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Thursday, June 25, 2015

The 10 Things I learned at E3

This year, I was fortunate enough to attend E3 in Los Angeles. For those that do not know, E3 is the Electronic Entertainment Expo and spotlights the upcoming video games and other things electronic (mostly just video games) from all the top developers in the world. E3 is much like being at Las Vegas, if Las Vegas was on Red Bull and hadn't slept for 48 hours or so. And while it's hard to focus on any one thing in particular, I was able to learn quite a bit during my two days in California.

1.) Teaming is everything.
Games are moving away from the simple premise that it's you vs. the computer game. Now, it's you and your teammates vs.
people from around the world in a variety of combat situations / simulations. Games are more about 'team sport' and 'high performance' than about solving riddles or achieving simple goals. And gamers are taking this 'team thing' seriously as there is now a Professional Gaming League for most of these games. If your parents ever told you that you couldn't make a living playing video games, THEY LIED TO YOU. The top gamers now make six figure incomes playing games and are treated like 'rock stars' at these events.

2.) You can teach an old dog new tricks.
Just because Star Wars is almost 40 years old doesn't mean it's going softly into that good night. Let that sink in for a minute… Star Wars will turn 40 on May 25, 2017. FORTY!!! Even so, this year E3 featured four Star Wars themed games and all of them looked AWESOME! Maybe the best of the bunch is Star Wars Battlefront (20 vs. 20 multi-player combat game) as it provides you the opportunity to not only fight on the ground (alongside Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader) but also pilot various ships. I'm not sure how much cooler a game based on a 'worn out' 40 year old premise can get!

3.) First person shooters games aren't going to be first for much longer.
Not every upcoming game is focused on killing your opponents (I'm looking at you, Nintendo). E3 featured a smackling of games like Yoshi's Wooly World, Splatoon, Rock Band 4, and Roy Mcllroy PGA Tour (albeit there's a lot of damage you can do with a 4 iron) amongst the otherwise violent staples. Interestingly enough, many of these 'tamer' games got very positive reviews and were very well received which goes to show that a well done game is a well done game and can be appreciated on its own merits.

4.) You can't polish a turd, but you can still roll it in glitter.
Batman: Arkham Knight for the PC is a beautiful but very broken game. Thousands of bad reviews won't 'patch' this game on the PC anytime soon.

5.) Sequels are good if you do them right.
If it worked once or twice or three times, you can most likely get another title out of it. Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, Assassin's Creed Syndicate, Payday 2, XCOM 2, and Uncharted 4: A Thief's End are just a handful of the sequels coming out this fall. And if you liked playing these games the first time, you'll appreciate the opportunity of déjà vu all over again. Not sure we need a Street Fighter V, but I guess these franchises will live on (at least for another year).

6.) Twitch isn't just a short, sudden jerking movement.
Twitch is a real thing! I guess I'm shocked that an Internet channel dedicated to broadcasting professional league battles of various video games is a real thing. But at E3, it was Twitch that was broadcasting live from almost every booth just like a major network. Twitch has actual commentators, features professional gamers, and announces video game battles just like announcers would do for a professional sport. It was wild to hear commentary of in-game battles and have announcers describe the action. I'm pretty sure that they were making most of it up as they went along; BUT, they were making it up as they went along. I remember doing the same thing as a child when playing my favorite Atari 2600 games. Of course back then, my parents thought it was weird and had me quiet down. Today, I'd be a rock star with my own show.

7.) Behind every successful E3 visit is a fabulous pair of shoes.
E3 covers a lot of physical space. I averaged walking almost five miles a day to cover all the ground in both convention halls.
Honestly, I don't even like to drive five miles. Glad I brought a good pair of shoes.

8.) A man, a tan and a plan.
Okay well, maybe not a tan. It's hard to see everything at E3. As such, I planned what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go beforehand. Even with a plan in place, it was challenging to see all the exhibits and games I wanted to see. Worse yet, most games had a one to two hour wait in line. Heck, the wait to see the 12 minute movie for XCOM2 took nearly 50 minutes (a 50 minute line to see a movie about a game – smells of Disneyworld). But, I did get to play Witcher III, SMITE, Alekhine's Gun, Battlecry, Blood Bowl 2, and Pro Evolution Soccer 2016. Very cool games, but they all required a bit of planning and patience (and possibly pushing people out of the way) to experience.

9.) Every day is a fashion show and E3 is your runway.
I found it hard not to stare at people who were dressed up in elaborate costumes of their favorite video game characters. Boba Fett, check. Chun Li, check. Lara Croft, check. I'm not sure I'd ever take my love for video games to 'this level', but it was commendable to see others so dedicated to 'their game' (and honestly if you're going to walk around a convention hall in a Princess Leia bikini, you should be commended for your bravery).

10.) E3 is CodeWeavers oyster.
Not many Mac or Linux titles on the horizon. There was obviously 'some' titles coming to the other platforms, but it's still a predominately PC world. To this effect, I think CodeWeavers can help in supporting some of these titles for Mac or Linux users in CrossOver. We'll be looking to get Beta of many of the top games from E3 to work on support for the coming version of CrossOver. And while we might not get every game, I'm sure that there will be one or two or more games that will run very well in our technology.

The newest CodWeavers coupon promo code is ( WEAVEME ) and ( CRIMBO25 ) save 25% off CrossOver mac or Linux today!

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