At its core, E3 is the rough equivalent of having your parents tell you what you are getting for Christmas ahead of time. You've got all these big developers and publishers going on stage and throwing the biggest gaming parties of the year, showing off all these new and exciting things that they are working on, spending an ever increasing amount of money on making sure that their conferences and reveals are going to be the things that everyone will be talking about. The only stipulation is that you have to wait for these games to come out, but what's a bit of waiting, right? And hey, if some company wants to up their marketing campaign to unreasonable levels, let them, we're not the ones that are paying for them after all, right?
Unfortunately, it seems as though all of those marketing dollars may be going to waste in some cases, unless you count "padding out an otherwise brief conference with future promises" as a good use of manpower and resources. During E3 2015, you had the unveiling of dozens of high profile titles like Gears of War 4, Ghost Recon Wildlands, Dishonored 2, and Mass Effect: Andromeda. As exciting as these sequels to such storied franchises may seem, it should be noted that at best, these are all titles that come out months after this year's E3. They aren't even the worst offenders, with games like Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and No Man's Sky being announced up to two years ago. That's right, it will have been over a year before some of the titles that you saw at last year's E3 even come close to releasing, and one can only imagine how many of the games that will be debuted at E3 2016 will have a release date that is set to be within this year. Some of the aforementioned games don't even have release dates yet to this day, either due to delays or some other developmental problem.
Now of course, it doesn't affect you at a consumer level if these games are delayed or not; after all, you didn't pay for the marketing. In fact, it may be a win-win situation since the developers are getting people to think about what they have in store, and all you have to do is sit through some presentations. However, E3 does have this strange aura around it that makes us lose some of our skepticism (although let's be honest, we're probably too excited to care anyways), making us forget that at the end of the day, E3 is no different from being a collection of advertisements. You know, the things that you tune out whenever you watch TV or go on the Internet. You may even have something designed specifically to block ads, so it's not as if anyone pays any particular attention to ads if given a choice.
And like all ads, everything that you see at E3 should be taken with a heavy dose of salt. From Star Wars Battlefront's general nature to The Division's Dark Zone (or more accurately, its PVP) to Halo 5's campaign, titles have not always come out in ways that we would have liked, and certainly not in the ways that have been advertised to us. Whether it be technical issues or creative issues, a lot can change in a year, especially with how games are constantly evolving to be more and more advanced. Yes, the presentation may be flashy and fun, but that didn't stop The Division from being plagued by hackers and terrible endgame content; it didn't stop Battlefield 4 from being released in the state that it was; and it certainly didn't make it so that Destiny became one of the most RNG heavy games out there.
With so much that can change and how it becoming more of the norm to announce things so far ahead of time for the sake of attracting attention, should we really put so much faith into E3 as anything other than your parents promising you a gift and actually delivering what may be said gift or a lump of coal?