In a change from The Reticule’s usual EGX Programming, I’m going to break my reports down into a few different posts in order to give various games more exposure than they might usually get with my old Daily Reports. Let’s get right to it with some general musing on the show…
On a personal note, I was very much pleased to be back on the Press list, thank you EGX organisers! Though now I do realise that I need to do a better job of scheduling in visits to some of the AAA titles, and I really should make an effort to find the press room…it always seems to be hidden away at the show!
More generally though, some aspects of the show felt pretty flat. I think this can be largely put down to the absence of a dedicated Microsoft area, with only Tomb Raider seeming to really build up its “I’m with Microsoft” credentials. It was also odd not to see EA present. There was a total absence of FIFA, and Battlefield V wasn’t on hand, while even the upcoming CoD:BLOPS4 had a strangely out of the way booth.
Yes, Ubisoft had a large presence, while Sony and Nintendo were also out in pretty good force, but game wise, I just didn’t get the same buzz at some of the previous shows. There were heaps of hardware vendors and merch stands, frankly, it felt like there were more of these stands and booths than there were games.
As EGX has grown over the years, it has embraced the eSports scene to ever an ever greater extent. That trend continued here, with a huge ESL zone along with a separate dedicated Fight Zone. This was in addition to Nintendo holding fort with a large viewing area of various Smash Bros., Mario Party and Fortnite contests.
Speaking of Fortnite, I found it somewhat baffling that in addition to Nintendo showing it off, it was also granted a healthy chunk of the Sony area. For a free-to-play game that is pretty ubiquitous these days in the gaming world to be so popular here threw me for a second. Maybe it is a sign of the years catching up with me, but don’t people come to these shows for the new, exciting things or the eSports competitions? Not just to play Fortnite for the thousandth hour this year?
I know not the answer to the riddle of how Fortnite has come to dominate every square inch of the globe, but it was a pleasure to break away from the games to catch up with Cliff Harris of Positech and Ray Wilmott from Perp Games. Taking a few moments to shoot the breeze with peers and friends is a joy of events like EGX, and just serve to remind me of why I do this thing.
So, what else can you expect to see in my reports from EGX over the coming days and weeks? Well, I’ll be bringing thoughts on Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey and Metro: Exodus, words from the man behind innovative cross-platform and VR game, Vanguard: Fight for Rudarius, musings on the nature of riding and feeling in Ride 3 along with a heap of other indies and assorted other titles.
I hope you enjoy what I have coming up for you, it’s been a great couple of days at the NEC.