Happy Monday. The Dungeons & Dragons movie opened this past weekend. Could it slay the dragon known as John Wick? Meanwhile, it’s unclear if E3 will ever open its doors again, after canceling for 2023. Lots of news this week, so here we go!
E3 canceled (again) for 2023
The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) announced the cancellation of their conference for 2023.
E3 was originally designed as a private event, where media and game publishers could discuss and demo new games. In 2016, the event opened to the general public, to mixed reviews. Large publishers including Sony and Nintendo pulled out of the conference to focus on their own events. The conference also came under fire when a data leak in 2019 published personal information including email addresses, phone numbers and addresses for attendees online. When COVID canceled the show in 2020, many thought it was the end of E3.
Still, with new management and an early commitment for 2023 it looked like E3 might be back on track. They even addressed one of attendees biggest complaints, breaking up the media and general public days. However, while the media and public were ready to commit, many game producers were not. With Microsoft, Ubisoft and Sega backing out, organizers had no choice but to cancel the event. In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, CEO Stanley Pierre-Louis said:
“First, several companies have reported that the timeline for game development has been altered since the start of the COVID pandemic. Second, economic headwinds have caused several companies to reassess how they invest in large marketing events. And third, companies are starting to experiment with how to find the right balance between in-person events and digital marketing opportunities.”
E3 hopes to return in 2024, but with no in-person show since 2019, skepticism is high.
Gaming goes Hollywood
Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves opened at theaters last weekend, and immediately claimed the top spot on the domestic charts, knocking off John Wick 4. While I have not yet seen it, you can check out this review from a favorite local movie critic.
Another recent gaming film is receiving positive reviews. The Tetris movie also released last week on Apple TV+. The movie explores how one of the most popular games ever made escaped from Communist Russia. Check out the trailer.
Is gaming finally ready for its close-up? With more films in development, including Borderlands, Super Mario Brothers, Silent Hill and Ghost of Tsushima, gaming may finally break through into mainstream media.
Zombies vs. Gods
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) held their awards ceremony last week for 2022 games. While God of War: Ragnarök took home the most awards, Vampire Survivors surprised many by winning Best Game. You can view the complete list of winners here.
Laya DeLeon Hayes stole the show with her acceptance speech. The actress who won Best Performer in a Supporting Role voiced Angrboda in God of War: Ragnarök. Check out her heartfelt speech.
Side quests (more stories worth reading)
Activision’s decision to pull out of China last year was likely due to a miscommunication.
The remake of Resident Evil 4 has done quite well, selling over 3 million copies in the first two days after its release.
Not to be outdone, Blizzard says over their two weekends of beta for Diablo IV, individuals played over 61.5 million hours of the game. Check out all the stats.
Electronic Arts is laying off over 700 employees, or nearly six percent of their workforce. These reductions come despite a $1.3 billion gross profit.
Atari (yes, they are still around) recently purchased Nightdrive studios, notable for their remakes of Turok, Quake and most recently System Shock. Nightdrive reassured fans that this is a good thing, despite Atari’s recent record.
How could your next Xbox controller evolve? If Microsoft follows through on their latest patent, it could have a touchscreen for accessing saved loadouts and social media.
Washington Post’s excellent Launcher gaming site is shutting down. Another reason to tell your friends to subscribe to The Games Letter.
New releases this week:
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