I look forward to E3 every year, it’s become something of a holiday for me to the point that I even request the day off from work on the day of the Microsoft E3 just so I can watch it live. Some of the things that I look forward to is gameplay from games I’m already excited about, as well as announcements for new games that I can’t wait to see more of. And Ubisoft has proven that E3 is not only an important place for a publisher to unveil their latest game but to create hype for their upcoming games.
One of the best things that I think proves that Ubisoft truly knows what they’re doing to create the hype train is to first announce the game at E3 instead of a trailer that pops up randomly on YouTube which has worked very well for some of the latest film trailers over the last few years (which is why most trailers don’t wait for the Super Bowl to be released anymore). But both Watch Dogs and Tom Clancy’s The Division were both announced at an E3, and both had sales that broke Ubisoft’s records, could it just be a simple coincidence? Read on to hear some more of my thoughts on this.
Both Watch Dogs and The Division had similar histories, everything from how they were first announced to the developer delays, to the record-breaking sales for Ubisoft. When Watch Dogs was first announced at E3 2012 the hype that the game left with also came with more than 82 awards and nominations just from that E3 alone. And while the game once released didn’t quite get the reviews that everyone expected, it did well enough that Ubisoft confirmed that a sequel is in the works to be released by the end of Ubisoft’s 2017 fiscal year. (will we see this at E3 2016?)
Now I’ll admit that I didn’t see the Watch Dogs announcement trailer, but I did see The Division’s during E3 2013, and I can’t tell you how many times I watched the gameplay for it. I couldn’t wait to get the game in my hands from that moment on. To me, that was really the first “Next Gen Game” that really made me excited to see the possibilities with the new consoles that this would be released on. And just like with Watch Dogs, it went home with many awards and nominations with some of the most popular ones labeled as, “Game of the Show” by iHLN and “Best New Franchise” by IGN just to name a few.
Earlier, I mentioned that by announcing these games at E3 that it really worked to their advantage as it started the hype train off strong. Now let’s think for a second just how well these games would’ve been received at E3 had they gone the YouTube route, I think with the game already having been announced, it would have been an expected game appearance from Ubisoft to have it shown at E3 and still might have won some awards, but I think that fan’s expectations would be higher versus the element of surprise that comes from showing off your game when no one is expecting it.
These are just some of my thoughts on why Publishers need to really take advantage of E3 as much as Ubisoft does. What games do you think will we see from Ubisoft during E3 2016? Do you think that games need E3 to have successful sales, or do you think a game can be just as successful without showing it there? As always, please let us know what your thoughts are in the comments below!