With all the press conferences over, and the action switching to the show floor, it's time to ask that all-important question: Who won E3? Because saying what games are coming out is a game. One you can win. And we decide who that was.
Let's begin with the rules: Firstly, naturally, no slaps. Secondly, don't forget the Hotpants Bonus! And of course most importantly, dubstep.
It was a crowded field this year, and ultimately a somewhat disappointing showing from many. Atari's Jaguar line-up was a massive let-down yet again, while Braun's new range of pots failed to get the crowds whooping. But there were success stories too, with a huge reception for the news that Peter Molyneux would be digging a hole to the Earth's core, and the annual high-five contest resulting in few broken limbs than ever before. Here's a breakdown of the big players:
Two Cans - Peter Molyneux
After a modest indoor firework display and pageant, the mild-mannered developer took to the large stage standing in front of a massive screen that showed only one word, writ in 50ft letters: "DREAMSPANGLE".
"Dreamspangle," said Molyneux, as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra began playing the theme to Diagnosis Murder. "Dreamspangle," replied the attending press and investors with one voice, as they bowed their heads and solemnly prayed.
"But what if the Dreamspangle could smell you too?" Molyneux suddenly declared, startling the crowd into screams of excitement, as the screens behind the developer began to glow. He spoke once more: "Consequences."
Fifteen cheerleaders walked angrily across the stage, their pom-poms by their sides, bunchied-hair failing to bob. Once they had gone, Molyneux sat on a stool and wept. For ten minutes he cried, his tears pooling in two scoops hung around his shoulders, while the screens began to rotate 360 degrees. As they settled back into place, a gasp spread across the theatre. The words "Tear-based controls?" slowly appeared in front of them. Dipping a finger into each scoop, the Populous creator flicked the salty facewater toward an augmented iPad, and stood back as children began flooding onto the stage, pawing at the screens and begging for freedom. The lights went down and the crowd silently filed out, their lives forever changed.
The first-time conference for the fledgling indie developer proved to have been perhaps too ambitious. Despite hiring out the Nokia Theatre for their debut, only one member of the press showed up to see the unveiling of their Kickstarter for a "platform game, we think, or it might be a shooter." Despite a warm reception from Jeff Brigham, deputy staff writer for Tractional Gaming Web, it was considered by those watching online to have been a waste of the four hundred thousand dollars it had cost to hire the squadron of tanks, especially as safety regulations meant they had to stay in the car park. However, things livened up toward the end when the two-man indie team announced that there was a free copy of T'Pau's China In Your Hand under every seat!
Coming on stage in a light show so dazzling that fifty percent of the audience were left permanently blind, the Great Soothsayer slammed down his mighty staff and began his prophecies.
"After combat and naval battle,
The great Total of War ascends the highest belfry:
Into the world's first war shall the series drink its mighty milk,
As the seas turn red and the heavens weep."
At this point he welcomed Jean de Chavigny on stage, who performed some expressive dance to Nostradamus's beatboxing. A sudden change of mood saw the stage lighting darken, as Nosty walked to the front of the stage and sternly bellowed,
"AT FORTY-FIVE DEGREES THE SKY WILL BURN,
MARS AND MERCURY, AND THE SILVER JOINED TOGETHER;
A DOUBTFUL ONE WILL NOT COME FAR FROM THE REALM,
AVAILABLE AS EXCLUSIVE DLC ON PS3 ONLY."
The pumped crowd then carried the mystic prophet upon their shoulders and marched him out into the LA night.
Cancelled Games Conference
For a fourteenth year in a row, the CGC proved to be a loser with the crowds. Sponsored by THQ, EA, Sony, Microsoft, Ubisoft, Sega, Activision and 2K, and featuring some of the most extraordinary full 3D stage-based CGI hologram technology ever witnessed, the four hundred million dollar event highlighting this year's cancelled games seemed to only spread unease amongst the attendees.
Beginning with the entire 38 Studios and Big Huge Games team parading across the stage, as the planned theme music for Amular 2 played through the speakers, a downbeat reaction to the release of a brand new video of what would have been in Copernicus set the tone for the evening.
This was not helped when GSC Game World announced that they would once again be making STALKER 2, before quickly declaring that no, actually they wouldn't, then re-announcing it as in the works with a planned release for October 2012 before adding that it had been cancelled.
THQ misjudged the mood by announcing the closure of several more studios, and things ended poorly after David Braben came out to explain that he still wasn't working on Elite IV.
A subdued crowd response was followed by a dismayed reaction from those watching on the internet, as Shigeru Miyamoto, Reggie Fils-Aime and Katsuya Eguchi came on stage, pulled down their trousers and underwear, and took a shit on Mario's face.
So who won? Well, we've put it through our traditional RPS E3 Metric, and here are the results:
Congratulations to everyone. We'll see you all again next year!