Find out what gaming's biggest show has in store for PC gamers.
May 13, 2009 - We expect a relatively quiet show for the PC this year, as many publishers are still a bit unsure of this return to the old format and are wary of making a large marketing investment in titles that aren't going to be released until 2010. These publishers will be holding back a bit, hoping to make a bigger impact by delaying announcements of new titles until closer to the end of this year. Not only will this give publishers the chance to announce new titles with less expense overall with fewer games competing for visibility.
Another way publishers are going to play it safe is by sticking with sequels and cross platform titles and we expect to see a lot of these at E3 this year. The tyranny of sequels is nothing new in the industry, but the new mass-market approach required of console development is going to push PC developers towards less riskier projects. On the plus side, in the massive scramble to poach proven franchises, some publishers are going to have to turn towards games from earlier generations and moving current properties to mobile platforms. If that means we finally get new games based on Grim Fandango, X-COM, TIE Fighter and Dungeon Keeper, well, that's all right with us.
E3 will reveal increasing foreign influence in more general terms. With many of the big North American publishers moving more towards cross-platform development, foreign and independent developers and publishers are going to come in to fill the vacuum. Free of the controlling influence of platform manufacturers and unrestrained by some of the conventions and traditions of American game design, these lesser known studios from around the globe have an opportunity to present some of the most innovative and inventive titles at the show.
So while it might seem that the PC market has lost a bit of its cachet recently, the opportunity is there for developers within the US to resurrect brands and concepts for a hungry audience, and for developers from around the world to introduce new ideas that haven't already been done to death. To the extent that those two trends are represented at E3, it's going to be a very satisfying show for fans of PC gaming.
Turn the page for 5 predictions about the PC and its software line-up at this year's E3. The fun starts on June 1, so make sure to check out our E3 Expo coverage.
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