It’s an understatement to say that E3 often has a few issues. Nobody can have a perfect conference. Thankfully, most of the time it’s a simple flub of words and a presenter can move on. However, sometimes things can go vastly awry. Between technical difficulties or just plain uninteresting content, there are many choices for this list. However, I’ve spent far too long researching to bring you the cream of the crop. Let's all have a laugh as we march toward E3 2018. Here are six times E3 brought us spectacular fails, in no particular order.
Nintendo, 2008: Wii MusicE3 2008 was not kind to Nintendo. It was a dull conference overall, but nobody could have predicted the conference finale. Here, a professional drummer named Ravi Drums busted out a “headbanging” drum solo with the Wii Remote, nunchuk, and Wii Fit Board. After that madness finished, Bill Trinen and Shigeru Miyamoto made their token appearance as they did at every conference.
They discuss the game a little bit, and for the most part it’s just as dull as the rest of Nintendo’s 2008 conference. However, at the end, a nugget of pure failure capped off the whole thing. Bringing others on stage, Miyamoto and company attempt a rendition of the famous main theme from Super Mario Bros. using different instruments like a band. It’s so hard to put into words how bad it was, so just watch for yourself:
Activision, 2007: Jamie KennedyActivision didn’t have an enormous presence at E3, but they did host their own conference at one point. They hired actor and comedian Jamie Kennedy to host, which seemed like a decent idea. Spoiler alert: It was not.
It should have been a few quips and jokes between reveals and interviews. Instead, Kennedy staggered onto the stage completely hammered, and it only got worse. Throughout the painful conference, Jamie would spout random nonsense at times. Then, he’d insult the audience, calling them “virgins” and claiming that they “never get out of the house."
Worse still were some of the interviews. The people being interviewed were extremely professional about the situation. Unfortunately, Kennedy was not. In one particularly satisfying moment, he’s interviewing a British developer. Kennedy asks if he can do an interview as Ozzy Osbourne. Without skipping a beat, the developer calls out his drunken antics with “Absolutely! ...Aren’t you doing that already?” With a big grin at the audience, he gets a ton of laughs and applause.
Ubisoft, 2011: Mr. CaffeineNot to be outdone by Mr. Kennedy, Ubisoft hired Aaron Priceman to host their press conference in 2011. This was a special conference, as it marked the 25th anniversary of Ubisoft. Priceman, who went by Mr. Caffeine onstage, was certainly energetic! True to his name, he was always pumped to show off games. The problem was that despite his zany demeanor, his jokes often fell flat.
In his attempt to get the audience excited, Mr. Caffeine belted out some very strange quips. These include “Poop on your toothpaste” and admitting that he’s “not afraid of a few dick jokes” after a flopped joke about holding his “Joy-wand." To celebrate 25 years of Ubisoft, Mr. Caffeine showed what games would look like in the past. However, he did this in a very strange way.
Taking a cue from Wayne’s World, Mr. Caffeine catapulted himself to meme status by imitating the “doodley doodley doo” sound and waving his hands to signify going back in time. He did it ad nauseum, making everyone cringe every single time. Top this off by constantly mispronouncing Tom Clancy as “Tom Cuh-lancy”, and you’ve got one very ugly conference.
Microsoft, 2010: The Kinect RevealAfter the massive success of the Wii in 2006, motion controls became the new hot commodity. Both Sony and Microsoft knew they had to get in on the motion control craze. The same year, both companies introduced their own methods. In Sony’s case, the PlayStation Move seemed to be little more than a knockoff Wii Remote. Microsoft, on the other hand, had a different plan to capture the motion control market.
Enter Kinect. The Kinect promised to use your entire body as a controller, with no need to hold one in your hands. Instead, it used a camera mounted in front of your TV to track your motion. Surely some games could make great use of this, right? Well … no. Once it was revealed, Microsoft rolled out demo after demo of crappy minigames and cheap attempts to copy Wii Sports. Particularly egregious was Kinectimals, where a child actor had to pretend to do tricks and be best friends with a virtual tiger cub.
All in all, the Kinect reveal was an incredibly botched attempt at copying the Wii’s success.
Sony, 2006: The Whole ThingFew conferences are referenced as much as Sony’s in 2006. The whole presentation was a terrible affair from start to finish. Everyone expected more news on the PlayStation 3 since its reveal at the past E3. Thankfully, these people got exactly what they wanted! Sony was eager to show off their hot new console, including things like price and release date. In addition, they wanted to show the most important thing: more games.
The Sony 2006 conference has loads of classic moments. These include the awkward “It’s Ridge Racer! Riiiidge Racer!” or the infamous “599 US dollars!” This is also the birthplace of the Giant Enemy Crab meme. When discussing Genji 2: Days of the Blade onstage during a demo, the developer makes mention that you’re going through historical battles that really happened. Within seconds of this declaration, the demo begins and we see a battle start with an enormous crab several times larger than any person. This is where the phrase “hit its weak point for massive damage” originates.
Combined with some lackluster tech showcases and a few decent showings, this is perhaps the most infamous conference in all of E3. It just may be the pinnacle of awkwardness.
Konami, 2010: Also The Whole ThingThat being said, nobody can top the absolutely bonkers conference held by Konami in 2010. Where Sony’s conference in 2006 was awkward, Konami’s 2010 outing reigns as the king of insanity. For nearly two hours, madness ensues onstage that is, to be honest, hard to describe. You know it's going well when right out of the gate, you have an announcement for a game where the trailer simply won't play, so they move on immediately to the next thing without a word.
Tak Fujii comes onstage to announce and discuss Nintey-Nine Nights II and creates a very awkward silence as he takes a moment to force more applause for the game. He whispers promises of an “extreeeeme! Extreeeeeeme! Hack-n-slash title” and claims that if you just randomly press buttons instead of learning combos, “you’ll be sucked.” He also says the game will contain "One million troops. One million troops. Woooow!"
There was also the vexing announcement of Lucha Libre: Héroes del Ring. Three luchadores saunter up on stage along with the presenter, and their acting is … questionable. In an attempt to drum up excitement, they start slapping each others’ chest to “start a fight." The presenter steps in to stop them, telling them to “save it for the ring!” before they all walk offstage. It’s just acting done very, very wrong.
Another highlight is when Naoki Maeda shows up to announce Dance Masters. He and his co-presenter spend lots of time completely feigning excitement while staring at the teleprompter. They sound more like an infomercial than an actual conference. When the time comes to demo the game, things get even worse.
Both are clearly energetic about the experience and get very into the dance. The issue is that the song they dance to is your average J-pop track. Now, this isn’t bad in and of itself. What makes it bad is that the dance they have to do involves all sorts of oddly “cute” dance moves you expect from idols in Japan, not 30+-year-old men. Hey, far be it from me to criticize what people dance to, but at least try to play to your audience a little better.
Yet another strange moment was the reveal of NeverDead. The central mechanic of the game is that you are, indeed, never dead. You can get decapitated but you have to roll your head to your body to reattach it. This was demonstrated with some cheap magic tricks onstage to very little applause.
There’s a reason Konami never did another E3 press conference. It was an unmitigated disaster. The entirety of the presentation was a complete trainwreck … and I highly recommend you watch it. It’s absolutely unreal. Whether you just watch the highlights or you’re brave enough to watch the whole thing, it’s worth seeing. Just like any trainwreck, you cannot look away. It’s extreeeeeme. Extreeeeeme!
What are some of your favorite E3 disasters? Do you agree or disagree with our list? Let us know, and be sure to check out TechRaptor’s E3 2018 Coverage Hub to stay in the loop!