The Personalities of E3

Posted: June 16, 2011 in Uncategorized
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Ah E3, that bastion of gaming which leaves me so little to actually talk about once the reporting is done, other than “Holy crap, that new Battlefield looks great” and “Skyrim is gonna be the manliest RPG in history”. So it’s time for me to shift into Gossip Columnist form to report on the personalities of E3 – whom we loved, whom we grudgingly accepted, and whom we really, really hated.

First of all, let’s talk about Ken Levine. He has developed some great games – among them System Shock 2 and SWAT 4, but let’s face it – the poor guy is not a great public speaker. At least he’s energetic about it, but he comes off as more of a nerd than I do when I’m explaining the differences between the combat systems in the different editions of D&D. Not that he had any trouble selling BioShock Infinite as its demo speaks for itself (unless you’re like me and hate Steampunk with a burning passion), and far be it from me to criticize his game output – he just came off as a little rushed and nervous. Although considering the forum, can you blame him? I don’t want to come down too hard on the guy, as he’s a talented developer and at least seemed to be excited to be at the Sony show.

Then of course we have none other than the legendary Peter Molyneux, who once made good games like Syndicate and Dungeon Keeper, but is now content to collect an ungodly large paycheck by making action-RPGs with skewed senses of good and evil and poor inventory systems. Perhaps his greatest contribution in recent years was getting Stephen Fry to do voiceovers in a game (albeit not a very good game). It says something about him that even he, master of running his mouth and over-hyping the features of his own products, said, in the words of Gob Bluth, “I’ve made a huge mistake.”

Then there’s Mr. Caffeine.

Excuse me for a few moments while I empty this bottle of Maker’s Mark. For me, the pain and horror of Mr. Caffeine, or Aaron Priceman, as is allegedly his real name, is still too near.

OK. Tanked enough to continue. Mr. Caffeine, who UbiSoft trotted out to present their show, was a disaster. No, it was a masterpiece of disaster. It was a disasterpiece (that’s exactly the kind of joke he would make, HELP ME!). I mean…let’s look at this. Mr. Caffeine comes out with the kind of behavior we expect from…a certain type of person who is commonly referred to pejoratively as a type of feminine hygiene product. His jokes were unfunny, and the fact that he persisted made it even more cringeworthy.

And for that matter, why did UbiSoft need this Mr. Caffeine guy to begin with? While the UbiSoft guys did butcher Shakespeare pretty badly (which I suppose is pretty fair considering what my high school classmates and I did to Edmond Rostand’s work), at least it seemed like they would have made a decent and knowledgeable set of hosts, rather than the stale-joke spewing hair gel-wight we got. I’m getting a severe headache just thinking about this guy. And the thing is, with some of their announcements I would have considered UbiSoft’s show to not be too bad. But no, this guy had to ruin that. And I really liked that Rayman trailer!

My thoughts exactly, Kefka!

The only way they could top themselves is by replacing him with Mr. Cocaine next year! Ball is in your court, UbiSoft!

Share Your Thoughts: Anyhow, those are my thoughts on a few of the more interesting personalities at the show. Did I miss anyone? Feel free to leave your comments on others at the show, and please leave vitriol for the Mr. Caffeine sucker.

  1. Whoa, way to put an Arrested Development reference in there; god, that name is really odd-looking in writing!

    I kinda disagree with your feelings towards the Ken Levines of E3 – I would rather have the nervous, awkward, but honest presentation of an actual game development team than the pomp and circumstance of Mr. Caffeine (whom I agree on with you 100%). Not that there’s anything wrong with being rehearsed or prepared – but I want these guys to be good at making games, not being public speakers, so I’m willing to offer these fumbling nerdy guys a lot more leeway.

    • Chad M. says:

      Like I said, it seems like he’s not the best public speaker, but he still had enthusiam and was happy to be there. Honestly I was short on people to talk about. :I And Ken Levine’s Rapture shirt was kick-ass.

  2. Martin Watts says:

    Why no Reggie, we LOVE Reggie!!! *explodes*

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