I write about video games for a living, so I'm used to seeing people overreact on the internet. I've grown accustomed to seeing people spew hilarious hyperbole on a regular basis - hell, I've done it myself - but there's something about E3 that rubs me the wrong way. Namely, the annual Los Angeles event brings out some of the biggest hypocrites that the gaming community has to offer.
Ultimately, publishers simply can't win when it comes to putting on press conferences. The little nugget of wisdom that is "you can't please everyone" applies to almost all aspects of entertainment, but it's been at the forefront of my mind throughout this year's E3. Putting so much effort into crafting a huge press conference only to have it casually dismissed as "boring" or "garbage" by forum users must be infuriating.
Now, I don't think E3 2017 has been that good. We've seen some great looking games that's for sure, but it hasn't set the industry alight. Surprises have been few and far between, and the conferences themselves have been a little lacking in life. I don't think any one presser really stood out, and at the end of the day, I think most of us watch E3 unfold because we want to be entertained. It's a time when games are elevated beyond their status as consumer products - they're put on display like works of art in a really expensive gallery.
But what actually makes a good press conference? What convinces us that a publisher is at the top of its trade? I imagine most would argue that it's all about the games; show us the goods and we'll be happy. Factor in a few key reveals here and there - make the audience gasp in disbelief at least once - and you're onto something special. The only problem is that even when a publisher ticks all the boxes, you'll still get people saying it wasn't what they wanted.
Case in point, let's take a look at Sony. At E3 2015 the PlayStation maker blew us away with three massive reveals: the return of The Last Guardian, Final Fantasy VII Remake, and Shenmue III. In terms of pure spectacle, I reckon this was one of the best ever E3 press conferences. However, many will quickly dismiss it based on the fact that only one of those titles has made it to market since. That's fair enough, but if you're going to brush aside mind-blowing reveals in favour of gameplay demos and trailers for games that we know are coming, then you surely can't be too critical of Sony's latest show.
Did Sony have a brilliant E3 2017 press conference? No, I don't think it did. Why's that? Well, because it was light on surprises. For me, a Final Fantasy VII Remake-esque moment would have propped the entire show up, but aside from Monster Hunter World and Shadow of the Colossus, everything was pretty much expected. Sony played it safe, but once again, safe isn't good enough for some people - and that's fine. I just hope these same people aren't looking at Sony's E3 2015 presser and saying it was weak for having too many hollow reveals.
You can't look at the Metroid Prime 4 announcement, which consisted of a title screen, and exclaim "Nintendo won E3!" if you then turn around and dismiss the hype of Beyond Good & Evil 2's CG trailer. You can't complain about Sony's lack of human interaction and then moan when a developer hops on stage to talk for more than a minute elsewhere. You can't rant about exclusives being the only games that matter and then say Sony should have padded its show out with third party titles. You can't criticise a developer for "boring" gameplay demos and then say cinematic trailers shouldn't be allowed. You can't say Sony's VR segment was too long and then claim the company isn't properly supporting the device. You can't shout about fans being planted in the audience to provide some cheer and then complain when there isn't enough "atmosphere". You can't use the classic "companies aren't your friends" line and then cry when one doesn't wheel out the exact things that you want. In short, don't be a bloody hypocrite.
So, publishers can't possibly win when it comes to putting on E3 press conferences - you're never going to please everyone. But what you can do is temper expectations. I've mentioned this many times before, but expectations can be horribly dangerous things. The Xbox fans who convinced themselves that the Xbox One X would be priced at $399 and then swore vengeance against Microsoft when $499 hit the screen? That's their own fault. If you get your own hopes up so high to the point where you're never going to be impressed, then why are you sitting in comments sections and on forums typing "this year's E3 was the worst ever!"? Have some self control. Not just for your sake, but for ours as well.
I know it sounds a bit sad - no one likes to act high and mighty on the bloody internet of all places - but reading such hypocritical guff drives me up the wall. And if this kind of stuff gets to me, then I really hope publishers and events organisers don't take it too personally.
Forget not pleasing everyone - sometimes you can't please anyone.
Do you agree with Ramsey's rant? Is there always going to be someone who thinks your press conference was a load of old sh*te? Are gamers too hard to please? Don't hesitate to go off on one in the comments section below.