E3 2009: Companies to Watch Out For
After GDC 2009, the next big gaming expo is the original grand-daddy: The Electronic Entertainment Expo or E3. E3 was famed as the mass smorgasbord of all things game-related. Whether it be professional models hired to dress up in video game themed outfits, play-testing unreleased AAA titles or shocking announcements for which no other stage was big enough to carry, E3 was the de facto convention of choice. After the Media and Business Summit debacle, this year’s E3 marks some-what of a return to the way things were before. Now open to major retailers, journalists and spectators alike, a road-map will be handy so you know which companies have the biggest trumps to play this time around.So without further ado, here are the companies you should watch out for at this coming E3:
Sony Computer Entertainment of America
Games: God of War 3, Massive Action Game, Ratchet and Clank: A Crack in Time, Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier
GDC was the stage of revelations, the grounds of hype generation for Sony Computer Entertainment of America. E3 will be it’s proving ground. Sony has the opportunity to offer playable builds of it’s newly prepared multi-player opus MAG; the most anticipated threequel of this year (and the next), God of War II; and iterations of two of it’s most beloved platforming franchises. Sony should especially devote time to Jak & Daxter: The Lost Frontier. With the seventh generation PS2 holding the biggest market share amongst the current consoles (not to mention giving PSP owners some much needed love) and the recent price drop, it could both encourage old fans to revisit the series and new fans to pick up a PS2. Either way, Sony and Naughty Dog both win.
Could we also see: The urban legend that is the PSP2? Sony has plainly stated that it’s not in development, but no one anticipated Final Fantasy XIII going multi-platform last year. Anything’s possible at E3. If unannounced, it’ll become a myth in our books.
Games: Modern Warfare 2, Starcraft II, Diablo 3
The strongest third-party developer in the world today had quite a roster even without revealing what would go down at E3. If anything, Diablo 3’s showcase will be a prelude to it’s imminent release. More importantly is Modern Warfare 2 - the dropping of the Call of Duty raised more than a few eyebrows at GDC. If Activision-Blizzard can stock playable builds of these two titles, it could very well steal the show. Of course, if it had a playable build of Starcraft II, there may be no reason at all to visit any of the other booths.
Could we also see: Starcraft Ghost? As with the PSP2, never say never but the company has enough on it’s plate without having to worry about delivering it’s misfit third person action-stealth title.
Games: Dead Rising 2, Lost Planet 2, Bayonetta
Capcom hasn’t had a fun time in the past few months. Despite shipping three blockbuster titles within a weeks of each other (Resident Evil 5, Bayonetta, Street Fighter IV), it’s had to stomach criticism several issues. RE5’s antiquated control scheme and the online 2 vs. 2 DLC, for instance(s). Mad World’s lackluster success also can’t be very encouraging for subsidiary Platinum Games who still have Bayonetta coming up on the PS3/360. It would definitely do better than Mad World on the Wii, though. Dead Rising 2 and Lost Planet 2, fortunately, look more than capable of stepping up. Capcom has neither swamped us in details or kept us in the dark; E3 shall hence be the judge for the rest of the company’s newest sequel efforts
Could we also see: Devil May Cry 5? It’d be nice, but we think Resident Evil: Darkside Chronicles is taking more priority for now.
Games: Dante’s Inferno, Dead Space: Extraction, Need for Speed Nitro, Army of Two: The 40th Day, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Dragon Age: Origins, Mass Effect 2
Electronic Arts has the largest selection of titles this year…what else is new? Not that quantity means much - we’d wager that Mass Effect 2 gameplay alone could hook the audience. We’ll also be able to witness the progress of Bioware’s other titles, Dragon Age: Origins and Star Wars: The Old Republic, both massively multi-player online RPGs. Dante’s Inferno has been receiving it’s fair share of attention; a playable build or level walk-through is great way to showcase the game’s true nature. We’re not holding out for a humongous overhaul in Need for Speed with Nitro though.
Could we also see: Mirror’s Edge 2? Not likely (*sob*).
Games: Borderlands, Bioshock 2
Borderlands is developed by Gearbox Software. Yes, the same Gearbox that’s been linked to Halo 4 for the past few months. That alone warrants a dekko but 2K Games’ biggest showcase is undoubtedly Bioshock 2. The environments, the detailing, the gameplay and of course, the story - all 2K Marin needs is to just set up a few kiosks with playable builds. Then sit back and watch as gamers curse, laugh and book their purchase for this Winter. Lord knows they’ve talked about and displayed Bioshock 2 enough. How’s about it, 2K Marin?
Could we also see: Bioshock for Wii, Bioshock 2 being a timed exclusive, Bioshock 2 coming to PC? On those respective counts - Maybe, no, and yes but most likely after it’s console releases.
Games: Next Metal Gear Solid, Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, Metal Gear Solid Touch
No one knows how to manipulate hype better than Hideo Kojima. The father of Metal Gear (and arguably the entire action-stealth genre) is aware of how closely people watch is every move, his every word to discern some thing, anything on his next game. Especially after his announcement of the next MGS at GDC ‘09. Rumours are running rampant on the game focusing on Raiden as the protagonist (for which Kojima created a rather apt April Fool’s video) and we hope the man himself will reveal everything at E3. Oh, Silent Hill: Shattered Memories (Wii) and Metal Gear Solid Touch (iPhone) look kinda nice, too.
Could we also see: C’mon, seriously now. Are you seriously thinking of anything from Konami besides the next Metal Gear Solid?
Games: Assassin’s Creed 2, Beyond Good and Evil 2, Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood, Red Steel 2
Ubisoft has been moving about in a manner not unlike one of it’s own signature characters: Totally silent, and then when every one least suspects it, striking with full force before slinking into the shadows again. Assassin’s Creed 2 already has many of the conspiracy theorists, er, “theorizing”. Beyond Good and Evil 2 has gone nary a step forward - much like Jade and Pey’j, in the first, last and only trailer of the game.
We frown upon Red Steel 2, plain and simple. The original sucked and if Nintendo was so eager to have a game that could show off the Wii-Motion Plus, it could have gotten a room with George Lucas. Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood is looking amazing and looks to be a solid sequel to the under-rated original.
Could we also see: Splinter Cell Conviction? The jury’s out on that one. Sorry Sam Fisher lovers.
Any particular studios or publishers you’re looking forward to at E3?
SONY make it
MS & Nintendont!
well....what do you expect?
All hail the KING, Andrespetmonkey