LOS ANGELES—The Electronic Entertainment Expo, known as E3, was held in Los Angeles from June 12 thru June 14. Several production and design companies descended on the city of Los Angeles to showcase their newest wares. Among the developers present where the heavy hitters of the gaming world: Microsoft, EA games, Nintendo, and Sony, as well as smaller, indie developers.
There were several big announcements at the conference. Nintendo announced the forthcoming release of its newest “Super Smash Brothers” battle game, which is expected to be its most comprehensive “Super Smash” game ever. Conference attendees joked that it was the game to end the whole franchise, because it features every single Nintendo character and all the same levels from previous SSB games. On top of that, Nintendo added additional levels.
Microsoft had a big week at E3, unveiling popular games such as new “Halo,” “Battletoads,” and “Gears of War.” The company also revealed its goal of attracting new publishing talent to their platform. Their showcases at E3 highlighted their commitment to games rather than console technology this year, showing that they heard fan frustration and are seeking to release more gaming content.
EA featured its new “Battlefield V” game, which had been catching flak from fans for having female soldiers in the game. Fans took to the internet and used #NotMyBattlefield to voice their concerns about the historically inaccurate World War II combat. The company pushed back on the criticism and made it clear that the female addition was there to stay.
According to The Verge, the company’s Chief Creative Officer, Patrick Soderlund, said, “We stand up for the cause because I think those people who don’t understand it, well, you have two choices: either accept it or don’t buy the game.”
Those looking for games funded by the smaller indies, were disappointed if they attended the main E3 exhibition. James Jones, an Associate Editor with Nintendo World Report, told Canyon News, “I think the biggest observation I had was that in the few years since I last worked at E3, the independent games have exited the main exhibition hall.”
That’s because the landscape at E3 has changed. Most of the smaller developers, in a bid to claim more light, have moved to off-campus events.
“With their previous real estate rededicated to holding queues, these independent titles are now more dependent than ever on events like The MIX, or on venues being staged by smaller publishers adjacent to the LACC. This year there were two or three publishers that specialize in these independent games who established locations just on the periphery and The Mix itself was funded by a number of these publishers,” said Jones.
Canyon News attended The Media Indie Exchange (The MIX) press event during E3, which showcased games from lesser known developers. The exchange provided an opportunity for these smaller developers to hob nob with industry and press folks.
“The more intimate setting allowed for more conversation with creators,” said Jones.
At The MIX event, there were interesting games, but one in particular stood out. In the back of the mixer, across from Mega Ran’s DJ booth, there was a delightful game called “Little Bug.” It featured an adolescent African-American girl who discovers she has magic. Throughout the game, she follows a ball of light that makes her fly to great heights. She grips a lunchbox, filled with tools to help her on her journey.
The creator of Little Bug said, “I just wanted to make a game with a little black girl in it.” He told Canyon News, “There just aren’t enough of them.”