Bethesda’s E3 2019 Crowd Sure Was “Interesting”

If a crowd loudly cheers Fallout 76, something's weird.

It’s completely natural to get swept up in the hype of a new game reveal after a slick pre-rendered trailer drops at E3. In fact, I’m pretty sure there are still fans screaming over the Final Fantasy 7 remake reveal who will keep on screaming until next March.

However, when an E3 crowd pops for pretty much every syllable uttered and announcement made by a publisher (and rapturously, too), it’s time to raise an eyebrow. That’s exactly what I did over and over again while watching the Bethesda E3 2019 conference, which, while not a bad presser overall, wasn’t exactly their finest hour at the convention.

Fallout 76 being met with such an outpouring of love was the first sign that the crowd had definitely been taking their opposite meds that day. While the “renaissance” for Fallout 76 has steadily been coming, it still has a long way to go before it deserves cheers after the state it launched in — and the 90 million subsequent controversies that followed.

While the news of some QoL improvements coming to Fallout 76 is something worth applauding, a battle royale mode probably isn’t. Yet Nuclear Winter, the 52-player BR being shoehorned in to the game, was met with some of the loudest cheers of the night. For comparison’s sake, Battlefield fans reacted a lot differently when Battlefield V’s Firestorm (a much more natural fit for BR) was first announced.

bethesda E3 2019

Elsewhere, Elder Scrolls: Blades, a game nobody has ever genuinely cheered ever, was met with loud applause at the news of its Switch version coming later this year. This is the same game that’s been described as a “watered-down version of Tamriel” laden with pay-to-win microtransactions. The announcement didn’t fare so well on YouTube.

Blades

Later in the show, the ESO round-up was constantly interrupted by screams and hollering that bordered on the obnoxious. Okay, it was absolutely obnoxious, maddening, and just a little bit questionable in its authenticity. The reverence continued with a new trailer for Elder Scrolls: Legends, which is just Hearthstone. Nobody cheers for CCGs anymore.

Even a long absent franchise being returned as a free-to-play mobile game didn’t draw the mumbles from the crowd you would expect — remember Diablo Immortal’s infamous reveal? Commander Keen’s segment at the presser was met with pleasant applause and even scattered hollering. That it currently has a dislike ratio like this on YouTube suggests that maybe the disparity in reception is more than just a coincidence.

Commander Keen

There were some things worthy of cheering, however. DOOM Eternal made everyone at CV want to rip their clothes off and get the moon in an armbar, while the reveals of GhostWire: Tokyo and Deathloop tickled a large part of our collective pickle.

However, when every single announcement is met with such excitement, it asks a few questions, especially after the terrible year Bethesda have had where you feel like their fans would be a little less forgiving. Let’s not forget how totally dead the crowd was last year for Andrew WK, who is basically a walking hype machine.

Listen, I’m not saying or suggesting anything. It’s just “interesting”, is all.

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