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Walking into the LA Convention Center this morning I was greeted by what I can only describe as organised chaos, with the spectacle of hundreds of industry members walking around with an air of nervousness and excitement about them. It was as though they were all there for their very first interview in the games industry, with butterflies in the stomach and that questions of how is it going to be, am I going to get what I expect, am I going to be caught out unprepared, or am I going to sail through and wonder why I was ever nervous?
Well it wouldn’t be long before we would all find out as while the security staff and organisers held the cordon, that time was fast approaching when the word would come that E3 2015 was officially open and the hundreds of industry attendees would rush through in search of things unknown, and yet still with a slight feeling of expectation for their favourite franchise, searching for news on titles such as Call Of Duty: Black Ops III, Assassins Creed Syndicate, Final Fantasy XV, Star Wars: Battlefront, Batman: Arkham Knight and Halo 5 amongst others.
At noon precisely the announcement that we had all been waiting for with bated breath came, and the organisers shepherded the hundreds of attendees through one carefully selected area and up the main escalators. E3 2015 was officially open!
As attendees entered E3 2015 they were hit by the light shows, colours, flashing images and sounds from all sides truly immersing them in the experience. Hearts pounding the first sight to greet us was EA’s Live to Play area, showcasing EA’s sporting and latest gaming titles. Next to which we found ourselves very quickly amongst what can only be described as an immersive Square Enix experience. With all the popular and well-known titles featured in some form or another from Life is Strange available to play on carefully arranged pods, to highly collectible Batman character figures on display in carefully created showcases. This truly was a work of art with gaming, artwork, collectibles, and carefully choreographed placement bringing all the elements together and causing the many spectators to stop and forget that this is only the beginning and there are hundreds of square meter’s to cover, and so many more titles/stands/booths to see in this E3 universe.
For me you can’t have a major games industry event without CAPCOM, and as such you can’t have CAPCOM without some clever display/stand creation… well CAPCOM didn’t disappoint. Creating an area dedicated to the well-known and loved Street Fighter merchandise, as well as fighting sticks and collectibles CAPCOM showcased each product perfectly. This was just the beginning, as you walked on through the area you came upon a Street Fighter tournament area where players would later come and battle out to the death in front of standing crowds, and then to add to this an interactive area where E3 attendees can join either Ryu or Chun-Li in a carefully choreographed stage fight.
This stage fight however was a fight with a difference, as while its great to be on stage in front of crowds of people and fighting your most loved gaming character from your most loved fighting franchise, it’s a whole other thing to be photographed in sync on stage by a large number of cameras taking time frame pictures of you thereby creating your very own immersive Street Fight scene where the action is taking place all around you and you are the main character (checkout the video below)
As with the E3 announcement for Street Fighter V by CAPCOM, Activision announced Call of Duty: Black Ops III, and to tie in with the huge stand that dominated E3 (as the title dominates the planet) Activision created a ‘weapon modification’ area for participants to tailor any weapon to their preference with multiple models for each attachment, even down to custom paint jobs but it doesn’t end there. You could even go ahead and create custom graphics that are displayed on the sides of the guns, with up to 64 layers and three sides to design. This allows the gamer to create a truly unique signature weapon of choice, with an infinite number of combinations. Now I think it’s important firstly to point out this is all in the game and not for real world, however for every participant there was the opportunity to win a very real world prize as this was a competition to be the ultimate designer of the weapon of choice, and for the ultimate design to win a truly coveted item… a Call Of Duty: Black Ops III framed poster signed by the dev team! “Now is the time for action” I hear you say…
As the LA sun started to move closer to the horizon and as the day started to wind down, an area where people seemed to gravitate and where the party seemed to carry on was the Guitar Hero LIVE stage. Numbers of people could be seen lining up alongside the make shift studio wall, chaperoned in by a mock music executive to take part in the stage performance of their life. This truly is the bedroom dream of hundreds of children being realised, and in front of a sell out E3 crowd. All I can say to that is “rock on”, and please consider the neighbours when leaving the stage and venue on your way home.