Games Inbox: Do you want E3 to continue?

The Thursday Inbox praises Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare’s use of microtransactions , as one reader calls for a Split/Second sequel.

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A whole new show
Just seen that Geoff Keighley, who does The Game Awards, is not going to go to E3 this year, which puts another nail in its coffin. This will presumably start a whole other chorus of E3 being outdated by people and I’m not really sure why. There’s nothing outdate about E3. All the events are livestreamed and they were the most popular single subject on Twitch last year, how is that outdated?

People seem so desperate to tear things down but without thinking about what will replace them. Have you actually watched The Game Awards? It’s on at 2am in the morning so I imagine not, but it’s incredibly boring, incredibly long, and is nothing but ads. Remember those EA pre-E3 shows that were so cringey to watch you had to switch off after 10 minutes? Do you really want that from every major publisher? Because that’s what you’re going to get instead of E3.

If everyone is off doing their own thing, or using Nintendo Direct style pre-recorded shows, there’s going to be less accountability, less hands-on, and more grinning execs and paid-of influencers. Getting rid of E3 will not only be less interesting it will also play into the hands of publishers who want you to know as little as possible about a game before you hand over your cash.


Longest gap
I’ve just read that this is now the longest gap between two proper Nintendo Directs (i.e. ones that aren’t about just one thing) since the Switch came out. Is there any theory out there to explain this? All those people having a go at the Reader’s Feature about 2020 being a wash so far, but I have to say I think that reader has a point. Microsoft and Sony I can understand (but why not give us a date for the reveal?) but what are Nintendo waiting for?

I literally can’t think of any reason for the delay, especially since they said they aren’t releasing a new console this year. They had a really good year last year, with lots of different games but now we’ve got Animal Crossing and… some Pokémon spin-off remake?

Sometimes I wonder what ordinary people must think looking in on the games industry from outside. It must seem so random and confusing. As far as the outside world is concerned there’s only on Nintendo game out all year and the Xbox One and PlayStation 5 aren’t even confirmed to be coming out. I don’t understand what’s going on.

GC: We really have no idea what’s going on. The only obvious explanation is that they’re getting ready to reveal new hardware, but they’ve consistently said that’s not what’s happening. It’s also very surprising that there hasn’t been a Direct dedicated to Animal Crossing yet.


Not a penny more
So Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare really does have a battle royale coming out soon, eh? Good, as far as I’m concerned. I’ve lost track of whether it’s still fashionable to diss Call Of Duty or not but as far as I’m concerned Modern Warfare is the best one in a long while and the new way of paying for all the DLC is much fairer than it’s probably ever been.

Everything important is free and all the cosmetic microtransactions make no difference to gameplay. I have no idea why anyone would want them, but apparently that makes more money for Activision than season passes and map packs, so I’m not of a mind to knock.

The multiplayer is really fun, it keeps changing and getting new features, and I think it’s genuinely good value. I would’ve betted that the battle royale would’ve been some kind of free-to-play thing but the way they’ve got its option blanked out on the main menu really doesn’t make it seem that way. Not that it matters, I’ll play it either way and continue not to pay a penny extra.


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Gone but not forgotten
If I could have two games updated/remade for the next gen it would be these two from the PlayStation 3 era.

First would be The Saboteur. Oh how I loved this game, not for going around shooting, but for driving around Paris, or climbing over the rooftops of this then visually stunning game. I never wanted this game to end and dragged out the ending for months. (Maybe something for the weekend – what game didn’t you want to end?)

Second would be the best driving game ever made (that I played) Split/Second. I never stopped playing this game. What’s not to like? Racing, blowing things up to change the track and beat your rivals. Loved every second.


Possible sequel
RE: NatorDom. I think GC has already spelled it out but I don’t see any way back for Dead Space or Crysis. I’m not even sure if Crytek are still going any more but none of those games were that successful and Dead Space was never that big either. I could see EA maybe doing a remaster to gauge interest but I really don’t see them put any money into a proper sequel, especially after the mess that was the third one.

Harder to say about Max Payne though. There were those stories about Take-Two wanting Rockstar to make more games but I don’t see them daring to upset their golden goose to make that happen. Bioshock does have a new game coming and they keep talking about a new Saints Row even if it’s obviously never happened.

What’s going on with Splinter Cell I don’t think anyone knows. It’s been rumoured loads of times now but you can only imagine that shake-up after the failure of The Division 2 and Ghost Recon Breakpoint must’ve change all of Ubisoft’s plans.

GC: Crytek does still exist, although they’ve had to scale down a lot.


Generation of victims
Yeah, I think we’re going to be seeing a lot more stories about publishers being exclusive to one streaming service or another. That one for GeForce Now is just the beginning. But that’s what I don’t understand about Microsoft’s position, because if exclusive games become the most important thing, that’s what they’re worst at. Maybe they’ll get better next gen, they could hardly get any worse, but if everyone does a streaming service I don’t see what Microsoft is going to have to beat them.

I guess it’s the ability to loose money, hand over foot, when it comes to Game Pass and whatever Project xCloud costs but how long is that going to go one for? And what’s the point if that becomes their many way of selling games?

I think there are going to be a lot of victims next generation and Stadia is probably going to be the first. Will Microsoft join them? I don’t know, because I don’t fully understand their plan and we haven’t really seen anything from Sony yet. But when the status quo changes this much there’s no way that everyone’s going to do okay out of it.


The sales are strong with this one
Has Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order been a hit? I was not expecting too much out of it, but just picked it up cheap and it’s actually pretty good. A few rough edges, and all the steals from Dark Souls seem a bit random, but I’ve really enjoyed it.

Certainly beats Battlefront and I’m hoping it might convince EA that single-player is not only viable but can do better than a multiplayer game.

GC: It’s done better than expected (especially given the reception to the last movie) so unless something happens to EA’s ownership of the licence a sequel seems certain.


Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here


If you can’t say something nice…
Well, isn’t the comments section an interesting place. Maybe those who seem so very quick and persistent in their criticism of other readers who contribute should perhaps send in their own Reader’s Features for GameCentral. It is all too easy for some people, given a platform, to pick holes in a feature but let us put this into some kind of context.

Grassple’s feature was their view on the lack of games available so far this year and the wider impact of this for 2020. When writing a Reader’s Feature it is from the writer’s point of view and it’s how they feel and view that situation. My guess is that hardly any of the GC readers who write a Reader’s Feature are professional writers or journalists. Therefore, the writer may make a comment during the feature which may come across as ‘pathetic, entitled, unsympathetic and crass thing to write’, as stated by Magicsquirrel.

Personally, I did not see it this way. I believe the writer was trying to make a point during his feature but a point a professional journalist or writer may have elaborated on further to avoid the kind of backlash which Grassple seems to be receiving. The point Grassple was making is completely valid, the possible delay to the new consoles is a story which has been carried on a number of other news feeds. There was no need to make it personal just because of the way it was phrased.

GC is a great mix of gaming related news stories, a trusted source of reviews and a place where gamers have a chance to share their thoughts, experiences and views on video games and something readers can be a part. I recently wrote the Reader’s Feature about my top 10 Out Run conversions. I received some kind comments which I really appreciated, as I had spent quite some time putting the feature together.

I know how I would have felt if I would have received the kind of backlash Grassple has received and I think some people need to think a little more about what they are posting and the impact it has on people if it is negative or personal. After all these pages are about video games, something we all enjoy, have an interest in or a passion for and not a platform for individuals to be negative towards other contributors in the way they have been.

It’s all very well for some of these ‘leaders’ and ‘influencers’ voicing their judgements and pulling a contributor’s written work apart but I don’t see them regularly contributing to the GC Inbox or Reader’s Features. I, as I believe another reader has already stated, hope this doesn’t discourage other people from contributing their Reader’s Features or Inbox letters in the future.

GC: Well said. Writing a Reader’s Feature involves a dedication of time and effort that we are always very impressed by, whether we agree with the contents or not.


Inbox also-rans
Kingdom Come: Deliverance and Aztez is free on Epic Games Store on PC from today for the next week.
Andrew J.

So what are EA going to do when the next Need For Speed doesn’t sell either? Weird franchise, doesn’t feel like it’s been relevant since the early 2000s.


This week’s Hot Topic
This weekend’s Inbox is devoted to the Readers’ Top 20 of 2019, where you get to vote on your favourite games of last year.

As usual, all you need to do is send us a list of your three favourite games and we’ll log your vote and present the results on Saturday. If you want to also describe why you made your choices then we’ll use that in the Hot Topic, where everyone can go into detail on their top picks.

Unlike our Top 20 the only limitations are that the game has to have been released new in the UK in 2019, so as long as that’s true you can vote for anything you like – including remakes, remasters, re-releases, etc. Feel free to also let us know what you thought of 2019 in general and how it compares to previous years.

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]


The small print
New Inbox updates appear every weekday morning, with special Hot Topic Inboxes at the weekend. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word 4Player viewer features at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

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