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Devolver Digital's self-indulgent showcase was welcome spectacle in a long and slow notE3

It’s been quite fun to get some of that old E3 self-indulgent and money-wasting spectacle today in Devolver Digital’s own notE3 showcase/short film. D3: Devolver Digital Direct continued the indie publisher’s absurd years-long story of company executives, exploding heads, and the future’s future. As we enter the fifth week of an endless online marketing experience filling in after E3 was cancelled by the pandemic, I am tired. Devolver devoting most of a 45-minute presentation to a fictional corporate power struggle might stretch jokes thin but hell, after so many hours-long streams, it almost feels concise. And, y’know, it’s fun.

The saga of fictional CEO Nina Struthers this year continued with a fight for control of Devolver. This year, she’s being puppeted by villainous CMO Linda Masters and… it’s complex. Here’s the archived thing:

Struthers and Masters are very good. Look, some jokes fell flat and this whole thing would be better 10 minutes shorter. But god, over the endless weeks of notE3 streams I have seen far more than 10 minutes of a 17-year-old SpongeBob SquarePants video game alone, this is fine.

Go ahead, keep making daft short films, please. Should E3 ever return, this is a better use of marketing budgets than making a sports car descend from the ceiling.

Ironically for a company whose brand shtick is that they’re maverick outsiders tweaking the nose of big business, D3 has been the most corporate thing of E3 so far. While other folks embraced the lockdown aesthetic with webcams and chat, Devolver had a film crew as well as cameo appearances from establishment figures like Geoff Keighley and the head of Xbox. Microsoft, here’s your opportunity to claim Devolver’s edgy position by replacing your notE3 stream with backyard wrestling.

NotE3 continues on Sunday with Ubisoft Forward. Then Microsoft’s showcase on the 23rd. And then it’s almost time for Gamescom.

Whatever you call it, hit our E3 2020 tag for more from this summer's blast of gaming announcements, trailers, and miscellaneous marketing. Check out the PC games at the PlayStation 5 show, everything at the PC Gaming Show, and all the trailers from the Xbox showcase, for starters.

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Alice O'Connor

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When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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