At E3 2019, video game makers held back the hype

CNET | 6/15/2019 | Ian Sherr
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The new version of Ubisoft's dystopian hacking game takes place in a future London.

When Ubisoft started playing a video for its upcoming dystopian hacking game, Watch Dogs: Legion at the E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo this week, the company focused on the game's story, set in a broken, post-Brexit London. It also showed off someone playing the game, as an elderly character infiltrated New Scotland Yard on a mission to recruit a drone expert.

Tight - Gun - Guard - E3 - Crowd

"Sleep tight," she said, as she used a stun gun to knock out a guard. The E3 crowd cheered.

The display wasn't just a reveal for Ubisoft's next hotly anticipated title, due on store shelves in March, 2020. It was also an attempt to make right for past mistakes.

Company - Trailer - Watch - Dogs - Game

Back in 2012, the company showed off a trailer for its original Watch Dogs game, set in Chicago. That trailer's visuals were stunning. Light from car headlights refracted in the rain, wind pushed around items like umbrellas, and explosions were colorful and realistic.

When the game came out two years later though, people quickly noticed that much of that visual flair had disappeared.

Lot - Watch - Dogs - Experience - Yves

"We learned a lot from the Watch Dogs experience," said Yves Guillemot, CEO of Ubisoft. He said teams had made assumptions about what the next-generation Xbox and PlayStation consoles from Microsoft and Sony could do.

"You want to create the images of what you dream," he said. "At the end of the day, we didn't get exactly what we wanted."

World - Game - Marketing - Balance - People

The world of game marketing is a tricky balance of getting people excited about a title while keeping expectations in check. Oftentimes, the scale tips toward excitement -- even if it's unwarranted. It's something game companies struggle with, often as they rush to prepare a segment of a game to show off for E3, which takes place in June.

Games typically...
(Excerpt) Read more at: CNET
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