Every year, developers from around the world gather in June to showcase their most secret and anticipated projects. In the months leading up to E3, gamers witness the spectacle of influencers and industry veterans discussing the rumors of what might be, further fueling their desired announcements come to life. In the spirit of fun and excitement, E3 allows for the passion of gaming to be broadcast on a world stage and recognized for its influence on the entertainment industry.
Now that the industry is approaching the eve of E3, OnlySP is counting down the days remaining in a segment we like to call ‘12 Days of E3’. Please join OnlySP in celebrating an event that can be described as Christmas for Gamers, as we come together in anticipation for E3 2019!
Devolver Digital exploded onto the E3 stage, quite literally, for the first time back in 2017 in one of the most bizarre yet brilliant conferences of the entire show, check-a-look.
Nina Struthers, played perfectly by Mahria Zook, leads the charge as the charismatic, and often scary, spokesperson for Devolver Digital. The entire show cuts between actual gameplay and trailers for the company’s projects and hilarious sketches.
Devolver pulls no punches and target every controversial cliché synonymous with AAA game companies including the publisher’s own introduction of “Lootboxcoins”. However, not even independent developers are safe as Devolver unveiled a brand new early access platform titled Earliest Access described as “a revolutionary way to hastily rush unfinished game content out to consumers.” Devolver also pokes some fun at the gaming community by allowing Comment Created Content, a way for players to actively change a title by voicing their grievances in online forums. Each introductory speech is littered with dozens of technical nonsense words designed to impress the audience without actually meaning anything.
The whole performance feels like a well-executed Saturday Night Live sketch complete with industry cameos such as Japanese game designer Goichi Suda and IGN’s Jessica Chobot. Nina Struthers returned for the 2018 show by immediately calling out battle royale games and the recent nostalgia-fuelled trends. Devolver once more calls out those ugly trends that make E3 a double edged sword, such as “live” gameplay footage that clearly comes from a very scripted scene that will mostly likely never be included in the final release (here’s looking at you Anthem and Rainbow Six Siege). One disappointing aspect about the 2018 show is that the first game announced by Devolver at the event is ironically a Steam Early Access survival game.
Despite how well executed both shows are, they almost did not happen. The entire show was conceived only a month prior to the event. Devolver had approached Imagos Films with the idea after previously working with them on Get Ghouled and other live-action projects. Once given the script, Imagos Films had just three weeks to produce the footage for the outrageous 15 minute sketch. One of the charming aspects of the show is that the time and effort that goes into the jokes and jabs ultimately comes from a place of kindred spirits. Despite the deep cutting jokes, Devolver never comes across as malicious or as if it, as a publisher, is above the others. The very fact that the company attend E3 demonstrates that, in a way, the company is not afraid to poke fun at itself.
While the shows do not offer much in terms of actual gaming content, they offer a refreshing breather from the monotonous spoon feeding from some other studios. Initially, audience members could be forgiven for believing that even the gameplay is an elaborate ruse due to the insane nature of Devolver Digital’s projects.
So be warned, avid E3 viewers, as Devolver Digital’s Big Fancy Press Conference will return in 2019 and it can only get crazier from here. Stay tuned for more of our 12 Days of E3 by following OnlySP on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Also, be sure to join the discussion in the community Discord server.