It’s a pretty exciting time, unveiling the outline of a video game to the public. The only issue is, the pitch that runs with it can either make or break the whole experience before the project finds a foot to stand on. And we’ve seen that plenty of times over the years — the uncomfortable silence and tumbleweed treatment. It happens more often than we like to admit, though it isn’t something we like to remember due to sheer embarrassment alone.
Sadly, a genuinely thrilling time for both the developer and player can often deviate towards a rather awkward atmosphere. Of course, not every reveal has the resources to be an absolute marvel, and many tend to settle with a lukewarm reception. However, there has been an odd car crash every now and then. Just take these five, for example. We’re still cringing just thinking about them, to be honest — even in 2021.
5. Fast & Furious: Crossroads
What better way for the Fast & Furious creators to bleed their udder dry than to cash in on a video game with Vin Diesel at the helm? It seemed only natural on their part, to delve into the gaming world and pluck out whatever a twenty-minute briefing had to offer. The problem, of course, was that Slightly Mad Studios made the assumption beforehand that players would immediately flock to the game just for status alone. And, you know — they were right. Sort of. People did absorb the game like wildfire all because, well — it’s Fast and Furious.
Setting aside the praise that revolves around the franchise, the 2020 video game definitely didn’t live up to the reputation of the movies. Thanks to the outdated graphics, wooden story and sloppy gameplay, Crossroads didn’t exactly wow the fan base on the night of the reveal. Sure, it received a round of applause — though the two familiar Furious faces probably had something to do with that. However, if Diesel were to skip the preview that night, the atmosphere would’ve been a lot less rowdy. Like, dead silent.
4. Battle Tag
Imagine a video game — but in real life. That, funnily enough, is pretty much the idea behind Battle Tag. The only problem is, the idea fell flat through its ridiculously awkward presentation pre-launch. Even today, just looking back at the showcase for the overly ambitious laser tag clone is enough to trigger a shedload of cringe. Of course, it might’ve looked the part back in 2010 to an audience of curious gamers — but revisiting it a decade down the line definitely doesn’t have the same effect.
The number of arched brows in the audience was definitely an early indicator that the reveal wasn’t exactly going to plan. Even with paid actors fleshing out the clunky script and cartwheeling from stage to curtain, the overall reveal just wasn’t captivating. In fact, it was straight-up ridiculous. Like, embarrassingly atrocious. Of course, the idea was definitely there — but the lacklustre launch was anything but original.
3. No Man’s Sky
First impressions were definitely strong when No Man’s Sky came to the table, despite its lack of context. With an endless stream of explorable planets all open to scrounge and plunder, the concept seemed like an infinite cash cow with limitless opportunity. The only problem, of course, was that Hello Games just didn’t know how to sell their works to the audience who, at the time, only wanted to be blown away by its mouth-watering gameplay.
Reel through a dozen or more interviews from when No Man’s Sky first popped up and you’ll spot the pattern. Hello Games, despite their ambition, really didn’t know how to promote their art. Questions would be answered with bland replies that barely nudged the hype for the release, and the overall conception of the game spiralled into an underwhelming series of colourless previews and mundane talks, ultimately spoiling the launch of the game altogether.
2. Activision E3 2007
In a bid to keep the audience engrossed for the long haul, Activision thought it would be a smart move to hire a comedian to light up the room at E3 2007. The major downside of this snap decision, unfortunately, was that the comedian was Jamie Kennedy. Of course, while that wouldn’t usually be an issue to flag up, E3 definitely wasn’t the appropriate stage for such a figure, nor was he the hype factor Activision needed to help drive future sales.
After showing up intoxicated and struggling to string two words together, Kennedy went on to poke fun at the event, using the audience as the brunt of the joke. And, as you could probably imagine — people weren’t buying it. In fact, one audience member even went on to heckle the comedian after the room fell silent for the millionth time. Throw in a few awkward moments between devs and a wound-up Tony Hawk — and you’ve got yourself an absolute trainwreck of a video game reveal.
1. Konami E3 2010
A lot happened in 2010 — especially in the gaming industry. And the same goes for Konami and their puzzling cringe fest that rolled out during E3, too. Like plucking a thread from every color of wool in the basket, the Japanese kingpin went on to deliver one of the most awkward press conferences the community has ever seen. Filled with long awkward silences, offhand remarks and standoffish speeches — the showcase essentially buried the world in a facepalm fest without a hand to shield the awkwardness.
As far as uncomfortable videos go — Konami’s E3 conference definitely fits the bill as one of the worst on the web. Of course, looking back at the unorthodox showcase, it is strangely entertaining to witness the atmosphere in the room. Not only that, but also looking at the video games that were once staples in 2010 — only to realise that the majority of them never actually left the studio. But then, perhaps after reading the room at E3, Konami didn’t really feel the need to push their works to fulfilment. And to be fair — that was probably for the best.