E3 2016 Schedule, Previews & State Of The Video Game Industry

All right, all right, all right!

We’re right in the thick of E3 and we figured now is as good a time as any to go deeper on what we can expect this year, not just for the expo but for the gaming industry as a whole.  Of course, there’s only so much you can cover in an article before eyes start to glaze over so, for more discussion, be sure to tune into R9Cast, Horseplay! LIVE, Gaming History 101, The B-Team Podcast, 42 Level One, and other great shows on the AllGames and GeekyAntics networks.

This E3’s theme is Inspiring Worlds.  I’m ready to be inspired..  But I’m not holding my breath.  If the past decade or so has taught us anything it’s that the big brands driving the industry just want to collect easy paychecks.  They’ll keep regurgitating the same old crap so long as we buy in..  But maybe we will be surprised – hey, there’s always hope!

…Inspire my world, BABY!

E3 2016 | Inspiring Worlds | June 14-16 2016

I’ll be inspired if we see something new this year.. That isn’t VR.

…And, now, the obligatory E3 presser schedule, in case you missed it:

E3 2016 Livestream Schedule (Corrected)

Sunday, June 12th 2016

  • EA – 1PM PT / 4PM ET

  • Bethesda – 7PM PT / 10PM ET

Monday, June 13th 2016

  • Microsoft – 9:30AM PT / 12:30PM ET

  • PC Gaming Show – 11:30AM PT / 2:30PM ET

  • Ubisoft – 1PM PT / 4PM ET

  • Sony – 6PM PT / 9PM ET

Tuesday, June 14th 2016

  • Nintendo – 24-Hour Gameplay Bonanza

  • Other – Random surprises from Activision and others?

Since 2015, Twitch has been open with event coverage, allowing broadcasters to co-host and crowdchat E3 pressers.  Sharing is caring, which is a lesson Nintendo should pay attention too..  But more on that later.  Don’t forget to use the proper tags when chatting about the event! #E3onTwitch

 

E3 Highlights, Hopes & Predictions

EA – Outside of Mass Effect, I’m not expecting any “drop your pants” moments from Electronics Arts. It’s a shame because we continue to see the old guard becoming less and less relevant. I mean, just look at Konami and Capcom. Expect sports, racing, and Battlefield.

Okay, to be fair, I think Titanfall is an under-rated franchise and from what I’ve seen of Titanfall 2, I am eager to play. The multiplayer is fun and fast-paced.. Plus it has mechs. You can’t go wrong with that combo.

Now, if you want to really have a drop-the-mic moment, EA has a few options. They can announce a deep discount on the year-long EA Access. They’ll likely announce new games in the vault which is cool but not earth-shattering. The only way EA will get my jollies all tingly is if they bring back Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer with more polish or dust off one of their classics. Maybe General Chaos or Mutant League Football? Yeah, I know: wishful thinking.

Oh yeah, e-Sports will be a big thing. I’ll give EA that: they at least are bolstering competitive gaming but I wish they diversified beyond the typical sports and shooter games. A new (and good) Burnout would be great. Heck, I actually liked Burnout Paradise – call me crazy but… Crossing my fingers!

Bethesda – At the top of everyone’s list is Elder Scrolls 6 but I wonder if it’s too soon. People are still playing Skyrim and it’s endless mods; furthermore, Elder Scrolls Online fills the void quite well. Then there’s the elusive Elder Scrolls: Legends TCG/CCG set to release on PC and iOS. I think they have Tamriel covered for now and should lean towards delay another major Elder Scrolls installment to get it right.

Looking at the most recent releases and buzz, we can expect new announcement regarding Dishonored 2, Wolfenstein, and The Evil Within. The latter is interesting because the game got mixed reviews yet it sold quite well. The Evil Within is a reminder that, even when people ask for something, they remain unhappy; after all, it’s as close to classic Resident Evil survival horror as we’ve seen in recent times.

A new Wolfenstein would be interesting but I would like to see announcements about significant expansions to DOOM and plans for the franchise as a platform. Since ID is under the Bethesda umbrella, I wonder how soon before we’ll see a new Quake game but, again, it’s familiar territory.  Still, it’s what the people want.  New DOOM modes would be awesome and that’s highly market.  As for forgotten games, the fans seem to want a new Prey so maybe we’ll see that, too!

I’m curious to see if Bethesda can lead the way with a new IP as it seems all the big studios and publishers are sticking to safe plays. I’m surprised they haven’t jumped into the sci-fi arena beyond Fallout. Something less.. Dystopian? Oh yeah..  Everyone has been begging for a remastered Skyrim so I’m sure that will be announced in place of a new Elder Scrolls game.

Ubisoft – Rainbow Six: Siege has been a real treat, as much as people like to poop all over it. It’s an unapologetic, pure multiplayer experience and they keep building upon it by adding more customization and characters. I’d like to see new gameplay modes and I’m hopefully they’re committed to the game as a platform and not a one-and-done release.

Any announcement related to Assassin’s Creed will make me eyeroll. The series went from being one of my most beloved to a crapfest of regurgitated junk. I’m hoping they dedicate enough resources to Ghost Recon. In fact, call me crazy, but I wouldn’t mind a remastered GRAW. Those games were great for competitive play, as much as people laugh at the possibility that they’ll become forgotten pack-ins.

The Ubi Art division has the potential to churn out more quality, unique games. Child Of Light, Valiant Hearts, and Rayman are a good start. Let’s see more. This is one of those few times where I’m okay with artsy-fartsy in my games.. Because the gameplay is FUN!

Nintendo – We’ve been promised anime shows, mobile games and deeper online experiences for 2016 but so far we haven’t gotten many specifics. Nintendo seems to be hanging their hopes up on Zelda for now and they’re hoping that the anticipation will be enough to bridge the gap before they make the next major announcement.

There’s no Nintendo NX demo yet so what we really need to hear about are some compelling partnerships and maybe some surprising new IPs (yeah right). The reality is that Nintendo remains a toy maker and can’t seriously compete with Sony and Microsoft directly.. Right now.

On the bright side, they’re finally opening up and playing nice with others. Games will be ported to mobile. Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem will be the first free-to-start offerings on iOS and Android. Miitomo also shows promise of a world where Nintendo realizes that this Internet, community building, and social media stuff is not a passing fad.  I think they’ve also learned that you need more than a gimmick to be relevant these days.  Anyone remember Wii Fit?

Nintendo Wii Fit Meme - Your Heart Rate Is Zero

Sony – We can expect more ports and perhaps more revivals of old games. Sony has been “leading” this generation in terms of console sales but they’re lacking in the variety department. With that, I think they’ll hope that PS Neo and VR hype will be enough. Perhaps we’ll have an immediate launch and price announcement?

VR has some momentum still so I’m sure Sony will announce more about their offerings thereof. Hopefully, this will be a platform they will stick with as we all know how bad of a track record they have with new formats (Blu-Ray was a rare win for them). That said, No Man’s Sky still has people hyped but you can play that on PC so it’s not exactly a secret weapon. More on that in a bit!

At the risk of sounding like a total anti-Sony fanboy, I feel they’ve become too complacent with their lead. Having marginally better hardware and capitalizing on poor timing / bad wording is not enough to maintain a lead. I have yet to be even mildly tempted by anything the PS4 is offering so we shall see.  I wonder what they can do to top last year’s Shenmue announcement.  Some may say the game is over-rated but there is great potential with the franchise.

E3 Save Shenmue Kickstarter | E3 2015

Microsoft – XBox One Scorpio & XBox Mini talks are all the buzz right now. I believe these are two very different offerings than what people expect. One is a significant upgrade, a huge leap rather than a mere iteration like PS4-Neo is compared to the base PS4. The slim XBox One people are expecting I believe will be more of a budget media-focused device comparable to Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, etc. This makes sense because then the devices are not fighting against each other. Of course, this is more than what I hope for but leaked information points to a more questionable direction…

It’s likely that Microsoft will announce a formal partnership for VR content delivery but I would avoid investing in that mess of a space. Sadly, VR is one of those things you can’t ignore, though it’s a niche thing and will likely go away again. Let’s see if the porn industry makes a strong push for it. Again, I do not claim to have inside sources but, logically, this is what I believe makes the most sense. While everyone is wasting time on VR, I’d like to think Microsoft will pursue better things.

What I’d like to see from Microsoft is a concerted effort to give their game studios creative freedom and put those acquisitions to work. There’s a lot of wasted potential there. The Lionshead thing was unfortunate, to say the least. Cross-buy, cross-platform, and cross-play are all things I’d love to hear more of. Get these studios involved and don’t force Windows 10 or a new marketplace down our throats as it limits the community, IMHO.

PC – Nvidia will talk about their latest proprietary circle jerk. People who have the money to buy their stuff will get free gear. The 10 people there will climax about all the big numbers. Everyone else will go grab something to eat. I love PC gaming but the elitism of it makes it rather disgusting. What’s more: PC gamers spend lots of time online so are we going to REALLY learn anything from the PC gaming show? I’d like more of a focus on software rather than the hardware crap.

Evolution Of Video Games: The Road So Far

I believe to truly appreciate where things are heading and what we hope for, we should look at how the video game industry has evolved/devolved over the years. Video games were originally marketed as toys or novelties. Games used to be extremely challenging and the reward resided in fun gameplay and the sense of accomplishment you got from discovery and perseverance.  Nowadays, they seem to pander and focus on mass appeal rather than provoking and inspire us in fresh, new, and FUN ways.

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Happy New Year 2016: It’s A Time Of Possibilities, Hope, And Joy

Super cute kitten is laying down, ready to play and/or be rubbed!

Hey, it’s 2016 – Happy New Year, friends, family, and furry forest dwellers!

Today we have a simple message of hope that we hope will inspire our GANG collaborators, friends, and anyone who may happen to come across this article.  We’ll try to keep it short since we know, by the time this goes out, everyone will be drunk, sleeping, and/or hungover.

Now to get a little serious…

Bad Things Turned Good.  In 2015, many bad things overshadowed otherwise good, productive, and fun times.  Some of us dealt with deaths of close family members, battles with cancer, financial struggle, loneliness, and overall loss of hope.  Many of you may not know this but I lost my aunt this year and she was like a second mother to me.  It really knocked the wind out of my sails along with other bad news but having The GANG, our community here at GeekyAntics, really helped me out.

I learned a lot of things about myself, our audience, and what GeekyAntics can and should become.  Mainly, everything positive that happened reinforced my beliefs that…

  • People are fundamentally good.
  • Small victories can lead to big things.
  • The storm always comes before major break-throughs.
  • This network truly is about collaboration and support.

The GeekyAntics Network is exactly where we need it to be right now and where we expected to be right now.  Heck, we’ve done so much more than we expected considering I’m bootstrapping everything and we’ve encountered so much adversity.  We could not have done it without YOU!

Unlimited Possibilities.  One thing thing that has helped us all out is having an abundance mindset.  There truly is a world of unlimited possibilities out there and, really, the only thing that limits our growth personally and as brands is our attitudes.  So many folks give up right when they are on the verge of a major break-through and we’ve been working hard to help those types of folks stay strong and focused.

While we are still very much committed to individual brands (mainly streamers, writers, game devs, and podcasters), it is absolutely necessary to partner up with bigger brands.  We’ve teamed up with tons of people in 2015 but two brands stand out the most: Martin Septic Services, based out of Middle Georgia (not Middle Earth), and Unified Combat League, based out of Seattle and sometimes Canada.

Vince Martin Septic Tank Service | Eatonton, Gray, Milledgeville & Middle Georgia | http://martinseptictanksga.com

Martin Septic Tank Services (also known as Martin’s Septic Service) has been an awesome sponsor.  Vince Martin is a pleasure to work with and one of the coolest guys I know in Georgia.  Teaming up with a local company in such a niche may seem silly to some but our goal is to align ourselves with brands that are people and people that are brands.  That is, we want to work with brands that are authentic, transparent, and approachable.

On the Martin Septic Services Facebook page, you’ll see exactly what I mean when I talk about being social with social media.  Vince Martin and I work together to bring updates that are as fun as they are useful.  Content covers a wide range of goodies from home improvement to funny pet memes to hot deals.  The fine balance of curating content and providing original content is key and you’ll notice Vince Martin hardly spams about himself or his business so, when he does self-promote, it counts!

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Walker Stalker Con 2014 Atlanta Highlights & Musings #WSCAtlanta #TWDFamily #TWTT #HorsePLAY

Yomar Lopez a.k.a. Yogizilla with Zombie Cast & Travis Love

Happy Halloween!

I know it’s a little early but the coming weeks will be very busy for us on the network.  We’ll be with our families and catching up on projects here and there..  Don’t worry: while we may not be streaming, blogging, or podcasting much, we’ll be here in spirit..  And probably watching lots of horror movies and shows.  I know I will be watching American Horror Story and maybe Sleepy Hollow with my wife.  YAY!

Happy Halloween - Trick Or Treat - Tasteful Anime  Witch Wallpaper

 

I’m still on that Walker Stalker Con high but, sadly, I can’t enjoy it as much.  Duty calls as projects pile up and my family prepares to move…  But enough about me!

Here are a few videos that cover the highlights at Walker Stalker Con Atlanta 2014.  If you’ve never been to WSC, you’ll know what to expect.  If you went last year, you can get a feel for what has changed.  Read onward for some highlights and the burning question:

Is Walker Stalker Con [or conventions in general] a mere money grab?

I want to say that I really enjoyed the convention but, as with anything else, there were opportunities.  We’ll get into that after the “video break”.  Sit tight, friends!

 

HorsePLAY! LIVE EP45: Walker Stalker Con Post-Show

The GANG Minute / Geektastic Vlog Mashup: My Personal WSC Highlights & Concerns

On-Location At AmericasMart Atlanta: Walker Stalker Con Fan Reactions & Event Photos

 

Walker Stalker Con was a fun event to go to as a fan and there was plenty to cover as media.  There were tons of panels, celebrities, vendors, and other attractions.  WAY too much to cover in proper detail.  Here are the main things that stood out for me.

Before I share my impressions and opinions here, I want to note that this was my first Walker Stalker Con but I have been to many conventions.  Typically, conventions are forgettable to me but WSC has something special to it.  I believe my feelings here may be in the minority because I don’t get excited by autographs and star-studded events.  Before I share my thoughts, here is what I look for in a convention to consider it worthwhile:

  • You’ll enjoy the event regardless of how much money you spend.
  • Vendors get enough foot traffic to justify booth costs.
  • Autographs and photo ops are subsidized or minimal to provide more time/focus for other events.
  • Event schedules account for waiting/travel times, breaks, and the like.
  • Merch mark-up covers costs but does not exhibit extreme profit margins (i.e. greed).
  • It is clear that fans of all kinds are the priority.
  • Media is given proper access and treatment without taking away from paying guests.
  • Behind-the-scenes information and anecdotes..  Stories worth sharing!

These are some of the things I’ll be pondering as I share my thoughts on Walker Stalker Con Atlanta.  Now let’s jump in!

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Mini Zombie Photo Journal: #WalkerStalkerCon #Atlanta 2014 | #TWTT #HorsePLAY

UPDATE:  Had some tech issues.  All sorted out now.  This was supposed to be a early morning piece.  My bad!

Day One of Walker Stalker Con was pretty darn awesome.  It’s already almost time to head back but here are some quick highlights.  I apologize in advance for some of the crappy photos but, hey, it’s something!

 

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Eric and James of The Walker Stalkers podcast kicked off the event sharing a brief history of the event.  It’s hard to believe it hasn’t even been two years since WSC started.

 

They discussed how the event started as a simple fan meetup.  The expected turnout was 1K but, instead, over 10K people showed up.  This year, they are expecting over 50K at the event.  Their growth has been amazing and inspiring!  This reminds us that podcasts are still ripe opportunities.

 

20141017_132529

 

Walker Stalkers LIVE reminded us that this is a true fan event.  Eric and James offered General Admissions attendees a chance at a free VIP upgrade by playing The Walking Dead Family Feud.  It was awesome seeing old TWD cast members sitting right there with the fans.  The energy and wit the actors brought was refreshing and it really set the tone for the event.  This is huge considering Dania, a.k.a. Michonne, cancelled at the very last minute and other issues overshadowed Day One.  To that I say “shame on you” to the managers and agents who failed to see the importance of this event.

 

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Lots of great surveys were featured in this game of Family Feud.  The big one is shown above, when contestants were asked, “What are the biggest threats in The Walking Dead?”  Sadly, spoiled food and squirrels did not make the board.  Doh.

 

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The main panel room on the 3rd floor of AmericasMart building 2 is huge.  There is not much scheduled in the space, which is a shame, but the setup is nice.  Great lighting and set pieces.  This event space in Atlanta is impressive and spacious, yet it’s not overwhelming like, say, Jacob Javits Center in NYC.  There is a certain warmth here.

 

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The next panel I caught was Emory University’s Zombie Ethics discussion.  They went deep on the allure of The Walking Dead and what defines ethics under normal or apocalyptic circumstances.  Are zombies sentient enough to be subject to ethics ?  Is mistreatment of zombies animal cruelty?  Does choice and free will determine the responsibility of ethics?   I really enjoyed the discussion so expect a write-up on it.  There were audio issues but the presenters and experts were wonderful so I stuck around for the whole thing.

 

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#DoctorWho Weekend Starting September 12th 2014 – With @GadaboutGamer, @Yogizilla, and @Faryna!

Doctor Who Legacy Title Banner - DWL Code Giveaways!

Greetings and salutations, fellow Whovians, geeks, and creatives!

We have tons of updates, musings, and excitement to share with you so let’s jump right to it.  In case you missed our announcements on #TWTT EP3.5, the video has materialized below, for your enjoyment.  Stan Faryna also put together another lovely recap of what our community is calling the “Best Ever Doctor Who Podcast”.


Doctor Who - Doctor Who Catchphrases - Fantastic, Brilliant, Cool - Animated GIF

Fantastic!  Brilliant!  Cool!

Doctor Who Weekend – Timey Wimey Tea Time! #GeeksUnite

At 5pm Eastern / 10pm GMT today, September 12th, we’ll be doing a special Doctor Who Legacy Q&A with developers, Tiny Rebel Games, in collaboration with the fine folks of 42 Level 1.  Come hang out with me, Ali, and the AllGames community.  Since the Q&A will focus on this wonderful little mobile game, please keep questions related to the game itself and not the series.  Can you contain your Doctor Who love until Saturday morning? The developers have seen ahead so let’s not tempt them to spoil what’s to come (they really can’t, anyway).

Join The LIVE Chathttp://www.allgames.com/live

Come get some awesome!

We’ll be following up with the premiere of the Timey-Wimey Tea Time experience on AllGames on Saturday, September 13th, at 9am Eastern / 4pm GMT.  Stan and I will be traveling afterwards but we hope to follow up on Sunday with some Doctor Who marathons and, perhaps, inconceivable community events. I’m thinking group viewings and giveaways – if we see the love going on here in the comments.

Speaking of giveaways, there will be plenty during the Doctor Who Legacy special event.  In fact, everyone will get in-game items for Doctor Who Legacy just for showing up!

 

The GANG Doubled On YouTube

We have to mention this now: thanks to your fantastic support, our GeekyAntics YouTube channel subscribers have doubled in just a week. That’s how you grow a community.

The #TWTT community is growing geometrically and your enthusiastic support is overwhelming – in a good way!

Keep the voicemail messages, comments, faves, and shares coming! Even if we don’t always mention it, we are taking notice. It fills our hearts with joy to see so much love and beauty in the Doctor Who fan community!

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