Presentations That Bomb
Not everyone is cut out for public speaking. So here's an idea for game companies that are planning their presentations: if someone is simply not good at public speaking, or if they insist on taking the stage while intoxicated, find someone else.
Plenty of E3 presentations have been a little iffy, but 2010's speech by Konami's Tak Fuji was a highlight that has been parodied several times. Introducing a sequel to Ninety-Nine Nights, Fuji bragged with fake excitement that the game featured "One million troops! Wow!" and whispered dramatically that it had "extreeeeeeeme, extreeeeeeme hack and slash."
Then there was Disney's horrifying attempt to promote the High School Musical game in 2007. After a predictably cheesy opening, the presenters brought two "volunteers" to the stage to dance. The problem was that they weren't volunteers; they perfectly executed an obviously choreographed routine, sang along, and tried to get the audience to join in. The media in attendance were not impressed. As the kids on the Internet were quick to say: FAIL.
The mother of them all, however, was Jamie Kennedy's clearly stoned appearance on behalf of Activision the same year. The comedian bombed by every measure: he wasn't funny (as an audience member informed him), he lashed out at the audience, and he didn't even seem to know what he was talking about. Yikes.
Announcements That Flop
Sometimes, the problem isn't the presentation of the announcement; it's the announcement itself. The history of E3 is full of supposedly huge news that turned out not to matter so much.
At the very first E3 in 1995, SEGA tried to give its Saturn console a head start on the PlayStation by moving the launch date up several months. It would be available "tomorrow," E3-goers were informed. But then, Sony announced a $299 price point, undercutting the Saturn by a cool hundred. The rest is history, of course.
The same year, Nintendo presented the Virtual Boy. The rest of that is history, too.
Eleven years after destroying the Saturn with a single number (and setting the stage for SEGA's demise in the console market), Sony got overconfident, announcing an absurd $599 price for the PS3, along with a disappointing launch lineup. The presentation didn't help—at one point, the company's CEO bragged of a game's historical accuracy, and almost as if on cue, a mutant crab appeared on the screen behind him. The PS3 rebounded eventually, but it remains in third place for the current generation.
In short, E3 2011 has a long, sordid record to live up to. This June, keep up with all the E3 news (and hilariously awkward moments) right here at Cheat Code Central.
By Robert VerBruggen
CCC Contributing Writer
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*