Game Trends & Insights from E3 (#E32015)
Last week our resident gamer extraordinaire, Matt Hostler, and one of our amazing LA-based mods, Jasmine Tigner, attended E3, a game conference in LA.
A bit from E3’s website:
For three exciting days, leading-edge companies, groundbreaking new technologies and never-before-seen products will be showcased. E3 connects you with both new and existing partners and provides unprecedented exposure to emerging markets.
Matt and Jasmine spent their time roaming the floors, meeting up with various clients of ours (like the amazing Sony PlayStation), and attending various sessions from developers and publishers (and there may have been some evening party events too).
This isn’t Matt’s “first rodeo” when it comes to attendance. He’s been to a half dozen over the years, which puts him in a unique position to share a few valuable insights regarding 2015 trends.
1) Welcome the horde of female protagonists!
This is a big year for women (characters) in games (and not just in the social game atmosphere, but in other genres as well). The gamer population is now almost a 50/50 split. I’m glad that developers are starting to pay attention. Everyone loves games!
More female lead characters should help make AAA titles more accessible to a wider audience. Hopefully it was also have an effect on the sexism that’s part of the current game climate.
Here are some examples of current and upcoming female protagonists for 2015 titles:
A Woman Is The Lead Character:
- Horizon: Zero Dawn
- FIFA ’16
- Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst
- Rise of the Tomb Raider
- The Tomorrow Children
Women Are Included As Optional/Multi-Player Characters
- Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate
- Call of Duty: Black Ops 3
- Dishonored 2
- The Division
- Fallout 4
- Halo 5: Guardians
- Mass Effect: Andromeda
2) Bring on the Virtual Reality
You may not have guessed it from this year’s press conferences (with the exception of Oculus Rift coverage), but virtual reality is about to become an actual reality. Oculus Rift, the prominent PC VR headset, is set to launch early next year and Project Morpheus, PlayStation’s model, will be available the first half of 2016. It’s not quite ready for prime time, but some big developers are making convincing tech demos and games. Holiday 2016 will be the big test.
That said, the price point of the hardware, quality experiences, and a boatload of advertising will either make or break VR this time around. It’s a little concerning that prices have not been announced yet, but we’re still 6-9 months away from the first to market. I’ve tried Oculus Rift and some smaller versions, like Samsung Gear VR, and I have tried Project Morpheus. The experience is incredible, but truly hard to convey in words. As the phrase of the show pointed out: “You really have to try it for yourself.”
Games made for VR can be completely new and unique experiences. It’s a great time for developers to toss out convention and experiment with new experiences. This technology isn’t just limited to games. Expect to see VR content related to movies and TV shows as well. Within our industry (moderating games and digital experiences), moderation and customer support will take on new dimensions. We will be watching that area of VR technology develop eagerly – if there is anything that digital history has taught us, it’s that highly effective moderation, community, and customer support services are fundamental to success.
There were also some great trends in sound development, AAA games moving to mobile, and new expansions to old favorites. For more on Matt and Jasmine’s trip to E3, including great photos of booths and titles, check out our Metaverse Tumblr account.
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