There’s something so magical about game announcements. When companies put on a big show and give us new trailers for games, it can really get you hyped. With E3 right around the corner, I’m looking forward to seeing what’s going to be announced.
But it doesn’t always go as planned. Sometimes a studio will be expecting a standing ovation, and get an awkward silence. These are some of the funniest announcements that didn’t quite work how they were supposed to.
6. Peggle 2 Reveal (E3 2013)
Coming right off announcing the new Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, Popcap wanted to end their part of the EA press conference with a bang. A brand new surprise announcement that nobody expected was going to blow the audience away. There was fanfare, music, bright lights and the guy on stage even jumps with excitement as he shouts out “Peggle 2!”
Silence. Not even so much as a cough. Even the crickets don’t care. Let’s just move on to Titanfall.
Peggle wasn’t a bad game, in fact, I really like it. But it’s not the kind of game that people have been waiting for. It’s like if King shot fireworks to announce Candy Crush 2.
5. Randy Pitchford’s Strange Magic Trick (Borderlands Board Game Reveal 2019)
I wouldn’t say that Randy’s magic trick was a bad way to announce a new tabletop card game, but it just feels strange. The Gearbox CEO came out with the game to show the audience and how it’s played and all that good stuff. But after talking about the actual game, Randy decided to treat everyone to a bit of magic. It was a very long trick that I doubt anyone was really interested in. The audience probably wanted to get back to finding out more about Borderlands 3. But it seems like Randy had a good time so at least there’s that
4. Artifact Reveal (The International DOTA 2 Championships 2017)
It’s 2017 and Valve hasn’t made a game since 2012’s Portal 2. The juggernaut behind Half-Life, Left 4 Dead and DOTA has been living off Steam money for years. But now you hear a rumour. A new game by Valve is going to be announced. Everyone is praying for Half-Life 3. They show you a teaser trailer for a new IP that looks promising. But then you see those cursed words, “Card Game”.
It’s probably not a good sign when an entire audience sighs. Honestly, the trailer for Artifact is pretty cool and the fact that it was from Valve gave it a lot of hype. So seeing that it’s just a cash grab Hearthstone rip-off just leaves everyone feeling pretty disappointed.
3. Kayne West’s Only One Reveal (Yeezy Season 3 Fashion Show and Album Listening Party 2016)
This is one that almost doesn’t feel real. Kanye is known for some crazy ideas, like when he announced he was going to run for president. In comparison, this actually isn’t that crazy but still pretty strange.
In 2016, Kanye announced he was working on a video game and the idea behind the game was pretty good. Only One was going to be about his Mum’s trip to heaven, and the trailer showed some pretty beautiful imagery. Apart from that, not much else is known about how the game would actually look and it seems like it was likely canceled.
The game was announced at the Yeezy Season 3 Fashion Show and Album Listening Party, an audience that was there for Kanye and not really video games. And the response wasn’t negative, but the crowd didn’t exactly go wild. This wasn’t good enough for Kanye. After a quick lecture about how hard it is to make a video game, he decided that they needed to watch the trailer again and appreciate his hard work. Thank god they cheered after the second time, otherwise they might still be watching that trailer today.
2. Xbox One Reveal Event (2013)
The start of a new console generation is a big deal for Microsoft and Sony. They need to make a good impression with their new console if they want to stand out and get their customers’ money. But of course, the Xbox One didn’t exactly make a good impression.
Microsoft focused their announcements on the console as an entertainment system rather than a game console. It’s great that I can use my console to watch TV, but what games can I play? They announced a live-action series called Halo: Nightfall, but not Halo 5. A whole section of the presentation was even dedicated to how an Xbox One can make watching the NFL and The Price is Right better. They clearly didn’t understand their audience back then.
But even the game announcements were lacking. The only exclusive games announced were Forza Motorsport 5 and Quantum Break, not exactly heavy hitters. They also announce that the console would have to be always online, required a Kinect to work and games would be tied to your account so you couldn’t give games to friends or resell them. Microsoft eventually announced that these “features” would be removed before launch because of the backlash. This press conference alone killed the Xbox One. That and the memes Sony made making fun of it.
1. Diablo Immortal Reveal (Blizzcon 2018)
Speaking of not understanding your audience, it’s Diablo Immortal.
Putting on a presentation about a new Diablo game will obviously get Blizzard fans excited, and then announcing a mobile game seems like a waste of their time. Other franchises like Fallout and Mario have made mobile games too, but they didn’t bother with a whole presentation to show them off. Blizzard has a huge PC fanbase, so obviously they would be hoping for a PC game.
But what can I say about Diablo Immortal that wasn’t said in the Q&A after the announcement. The fans hit back hard, with a few asking if this or any other Diablo game is coming to PC. One guy even asked if it was “an out of season April Fools joke,” and got a round of applause.
I can’t see any reason why they would be so annoyed about a mobile game. I mean do they not have phones?
Well, those are some of my favourite game announcements. I always love when a studio announces a game in a cool way. But I’ll never forget some of the most spectacular fails. I just hope E3 this year gives us some great announcements.
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