E3 2017 may have come and gone, but of all the presentations at the event, one stood out among all the others, not for having the best show or debuting the best and most interesting games, but because it was just so sparse (among other reasons). It is no secret that Bethesda's intended goal is to focus on higher quality games at the cost of longer development times and less yearly releases, but their E3 presentation had, aside from the Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus debut, almost no details about anything, even if you account for the lower quantity of games. For reference, Wolfenstein boasted an eight minute long trailer, The Evil Within 2 had a three minute long trailer, and everything else from Quake Champions to DOOM VFR to Elder Scrolls Online had trailers that lasted just over a minute. Unsurprisingly, this lack of information will only bring up questions from consumers.
For example, just how future proof is DOOM VFR and Fallout 4 VR? Virtual reality hasn't been as revolutionary as some may have hoped, partly due to its cost and physical space requirements. So is there a reason for existing VR users to buy either game when, as far as can be told, both DOOM VFR and Fallout 4 VR appear to be generic "teleporting shooters" (i.e. you use VR controls to teleport around levels because that is literally the only way that your character can move around), to say nothing of their appeal or lack thereof to non-VR users? Will either game be considered a must buy when VR becomes cheap and or widespread enough, and will either game keep up with advancements in VR tech? Without such information, there really isn't much of a reason to keep an eye on DOOM VFR or Fallout 4 VR, especially when a fair number of people have already played both and especially when VR is still as niche as it is.
Similarly, what of Quake Champions and its appeal to the general audience? If you take a look at Bethesda's own YouTube channel, you may notice that their Quake Champions E3 content has far, far less views than anything else from E3 (yes, that includes the announcement trailer for a Skyrim themed expansion pack for an Elder Scrolls card game), which could indicate that either no one has any interest in another multiplayer-only game when the market is getting flooded with multiplayer-centric games, or maybe no one knows what Quake Champions is. People who are familiar with the Quake brand will tell you that it is a fast paced arena shooter, but not everyone played Quake, and not everyone wants a game that has no singleplayer component. Is there any reason at all to play Quake Champions when it is presumably a very punishing game that faces heavy competition from other games that would have larger multiplayer audiences?
Let's not even get started on how little anyone knows of The Evil Within 2, other than its general theme. A three minute long trailer of a sequel to a decidedly average horror game is not going to convince anyone other than fans of the first game to buy it, especially when there are no shortage of jump-scare horror games to begin with. What sets The Evil Within 2 apart from its competition? Is the game just going to be jump-scare montage fuel? How much action can we expect in The Evil Within 2, or will it just be a running-away simulator? Why is there so much milk in the game's trailer instead of actual gameplay? That an E3 presentation brings up such questions is not a good sign. Who knows, maybe The Evil Within 2 will be a perfectly fine game that addresses all the faults of its predecessor, but Bethesda isn't exactly expanding the game's audience with so little to show at the gaming industry's largest event.
Of course, no E3 2017 discussion is complete without asking about Bethesda's Creation Club. While the general details of Creation Club are already out there, there are still so many questions that people may have about it. Primarily, how much will Creation Club credits cost, how much is Creation Club content worth, and why should people pay attention to the Creation Club when there are so many better, free alternatives out there? Considering that console users (well, perhaps not PlayStation users) have, thanks to the hard work and dedication of countless mod authors and mod porters, a fair amount of high quality mod options for both Skyrim and Fallout 4, it really brings up the question of why should people pay for Creation Club content when the increase in quality may not be worth the price. Creation Club has already proven to be a much-hated feature before it has even been released (fun fact: the Creation Club's E3 trailer has a 1:17 like to dislike ratio on YouTube), so what will Bethesda do to prove that it is something to tolerate, much less embrace?
Everyone understands that if something's not ready to be shown off in front of hundreds of thousands of people, then it's not ready, but it really is baffling how little Bethesda showed at E3 2017. Prior to the event, Bethesda was held in relatively high regard, but their presentation had done nothing to improve the company's reputation; quite the opposite effect occurred, as it caused people to question Bethesda's apparent direction for the next year or so. But alas, this is what happens when you are too vague: people start to speculate, and speculation usually leads to either disappointment and or anger.
Do you have any lingering questions on Bethesda's E3 2017 announcements? Let us know in the comments below!