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Published on March 9th, 2015 | by gareth

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2015: Set To Be a Monster Year in Gaming

In about six months, the annual Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3) will take places at the LA Convention Center and, as it does every year, set the pace for gaming in the last half of 2015 and first half of 2016. For three straight days, the biggest gaming companies join together to show the world what new tricks are up their sleeves and what consumers should look forward to for the upcoming year.

Sequels

Sequels have always been a major trend in the gaming industry. Several of the biggest franchises in gaming have sequels slated for release this year. These include two Halo games (Halo 5: Guardians and Halo: Spartan Strike) and another addition to the Battlefield franchise, Battlefield: Hardline. Continuations or spin offs of popular franchises are always a common sight at events like E3 because a solid franchise already has a built in player base and a proven track record in terms of sales and fan reaction. The hope is that these sequels are well thought out and contribute to the growth of the franchise rather than quick reworkings of the previous titles with only new textures and locations as the only new things included in the title. On January 1, PC Gamer published an extensive list of the titles expected to be released this year broken down by type. It includes the major games but also includes some hidden gems.

Updates

For the last few years, one of the major trends in gaming are re-releases of older games with updated graphics for the newest gaming consoles. This has been a major hit as the core audience for the original releases have gotten older and want to relive some of the nostalgia that these games represent. Remakes of games from ten or more years ago will probably become increasingly more common given the fondness many of the fans of these franchises feel for them and the relative ease that they can be made, the main story and mechanics having already been established in the original versions. Updates of this nature also allow the developers to revisit concepts or designs that just might not have been possible when the original games were released because of hardware or software limitations.

Predictions

Digital distribution of games will become even more ubiquitous than it already has. Because it lessens the distribution costs and updates and patches can be pushed out for day one release digital distribution will continue to develop and push forward, maybe eventually replacing physical disks all together.

It’s unlikely that there will be major announcements about console hardware, given how new the current generation of consoles are.

Many of the major franchises have already announced sequels and adaptations of their older games to the new generation of consoles so it is doubtful there will be announcements of that nature until after the current unreleased titles have been released. But there is always the hope for new Intellectual Properties or spin offs of existing franchises.

After several versions of Oculus Rift have gained popularity and become more refined, Tech Radar reported in mid-December the possibility that Sony could use the 2015 E3 to announce the release of competitor Project Morpheus.

As digital distribution has gotten more mainstream micro-expansions and other downloadable content will be popular since it is a relatively easy way for developers to continue to make content for their franchises without having to put the resources into making a whole new game every year. This allows for longer development cycles while still letting players continue to feel like there are fresh and new things to experience within the games that they have come to enjoy.

In all, this year’s E3 will surely be an interesting event to follow and promises old favorites, new franchises and many surprises to be announced.


About the Author

Syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. His work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site and publication “Skewed and Reviewed”. He has three books of film, game reviews and interviews published and is a well-received and in demand speaker on the convention circuit. Gareth has appeared in movies and is a regular guest on a top-rated Seattle morning show. He has also appeared briefly in films such as “Prefountaine”, “Postal”. “Far Cry”. and others. Gareth is also an in-demand speaker at several conventions and has conducted popular panels for over two decades.



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