77% of games announced at E3 2017 are already released
Of that, only 50% of new IP revealed for the first time at E3 2017 have been released.
While it's all too easy to get caught up in the whirlwind hype of E3's polished trailers that may or may not fully represent the final product, we're constantly reminded to err on the side of caution when it comes to the biggest video game convention of the year. Games like Death Stranding and this year's (long, long-awaited) Cyberpunk 2077 paint a very pretty picture but games like this are more often than not window dressing for big AAA publishers, a tool to liven up the show and crank the hype to 11. While we're not immune to the rapturous energy these reveals give off, we know in our heart of hearts that they are a still a ways off from release. This is particularly true if we're not shown even a glimpse of gameplay.
With that said, we're a painfully optimistic bunch here at Game Finder and we've revisited last year's announcements to investigate how many new announcements and new IPs revealed at E3 2017 managed to release before this year's E3 rolled around. The results are actually quite promising when compared to previous years and if anything, publishers have been getting better at releasing games within a year from their E3 announcement.
Travel back to E3 2016 for a moment. By the time that conference rolled around, 62% of games from the year prior (E3 2015) were still unreleased. Promising titles, like Dishonoured 2, For Honor, Mass Effect: Andromeda and No Man's Sky never managed to make release before the next year's E3.
Now, we're definitely not advocating on a faster turnaround of games (or perpetuating the insidious culture of crunch) but there's no doubt a degree of overshadowing that happens if a game doesn't make it out before the next batch of announcements takes the spotlight.
The pressure gained from pulling the trigger early at E3, particularly for indies, is also something I imagine many hard-working developers could live without. Although its no doubt a huge honour to have your game put on a pedestal by a big name publisher like Sony PlayStation, I sometimes wonder if Sean Murray and the team at Hello Games could have done without the hype that E3 presentation produced (to be clear, I thought No Man's Sky was a wonderful game, if a little misunderstood).
But I digress, 2016's E3 did a much better job of tempering expectations. By the time E3 2017 rolled around, 70% of games shown the year prior had already released and this year even more games managed to make it out before the event kicked off yesterday.
Of all the games shown at E3 2017, 77% have already been released.
There were a total of 127 games at last year's E3 and of those, 97 can be purchased and played and only 30 that still haven't made it out.
Many of these are to be expected; Anthem, Beyond Good and Evil 2, Metro Exodus and Metroid Prime 4 looked a long way off when we first saw them (I'm honestly still wondering how Anthem has any right releasing 22 February 2019).
When we dig a little deeper, we see that 71.73% of games revealed for the first time at E3 2017 have been released already. The story is a little different for new IP shown for the first time at E3 2017, of which only 50% have been released. A Way Out is an example of a game that managed to sneak into E3 2017 undetected and break out onto PC and consoles before the year lapsed.
For the sake of transparency, we also counted early access games as "released" as you can technically play them even if they aren't considered the final product. There are games like Fortnite which are technically still in early access that you couldn't rightfully be considered "unreleased".
So despite the common conception that E3 is guilty of having an itchy trigger finger, the numbers tell a different story and under the tsunami of leaks and spoiled reveals, it's still a sublime feeling getting absolutely blindsided by a Metroid Prime 4 or Beyond Good and Evil 2 reveal or in the case of 2018, Doom Eternal and The Elder Scrolls VI.
We can criticise publishers for overhyping games that are, behind the scenes, nothing but a vaporous cloud of hopes and ideas but if you didn't fall off your seat when Norman Reedus first popped up on the screen at E3 2016 then I think you're missing part of what makes this yearly spectacle so fun and yes, a bit silly.
And I'm sorry but if you've got the gall to call out CD Projekt Red for its CG trailer of Cyberpunk 2077, a game we've waited over five years for even the smallest scrap of information for, then you might need to exercise some patience and appreciate the fact that one of the most skilled and benevolent development studios of all time is taking the time deserved to perfect a potential masterpiece.
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