It’s that time of year again. School’s out, the summer heat is here, and the beaches are packed. For those of us who prefer to stay inside, E3 is finally here. This year, the industry’s largest gaming expo has more attention than ever. With 2020’s event canceled and this one being a solely online experience, legions of gamers hungry for something new are waiting to see what they can expect over the next year and beyond.
After a year of delays and disappointments, gamers look to E3 to see what is on the horizon. In this post-pandemic world, smaller companies seem to be enjoying greater success, with publishers like Coffee Stain poised to become new powerhouses. At the same time, traditional studios like EA, Ubisoft, etc., stick to tried and true formulas that don’t seem to resonate with people like they used to. What sort of business models might emerge as streaming and esports dominate the market while cash shops and microtransactions become increasingly unpopular? Will studios look at the communities forged during quarantines on more casual games and attempt to capture that, or is 2021 destined to be another year notable for remakes and disastrous launches?
Whatever happens, the team here at Geek Freaks will be here to keep you informed on the latest at this year’s E3.
A Year in Gaming: The Good
2020 was a year of hardship for everyone, and with people spending more time at home than ever before, gaming has been on the rise. Early on, many of us were able to rally together on Animal Crossing, a relaxing experience we could share with the friends we couldn’t see in person. There were unexpected gems like Valheim, which captured the imaginations of aspiring Vikings around the world. Mainstays such as Call of Duty: Warzone have lived up to their name, and a new campaign of bans may keep the game competitive when the upcoming Battlefield drops.
A new Spider-Man title, Miles Morales, beat out 2020’s Game of the Year Winner, The Last of Us II, for lifetime sales. Resident Evil Village continued to impress fans of the long-running franchise. Streaming became a national pastime, bringing older titles such as Among Us to the forefront and knocking Fall Guys off the Twitch front page. Friends and strangers alike spent hours trying to figure out who they should vote out for being too “sus.”
Remakes haven’t lost their way either, tapping into our nostalgia for a better time during such a chaotic year. The Resident Evil 3 remake released with favorable reviews, and the long-awaited FF7 Remake did well even as gamers disdained the episodic release schedule. World of Warcraft’s TBC Classic recently launched, and my current level 77 Blood Elf Warlock is looking forward to taking down Illidan like it’s 2007. Although many of us, myself included, would prefer new titles to remakes, it’s hard not to go back.
Even during the harsh world of quarantines and decimated supply lines, the industry rose to the top. Both Microsoft and PlayStation released new consoles. Microsoft released the powerhouse Series X and the affordable Series S. Meanwhile, Sony stepped up SSD performance and exclusives with the PS5. The consoles wars were a helpful distraction when we needed it most. And while supplies are limited, the companies are showing support for all players. Both companies are offering monthly free games and free upgrades to next-gen graphics. Gaming not only thrived in 2020 but cemented its place in the mainstream.
Will 2021 bring us fresh ideas, more remakes, or the best of both? What remake would you like to see? Will we see new hardware announced at E3? Let us know on our socials!
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