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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 Gameindustry.biz. 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, GigamaxGames.com 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.

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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 GigamaxGames.com to catch up with all the most exciting announcements from this monumental event.

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Sony Has No Plans To Stop Making Narrative Driven Games

Since the release of live-service games like Fortnite and Apex Legends, many have worried that publishers would start steering away from narrative heavy/story-driven games. This is definitely not the plan for Sony according to Sony Interactive Entertainment president, Jim Ryan.

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Speaking in an interview with CNET, Ryan said that Sony was enjoying the huge success of games like Spider-Man, God of War, and Days Gone. He followed up by saying that fans can expect more of these story heavy games.

Keep the Story Coming

"We've never had greater success with our own narrative-driven, story-based games than we're having right now," he said. "We feel good about that, and it's certainly not a genre of gaming we'll ever walk away from."

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Ryan also acknowledged the rapid growth of live-service games and their contribution to the overall gaming economy, but he pointed out the difficulty in producing one of these titles.

"If you're going to do this you have to do it really well," he said about live service games. "It's a form of entertainment that has to be built incrementally, you can't sort of plunge in and build one of these live service games and get it right from day one. It's got to be evolved and iterated and it's not easy. It's really not easy."

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The next big story game planned for Sony is The Last of Us: Part II, but with Sony not attending E3 this year, it may be some time before fans hear anything about the title.

We here at Gigamax are huge fans of single player story based games and can't wait to see what Sony has planned for the future of the genre. We'll be sure to have plenty of stories covering Sony's plans for the future so be sure to check back with us here at GigamaxGames.com for all the latest developments.

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Trailer And Closed Alpha Revealed For Nioh 2

The developer behind Nioh 2 revealed some new information regarding the title. The Tokyo based studio shared a new trailer that includes details on an upcoming closed alpha for the upcoming Dark Souls like game.

Nioh 2 Close Alpha Trailer



Fans of the original Nioh will notice that the trailer looks a lot like the first game with some notable additions. Along with playable male samurai, fans will notice that there is now playable female characters. Transformations into yokai are also shown in the gameplay, revealing different move sets that can be utilized when player characters go into this ultimate state. Many different weapons are also seen throughout the trailer, including a nodachi, dual wield axes, a naginita, and more.

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The trailer explains that the closed alpha will be held for a full week. The test starts on Saturday, May 25th and will end on Sunday, June 2nd. Strangely, Team Ninja hasn't revealed a way to request an invitation into the alpha. According to a tweet from their Twitter account, "Some PS4 users are invited to take part in the Nioh 2 closed alpha to help gather feedback for the development."

Twitter Breaks The News


Nioh 2 was first spotted during the Sony's 2018 press conference. The short teaser showed a samurai retreating from a yokai attack and after he succumbs to the wounds he grows horns and rips them from his head revealing a demon underneath. Although, Sony has said that they will not be attending E3 2019, so it is not known when the next big look at the game will drop. We will be sure to keep our eyes open for any new information so be sure to keep checking back with us here at GigamaxGames.com!

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Predator: Hunting Grounds Revealed During PS4 State of Play

Sony revealed a number of new games during their May State of Play stream. One of these new titles is Predator: Hunting Grounds, with a release date scheduled for an undisclosed time in 2020. The announcement was followed up with a trailer that you can find below.

Predator: Hunting Grounds - Reveal Trailer



Predator: Hunting Grounds is set up like an online-asymmetric shooter, where a group of players takes on one of the iconic hunters, who is also controlled by another player. The game is being developed by Illfonic, the same studio that made Friday the 13th: The Game. In the trailer, a group of soldiers is seen sneaking through the jungle being watched from the trees by Predator, only visible by his telltale shimmer.

"As the Fireteam attempt to carry out paramilitary missions--annihilating bad guys and recovering important items--the Predator will be closing in, using its advanced vision mode to track and ambush its prey," Illfonic CEO Charles Brungardt wrote on the PlayStation blog. He added that the game was in early development so it will be a while before fans get to see what this game is made of.

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Sony revealed a variety of other games during the State of Play stream. Riverbond, a 4 player couch co-op hack, and slash title is set to release this summer along with Away: The Survival Series, a third person adventure game where players take control of a sugar glider, seeking safety after natural disasters devastate his habitat.

Sony isn't ready to step off the gas in terms of original and exclusive releases. It seems as though fans have many more new adventures waiting for them in the coming months. To keep up with all the latest gaming news and latest announcements, check back on GigamaxGames.com!

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Cory Barlog Confirms No DLC For God of War

God of War was one of the biggest critical and economical video game success stories from last year. Sony has no plans for an expansion to last year's Game of the Year title. Cory Barlog, Director for God of War, confirmed this today on Twitter.

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What's Next for God of War?

"There is no DLC coming for the game. Sorry," said Barlog on Twitter. This was in response to a separate tweet that seemingly teased a new God of War announcement. Barlog wanted to clear up any confusion and confirm that this message was referencing the game's anniversary celebration.


It has already been confirmed that fans will receive a free PS4 theme and avatar set, and Barlog teased that even more was on the way. But this announcement won't be related to God of War DLC.

DLC is "Too Ambitious"

Barlog spoke earlier this year to Kinda Funny and said that he was interested in making a DLC, but he was told it was too ambitious and the idea was ultimately scrapped.

God of War

It was allegedly going to be similar to the huge story expansions that both Last of Us and Uncharted 4 received, which warranted their own stand-alone expansions. "It would [have] ended up being its own thing," Barlog said of the God of War expansion we'll never see. "Rightfully so, everybody said, 'Dude, this is crazy, this isn't DLC, this is a little too big."

The future of God of War is still out of focus. It's not clear what the developers have planned to keep God of War alive. However, the Gigamax Games crew will be keeping a close eye on any announcements. Be sure to visit GigamaxGames.com again soon for the latest gaming news!

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Atlus Announces Persona 5 The Royal for PS4

After a recently aired special episode of Persona 5: The Animation titled "Stars and Ours," the developer behind the critically acclaimed RPG series, Atlus, revealed some more information about the mysterious game, Persona 5R. The trailer below shows the title of the game is Persona 5 The Royal.

Persona 5 The Royal, Game Name Reveal Trailer



While Atlus didn't provide any further details on what the game is, they teased that more information will be coming April 24 during a live concert event called, Persona Super Live 2019. Many suspect, due to the nature of previous Persona games and the trailer, that this title will be a Game of the Year edition that contains additional content.

The trailer for Persona 5 The Royal focuses on a new character who studies at the games high school, Shujin Academy, where most of the main characters also attend. In the trailer she is asked about her opinion on the Phantom Thieves, the vigilante group your player controls throughout the course of the game. She then points out that she does not exactly approve of their methods on crime fighting.

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New Content Incoming

It's very possible that this new character will be the focus of the additional content. Atlus typically throws some new content into its re-released games, as fans have seen with their launches of Persona 3 FES and Persona 4 Golden. Many are guessing that this content will include a new palace and storyline.

We'll be sure to keep our eye on any updates regarding this title so for more Persona 5 The Royal news keep checking back with us here at GigamaxGames.com!

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Paladins Dev Calls Out Sony On Cross-Play Policy

One of the biggest topics on gamers minds these days is being able to play with their friends no matter what console they own. Many developers have spoken out about the benefit of allowing competing systems to play with each other and now the developer behind Paladins has added his opinion. Steve Chisam, the CEO of the company behind Smite and Paladins, posted his thoughts on cross-play to Twitter recently.

Paladins CEO Speaks Out About Cross-Play


In terms of Paladins, which already supports cross-play between Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, Chisam says overall match quality has improved thanks to the ability to play between consoles. The average wait time to get into a match is down 30% and level spread has been decreased by 40%. Overall, according to Hi-Rez they have seen an 80% reduction in what they would refer to as "bad matches."

It is interesting to see the variety of problems that can be solved with the help of cross-play. Anyone whose played a multiplayer game knows the frustrations of running into un-balanced or broken matches, and it isn't a surprise to see that having a larger pool of players to choose from improves match quality.


It's Time to Get This Going

Chisam has certainly been vocal about his opinion on tearing down the walls between consoles. Recently Chisam said that Paladins, Realm Royale, and Smite were all ready to implement cross-play on the PS4 but Sony has to stop "playing favorites" according to the developer.

Microsoft has long supported cross-play and is a big proponent of developers including it in their titles. Unfortunately, Sony does not share this love of the system and has only recently (and begrudgingly) included it in select popular games like Fortnite and Rocket League. Hopefully, we'll see wider adoption of cross-play, but it seems like Sony is still far from accepting it as a beneficial system.

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PSN Name Change Could Potentially Wipe Save Data

After plenty of fan feedback and criticism, Sony is allowing PSN subscribers to change their gamer tags. Unfortunately, this long requested addition may come with more downsides than previously expected.

When the company initially made the announcement, they warned players that their might bring some game and application compatibility issues, but it appears those testing the beta found a disclaimer that warns users they could lose a lot of information attached to their account. Some of this data includes saved data and DLC purchases.

PSN Name Change Could Cost You

This leak comes from beta testers on the ResetEra Forum. The thread points out that not all games and apps support the PSN ID switch, so those that utilize the feature may lose access to content like virtual currency, game progress, trophy completion, and leaderboard data. The users also note that some games may not function properly even when playing offline and the prior PSN ID could still be visible to other players. Those that run into issues will be able to revert back to their old tag at no additional fee, but that may not resolve all of the issues.

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As of now, it is hard to tell how widespread these issues are or if this is just Sony attempting to cover their bases in case something goes wrong. It seems like beta testers are warning interested PSN subscribers to hold off on the new feature until more information is revealed about these problems.

Once the beta ends, every PSN user will get one free name change with subsequent changes costing a $10 fee ($5 for PSN Plus). The preview program is set to finish at the end of November with the full feature making its way to consoles in 2019. Every game published after April 1st, 2018 will be compatible and Sony will release a full list of the compatible games when the feature goes live.

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Rocket League Developer Optimistic About PS4 Cross-Play

The developer behind the popular indie hit Rocket League announced that it is pushing back their plan for expanded cross-platform functionality to early 2019. This announcement seems to be in line with the recent decision by Sony to allow Cross-Play with Epic Games title, Fortnite. Of course, this means that Psyonix can now prepare Rocket League Cross-Play to be compatible with the PS4.

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Roadmap for Rocket League Cross-Play

Psyonix revealed this information in their recent Rocket League roadmap. The software running this new system is called RocketID and is set up to be a connected account feature that links friends lists and parties across all platforms. Although, the system has proved to be quite a challenge for the independent developer.

"While our goal was to release RocketID before the end of 2018, we've made the difficult decision to push its release into early 2019," the announcement said. "The good news is that with Sony's recent announcements regarding full cross-platform functionality, we can now make additional changes to prepare RocketID for ALL platforms should we receive permission to do so! We're working incredibly hard to ensure that it’s as intuitive, stable, and polished as possible, before releasing it to the world."

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The most notable part of the quote is that they need permission before releasing the full version of their cross-platform function. While Sony allowed a beta version of cross-play in Fortnite to progress, it is unclear when the company will agree to include the feature on other titles or which ones will be prioritized. Rocket League was the first title to really generate demand for cross-platform play until Fortnite all but forced Sony to change their policy on the matter. Psyonix recently expressed their frustration with Sony not budging on their rule, even though the developer said they had figured out how to make the game work across different platforms.

We here at Gigamax are very interested to see how Sony moves forward with their new outlook on cross-play so we'll be sure to keep our eyes on this developing story. Be sure to check back here at GigamaxGames.com for all the latest details.

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