E3 2015: The Expo of Lies

E3 2015 is less than a weeks away and all of us gamers are counting down the days, scouring the Internet and gaming sites for the latest news, leaks and information on what’s coming. It’s a great time for anyone who loves gaming. There’s one thing though. It’s also full of lies and false advertising.

As much as I like E3 and get just as excited as everyone else for the grand spectacle that is video games, there’s an unfortunate trend that really isn’t talked about enough. The infamous E3 Stage Demo. You know what I am talking about. It’s that stage demo of that highly anticipated AAA game we’ve been hearing so much about and just aching to see it in action. It’s the demo where we see actual gameplay where typically one of the developers plays the game on stage. The one that blows our mind with the frame rate, graphical detail and action.

It’s that demo of some upcoming AAA game that looks spectacular and makes you think “Yes this is Next Gen gaming!”. ┬áIn truth, it’s just some staged pre-rendered version of the game that is made specifically to look and play better than the real thing. The actual final product doesn’t even come close to the graphic fidelity. These fake demos are more of a norm than an exception. That’s just sad.

Yes I understand it’s still a “demo” and “it’s not an accurate depiction of the final product” but does it really have to be so blatantly fake? Don’t forget, there’s a direct correlation with sales of a game and how well it’s perceived at E3. Many gamers will preorder their games based on what they see at this show. Obiviously if it looks great, then they are more likely to preorder the game. There’s no coincidence that during the E3 conference, retailers like Amazon and BestBuy will offer significant deails and discounts to preorder these games. In a sense, it’s really false advertising and misrepresentation.

Examples of recent false advertising and controversies:

What’s making me nervous:

The Division
Here’ the E3 2014 trailer from Microsoft of the Division which looks amazing. Yet the release date has been pushed back to 2016! I want this game to be great but I am not convinced that this will even be close to being the final product.

Uncharted 4
A little less nervous but there’s already been slight downgrading and also delays. The biggest thing that makes me confident about Uncharted 4 is that it’s from Naughty Dog has a proven track record of only putting out polished and high quality AAA games. There’s no reason why Uncharted 4 won’t be at the same caliber.

Now what?

Well, just take all the E3 stage demos with a grain of salt and assume that the game will not look as good as it does there. It doesn’t mean that the game will suck but just means that we have to be realistic and ASSUME that the developers and game companies are basically going to lie to us to make as much money as possible. That’s business. Kind of like seeing that picture of a delicious and perfect looking hamburger but the real thing looks nothing like it. It’s advertising at it’s best because they are just like every other profit driven business.

Don’t forge, we can simply cancel that preorder or return the game for a full refund if we aren’t satisfied with the unopened product. That’s the power we have as a consumer. Pro tip: If you aren’t so sure about the game, don’t go tearing open the packaging. Check out videos and forum discussions online to see if it’s worth it. If not, return it and get your hard earned money back! Or simply wait a few months when the there’s an inevitable price drop.