Opinion: The dangers of E3 hype – How to keep your expectations in check

E3 2019

It’s happened all too often for all of us. Every year, we make predictions and wish lists for E3, hoping Nintendo will announce that one game we’ve been waiting for.

Then Nintendo holds their yearly Nintendo Direct. 30-40 minutes pass, and the game you were hoping for is nowhere to be found. Instead of being understanding or excited about what was revealed, you instead feel disappointed or angry about what wasn’t shown.

Your feelings of disappointment were indirectly caused by how excited you were to see things that don’t exist yet. This happens every year. How many E3s did we go through before a full reveal of Breath of the Wild? Every year that passed with just another teaser only upset fans. Last year, when Nintendo didn’t show Metroid Prime 4 or Animal Crossing, many people were livid.

So how do we avoid feeling disappointed after every E3? How can we avoid getting hyped for things that don’t exist? How do we keep our expectations realistic?

Don’t worry, I have some general tips for how to avoid the pull of the dangerous hype machine. I’ll also provide some insight as to what we can realistically expect from Nintendo at E3 this year.

Expecting your favorite franchises to come back at E3

Metroid Prime 4 Retro Studios hiring staff

You shouldn’t do this. Nintendo is really good about announcing the return of beloved franchises when they feel they have a quality product. The reveals of Kid Icarus: Uprising and Star Fox Zero are memorable moments because nobody expected those titles.

So, if nothing else, please at least acknowledge this first step. Your favorite franchises may never come back. You shouldn’t expect a new Mother game or a new F-Zero. Nintendo hasn’t shown any interest in working on titles like this, so it’s incredibly unlikely you’ll see these old franchises any time soon.

Besides, the return of old properties always feels better when it comes out of left field. So, not expecting these games is one way to keep your hype in check, but it also sets you up for an exciting reveal if Nintendo ever does decide to revisit them.

Expecting every announced game to appear at E3

Bayonetta 3 news next week, says Hideki Kamiya

Nintendo never brings all of their guns to the table. They never have, and they never will. Could they have revealed Animal Crossing last year and not disappointed everyone? Yes, but they didn’t. That’s because the timing wasn’t right.

On a similar note, we should not expect titles like Metroid Prime 4 or Pikmin 4 at E3. For Metroid, we know Nintendo hit the reset button on development, and they’ve been silent on Pikmin 4 for quite some time.

In general, it’s dangerous to expect a game that doesn’t have a release window. This includes even Bayonetta 3, which has remained under wraps for a while now.


Reading too much into interviews

e3 2019 shiggy miyamoto

Fans can often set expectations too high for E3 by reading interviews with Nintendo staff members. Sakurai may say something like “I like working on Kirby,” and then everyone loses their mind because Sakurai could be making another Kirby game.

We should always take little tidbits like this with a grain of salt. Sometimes, people simply mess up in interviews. They slip up their words and accidentally imply they’re working on a game that doesn’t even exist.

Not to mention, with a Japanese company like Nintendo, translation errors happen quite often. So if Miyamoto says, “yeah, a new F-Zero would be fun to make,” do not misconstrue it as “we are making a new F-Zero.”

Tips for E3 2019

Nintendo Direct e3 2019 schedule / plans

You can use the above tips any year to help keep your expectations in check for E3. But now, let’s dig into what we might realistically expect from Nintendo’s presentation for 2019.

So let’s kick this off with a simple fact from Nintendo themselves: this year’s presentation will focus on Switch games coming in 2019. So you can safely expect Nintendo to showcase Animal Crossing, Link’s Awakening, Daemon X Machina, Super Mario Maker 2, Luigi’s Mansion, and Pokémon Sword and Shield.

Wow, that’s actually a lot of games coming out this year! What else do you think we’ll see that Nintendo hasn’t yet announced? Personally, I don’t think we’ll see anything. In recent years, Nintendo has done less reveals at E3 and more surprises sprinkled throughout the year during their Nintendo Directs.

So my personal tip for 2019 is to not expect any first party Nintendo games besides these six. Prediction lists are fun, and we can daydream all day long. But to realistically keep your hype from disappointing you, I think you should remember the kind of company Nintendo is and what their past E3 track records have been like.

If you remember being slightly disappointed by the last few years of E3, I strongly suggest you follow the tips above. It may just save you future disappointment down the line.

Adam Sherrill
I love all kinds of video games. I personally find the most enjoyment in JRPGs, Visual Novels, and pretty much anything Nintendo makes. I'm always open to discovering new types of games, so I'll be happy to check out anything someone suggests.