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Highlights of E3 2019

The Electronic Entertainment Expo (more widely known as E3) is one of the largest highlights of the year for gamers. The event typically spans several days and gives us insider knowledge and access to projects from various developers, publishers, and hardware manufacturers. 

The most anticipated part of E3 is its press conferences. This year was the 25th staging of the event and while there were some lackluster moments, our focus is on the ones that blew our collective minds. Join us as we review the highlights of E3 2019.

Keanu Reeves in Cyberpunk 2077

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After CD Projekt Red gave us classics such as The Witcher Trilogy, anticipations were high for their next venture into the RPG world. These expectations were exceeded as the reveal trailer for Cyberpunk 2077 showed amazing visuals and gave us a preview of an interesting story where cybernetic modification and technology use has been taken to worrying extremes. As the trailer played, excitement only grew until it culminated in a fever pitch when a fully video game rendered Keanu Reeves showed up on screen. Things only got better when the John Wick star took to the stage to tell us more about the game. In one of the greatest E3 moments of all time, as Reeves was describing the game’s environment as “breathtaking”, an excited fan shouted, “You’re breathtaking!”, which saw an eruption of laughter from the live audience. Reeves would then respond in kind letting us all know how breathtaking we are. This moment will no doubt live on inside our minds forever.

Devolver Digital’s Big Fancy Press Conference

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You know it’s special when we include an entire conference as an entry on our list. Devolver’s conferences seem to get more interesting and more creative each year. Though their conferences are short, they are the only publisher that maintains high audience interest for the entirety of a press conference. This is because they’re not afraid to poke fun at themselves and parody the video game industry as a whole. In fact, they even took shots at the relevance of E3 this year, which shattered any semblance of a fourth wall.

Within the fun and madness were a couple of well-received indie game reveals such as Mediatonic’s Fall Guys that we can’t wait to get our excited hands on.

Final Fantasy VII Remake (Tifa and Sephiroth Reveal)

Square Enix started their conference with a bang, causing everyone to go wild at the site of a familiar menu screen. After the disappointment of not hearing anything about this much-anticipated remake at E3 2018, Square Enix needed to wow the fans this year, and wow us they did. The graphics in the reveal were stunning. We got a look at some of the gameplay, mechanics, and we even finally got a definitive release date of March 3, 2020.

Everything mentioned above was amazing, but two reveals got a reception unlike anything else in the entirety of the trailer. We knew all our favorite polygon shaped characters of old were getting a major high-definition facelift, but the sight of the beloved Tifa and the nefarious but charming Sephiroth were the icing on a very well-made cake. After years of waiting with bated breath, we are simply counting the days down to release.

Watchdogs Legion Reveal

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Though the Watchdogs games have always revolved around one of the best game mechanics of the modern era in the wake of hacking, the franchise was never as well received as Ubisoft would’ve liked. While the second entry, Watchdogs 2, was a great game, the sour taste in the mouth of gamers from the first title meant that it never got the chance to shine.

After a long hiatus, Ubisoft returned to the title in a big way. The reveal for the 3rd entry, Watchdogs Legion, was almost unanimously well received. Taking place in a post-Brexit London, the story sees the city fall under constant surveillance and oppression. With an interesting permadeath system and the ability to “recruit and play as anyone”, it seems the possibilities are endless for the franchise’s newest entry. 

This fact came to light in a big way as the now beloved Helen was revealed. Helen is a grandma (yes, you read that right) who has some serious hacking and combat skills and she shows no signs of slowing down. Her "balls to the walls" personality and her athleticism that rivals that of people a quarter of her age are just two of the reasons the community is unable to stop talking about her.

Ghostwire: Tokyo’s Ikumi Nakamura

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Most conferences see publishers talk about games and produce cringeworthy moments. That was not the case in what may have been the highlight of Bethesda’s showcase. Creative Director of Ghostwire: Tokyo, Ikumi Nakamura, came to tell us about her game and stole our hearts as she did so. Ghostwire: Tokyo is an action-adventure game that makes use of paranormal elements.

While the game looks to be great, the real highlight was Ikumi, who emanated enthusiasm with every line she spoke. She blended excitement, passion, humor, energy, humility, and appreciation in the short time she took the stage. She all but broke the internet and spawned a series of fan art and discussions.

Marvel’s Avengers

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The final entry on our list is a game that the gaming community was quite skeptical about after it leaked. After Square Enix’s showcase, however, we can honestly say that we are looking forward to this game’s release. We must acknowledge the fact that the character models are not our favorite in terms of faithfulness to the source material, however, the graphics we saw in this game are nothing short of remarkable.

Initially, you’ll have access to Captain America, Thor, Iron-Man, Black Widow, and The Hulk. More heroes are on the way and we were quite impressed to hear that they’ll be free. There’ll be no loot boxes and no paywalls, which is a welcome change in the current era of microtransactions.

The cast is just as strong as the graphics as the game features Nolan North, Troy Baker, Travis Willingham, Jeff Schine, and Laura Bailey as Iron-Man, The Hulk, Captain America, and the Black Widow respectively.

Those are our picks for the top highlights of E3’s 25 staging. We don’t know about you, but we won’t soon forget any of these moments. What was your favorite moment in E3 2019? 

Special thanks to OffGamers for the guest blog submission! Read more by OffGamers!






Gears 5: Free DLC Maps, No Season Pass, No Random Loot Boxes

The upcoming Microsoft exclusive Gears 5, which got another cinematic preview at this year's E3, is right around the corner. As the September release date draws near, more details are being revealed about the third-person shooter. A recent post on the Gears 5 website informed players the game will include free DLC and the lack of a season pass.

Gears 5 Cinematic Preview

The blog post shows off a cinematic look at the new character Fahz. The developer also explains the new 3-player co-op mode, Escape. Although, the biggest reveal was how Microsoft plans on handling the additional content releasing over the course of the game's life span.

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The developer behind Gears 5, The Coalition wants to ensure they create a player first experience, which means some of the additional content will be free. Gears 5 will not have a season pass or loot boxes and will feature free DLC maps for both public and private play. Also included are microtransactions, but the post ensures that all purchases will be direct and not feature any RNG. The different types of cosmetics up for purchase include costumes, weapon skins, banners, expressions, executions, blood sprays, and marks.

Gears 5's story follows Kat Diaz as she looks into her heritage and her connection to the Locusts (bad guys of the Gears series). Xbox boss Phil Spencer is confident in Gears 5 and said that the game was looking great when he went to visit the Vancouver based studio. Gears 5 releases on September 10th on Xbox One and PC with a versus technical test scheduled for Friday, July 19th. We here at Gigamax are excited for the next game in this long-running series, so be sure to keep checking back here at for all the latest updates.






Is E3 Getting Old? What Does the Future Hold?

High costs and more effective ways for game companies to spread the word about major announcements could be killing E3. The video game industry is maturing and these events may become a thing of the past.

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Press events like E3, Gamescom, and PAX play a major role in the video game industry. It’s the time of year where even casual gamers spend a little time tuning in to these highly produced conferences to see what’s on the horizon. Events like E3 are a time for gaming companies to make their major reveals, new console announcements or showing off a highly anticipated or completely secret title. However, companies like Sony and Activision have turned to other means to share their news with the gaming community. Nintendo never takes to the main E3 stage and instead holds a Nintendo Direct. E3 is an exciting time for gamers, but the cost and effective alternatives to a massive press conference are becoming more attractive.

E3, or Any Game Conference is Costly

It isn’t cheap for a company to attend E3. In 2017, a large scale E3 booth cost around $6,600 per day and that’s the low end according to Booth space is only the beginning. At the Game Developers Conference in 2017, a pre-cut 10ft x 10ft carpet cost $191, a simple plastic chair runs $60, and GDC charges $118 per day for electricity (10 Amp/1000 Watts). These were the prices in 2017. As with any event, product, or service, expenses increase over time.

All the prices listed above only include the bare minimum, just a carpet, a chair, and electricity. It still requires a tremendous amount of money to ship equipment or a booth to a conference. Shipping 1,000 pounds of freight through UPS Air Freight can cost upwards of $6,500. Now it’s time to think about hotel rooms for staff, travel, and all the marketing materials adds up quickly. An E3 conference could cost as much as a house. Companies are beginning to question whether the cost is justifiable.

E3 2019 wasn’t quite the same without some of the massive names in gaming. Both Sony and Activision were a no show. Instead, they decided to host streams rather than physically attend the conference. Blogs, social media, YouTube, there are multiple avenues for Sony and Activision to inform their fans. These massive companies were both able to get their announcements out and at the same time avoid the monstrous expense that comes along with attending E3 2019.

Phil Spencer Misses His Friends

Phil Spencer, Executive Vice President of Gaming at Microsoft came out after E3 2019 and expressed concern about the future for this staple of the gaming industry. He made the point to state that E3 isn’t just about the new releases and company announcements, it’s about the perception of the industry. The World Health Organization classified Gaming Disorder as a recognized disease and E3 is a time to show gaming is beyond just the anti-social kid in the basement. Spencer does have a vested interest in how E3 performs. He currently sits on the board of directors at the Entertainment Software Association, the group responsible for hosting E3 every year.

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As the video game industry continues gravitating toward streaming as a way to communicate with the community, an E3 kind of conference begins to look less and less worth the expense. Nintendo crushed it with their Nintendo Direct. Streaming news costs a mere fraction of a ticket to E3. Of course, smaller companies are at a massive disadvantage. Sony, Activision, Nintendo; these organizations have a pile of money to throw at advertising and already have a huge community.

E3 2019 was always a time to gather around and watch the highly produced press conferences. It’s unclear how long this will last but it’s unimaginable to think E3 and similar events will disappear altogether. Instead, it’s much more likely for big name companies to take a back seat when it comes to attending these conferences. This would leave room for smaller game companies to use the main stage to build their notoriety.

Only time will tell what the future holds for E3 and other large scale gaming conferences. There’s no word about Sony or Activision regretting their decision to sit out of E3 2019. If this trend continues, it may leave room for smaller companies to take their place and reach a worldwide audience. As the video game industry continues to evolve, will continue to watch and report. Be sure to keep checking back for all the latest news, reviews, and gameplay and to stay up-to-date with this ever-changing community and industry.






Xbox Boss Phil Spencer Urges Sony & Activision To Return To E3

Xbox was lonely at E3 2019. Phil Spencer asks Sony and Activision to come back and partake in next year's E3 conference.

E3 2019 is wrapping up and this year Sony was noticeably absent from the festivities. Sony didn't have a floor presence or offer a press conference. Activision also took a leave of absence from the event as well as many other companies. Xbox boss, Phil Spencer, recently shared that the conference did not feel the same without Sony or Activision, and he wishes they would come back.

Phil Spencer Opens Up

During an interview with website Giant Bomb for an E3 live stream, he spoke on the relevance of the event and what it means for the game industry and how the show's profile is hurt by Sony and Activision not being there. "I wish Sony was here," Spencer said. "E3 is not as good when they're not here," is what Spencer had to say on the two companies opting out of this E3 2019.

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E3 is an important event for the gaming world, Spencer said. He expressed that it's a time of the year when people around the world are watching the industry, even those who are not particularly interested in gaming. One recent threat, Spencer pointed out, was the World Health Organization classifying Gaming Disorder as a recognized disease.

He said that E3 is an important time to show the world that video games go beyond just kids in basements. Without the help of industry juggernauts like Sony and Activision the event could take a huge hit in terms of recognition.

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Spencer is on the board of directors at the Entertainment Software Association, the group in charge of running E3 every year, so obviously he has a vested interest in both companies returning to the event. Other board members include Strauss Zelnick, CEO of Take-Two Interactive, and ZeniMax's CEO, Robert Altman.

Sony explained they did not attend E3 this year due to wanting to find new ways to engage and entertain their fans around the globe. Before the show started, they gave PS4 owners their first look at Death Stranding and shared the first details about PS5. Although, without the company being at E3 2019, it is unclear when fans will hear about upcoming first-party titles like The Last of Us 2.

Even with Sony's and Activision's absence, E3 2019 offered an incredible lineup of gaming news. Be sure to keep checking back on to catch up with all the most exciting announcements from this monumental event.






Bethesda Announces Massive Fallout 76 Expansion, Wastelanders

Bethesda's Fallout 76 new updates adds NPC's to the game. Players actions will have consequences that change how the game progresses.

Bethesda's always online Fallout 76 is about to feel a lot more like a traditional game from the series. The upcoming update, which is being called Wastelanders, is set to add human NPC's. Furthermore, how players interact to them will impact the game moving forward.

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Fallout 76: Wastelanders Brings More to the Table

Bethesda made the big announcement during their E3 2019 press conference. The Wastelanders content update will include a full new story quest line for fans to complete, and the NPC's those players meet throughout the wasteland will play a major part in the journey. These interactions will offer branching dialogue choices as well.

Bethesda stated during their time at E3 2019, the first year of Fallout 76 was about leaving the vault, Wastelanders will be about reclaiming the wasteland from the terrors that now roam it. The choices players make on their journey will have a long-lasting impact on the story of the expansion, and the perks and skill points fans have invested in will offer them different options for solving problems.

On top of the new story and characters, Fallout 76's big update will contain plenty of fresh loot for players to get their hands on. Bethesda plans on launching Wastelanders is in the fall of 2019 for free.

Bethesda also revealed that Fallout 76 is getting its own battle royale mode called Nuclear Winter. This 52 player fight to the death has players competing to be the new Overseer of Vault 51. The mode includes all of Fallout 76's weapons and other mechanics, like C.A.M.P, perk cards, and nuclear weapons.

We've certainly played a lot of Fallout 76 here at Gigamax Games, so we're looking forward to any new content Bethesda adds to the wasteland. Be sure to keep checking back with us here at for all the latest details!






Netflix Teases Appearances at E3 2019

On May 13th Netflix’s Sci-Fi account, @NXonNetflix, posted a Tweet asking E3 for an invitation to the world-renowned gaming conference this year. After being asked what the panel will be called, Netflix responded with “Bringing Your Favorite Shows to Life: Developing Netflix Originals into Video Games”. It’s not yet clear which titles Netflix has plans of adapting into video games but they did ensure there will be more than just the Strangers Things game expected to release alongside Season 3.

Netflix Comes to E3 2019

Shortly after this exchange between E3 and Netflix, Geoff Keighley made the official announcement on his Twitter. Not only did this add fuel to the rumor fire, but it also gave both Netflix fans and the video game community even more reason to anticipate the event beginning on June 11th. Find the full post, below.

Netflix Enters the E3 Coliseum

Netflix will be taking to the E3 Coliseum, the main stage presentation located at LA Live, next to the LA Convention Center. It will be hosted by Geoff Keighley and is a part of ESA and E3’s attempt to bring E3 closer to the public. Netflix is a perfect partner to be involved in the ESA and E3 initiative. Netflix provides entertainment to millions around the world and their appearance at the E3 Coliseum is expected to be just another way of reaching millions more.

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Even though it will be the first appearance for Netflix at E3, this is not their first time creating a video game. They have two unique approaches to making games. The first is a narrative-driven experience like Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, the second is games for consoles and mobile devices like the Stranger Things games. Knowing Netflix dabbled in both mediums, their E3 2019 appearance can go in a variety of different directions.

Whatever Netflix has planned for the Coliseum, the community will be listening intently. Netflix upended the way people consume movies and television. However, the question remains what they truly have planned for the video game industry in the future.

More news on Netflix’s E3 2019 performance is expected to leak out closer to the event itself. Be sure to stop by leading up to E3 and throughout the event to keep up with all the latest announcements.






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