhelm and leave nothing memorable - as the Waypoint crew put it, the contentification of games. At the same time, I think there was something to be said for the older model of building these showcases where a few smaller games could ride the coattails of bombshell announcements.

It feels like we’re in the worst of both worlds where presenters are still chasing that big E3 show vibe but as the team observed times have changed and there’s no longer an impetus to pack everything into June, so there’s a much less coherent content, and fewer giant games both ready to be shown and ready for a release date. The result is everything feeling muted.

I’m not sure what the way forward is: in 2020, the first year of covid and cancellation of E3, we got myriad showcases from different publishers that were often a waste of time. The fact you didn’t need to put it on in June seemed to be taken by some as “well, everyone is putting on random showcases so we better do one too”. It was bad as an outside observer and I’ve seen plenty of editors complain about having to keep staff on standby for what turned out to be a nonstarter. At the same time, June already seems to be kinda dead as gamer Christmas. I guess I’m curious if things will settle into a future rhythm again or if the days of E3-likes are gone.

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I’ve heard people even as high up as Phil Spencer say “If E3 didn’t exist, we would have to invent it” because of the sheer volume of business that gets conducted when you get the entire games industry in one place at the same time. If that turns out to be true, I think that whenever that turns out to be, that would be a good time for a giant run of press conferences like we used to have. If not, I expect everybody will wind up on the Nintendo Direct model - show stuff when it’s ready. Smaller showcases with fewer games that go a little deeper more often.

Sonos appear to have had an IT stuff-up that caused all kinds of issues, from customers receiving speakers they didn’t order, to customers being charged for orders they didn’t receive.

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Something maybe underrated about the E3 model is that a lot of the deluge of presentations and trailers are filtered through coverage via outlets like waypoint, giant bomb, etc., which was always my primary way of consuming them. Following outlets where I understood the tastes of the hosts with respect to my own made it a lot easier to mark down things that seemed like they might be up my alley. With a bunch of disconnected presentations it feels like that model has shifted a bit — its less summarization, more riffing on, like in the difference between the periscopes from E3 2018 (#LARob) and things like the waypoint/nextlander streams of the last couple of years, and so I feel like I can’t quite get the same sense of what might be coming without actually watching all the showcases myself.

You could say I don’t miss E3 much at all, but I do quite miss the week of 3 hour podcasts that would come with it.


Absolutely. E3 was actually how I discovered Waypoint. I forget exactly which year it was - I think it must have been that I tuned into their 2018 coverage, didn’t really follow up with the site or podcast for a year, but came back for 2019 and stuck with them ever since. And then of course there hasn’t been a centralised event since then.

Not to be down on their coverage this year (the feeling of it being choppy was not helped by my Twitch notifications failing to inform me they were watching Summer Games Fest!) but it’s just not the same vibe. Though I’m sure it’s in many ways a relief not to have to do the weeklong E3 crunch, I’ve also seen folks elsewhere in the industry miss the chance to see colleagues from other outlets and get more time with developers. Still feels like everyone (Waypoint included) is working out how to navigate all that.


Also now mad at Capcom for not giving us the 50 minute Austin hype show. :frowning:


I’m here for Ren going sicko mode and revealing that FF13 and Dirge of Cerberus are her ways into the series.


I was never able to finish FF13. This is true of most games- I’m not a finishing games sort. There are two things that are true of FF13 that are not true of most of the games I fall off. Firstly, that I stopped playing because I didn’t want to continue. The flaws got to me too much.* Secondly, that I have never been able to get the game out of my head, because where it’s good, it’s very, very good. Incredible setting, realised in shocking beauty.

I can totally see how FF13 could get you in.

*Specific moment I lost it:

I loved the whole concept behind the Fal’Cie. Beings of massive, indeterminate power and incompreshensible motives. Who would seize and empower mortals as pawns, but wouldn’t or couldn’t communicate with them. The idea of a quest or geas where half the challenge and danger is figuring out what the heck the Fal’Cie wanted in the first place, where the punishment for failure is hideous, but the reward for success is to be turned to crystal. They create and maintain this incredible, impossible world, but to what end?

I didn’t mind that the human leader guy turned out to be a Fal’Cie. But the moment you find this out, and he just starts spouting the most cliched, tedious, anime villain “ahaha you insignificant fools fell for my brilliant plan!” garbage the whole sense of mystery and terrifying wonder just fell away in an instant. I no longer had faith that the game would continue to build towards anything satisfying, and the other issues I had didn’t seem worth putting up with.


I’ve hated FFXIII for so long now that I have grudging respect for it. Lightning is a super cool character design, go and be seduced by her. There’s a great SciFi backstory in there and the combat is interesting if frustratingly limiting.

Dirge of Cerberus though is purely a road to trash.