Eurogamer's alternative E3 2015 awards
From Pele to Phil Spencer's t-shirt, the real winners of this week's show.
It's done, it's over, E3 2015 is officially dead - and judging by some of the drawn faces across the Eurogamer team, so are we. Yet what a week it was! There were shocks and surprises as some long-forgotten faces were reintroduced, as well as the joy in seeing fresher faces giving us some genuinely exciting new prospects to look forward to. Despite what some may tell you, though, E3 isn't about the games: it's about that strange, awkward magic that comes about when you give this industry a global stage for a week, some of which we seek to celebrate in this year's alternative awards.
The Paul McCartney/Ringo Starr Memorial Award for Most Awkward Celebrity Cameo: Jason Derulo's ear-splitting performance at Ubisoft's conference suggested he should take up the publisher's advice and Just Dance, but it was Pele's extended volley of strange anecdotes at EA's show that's destined to go down in E3 legend. Credit, too, to Kanye West for adding some real glitz and glamour as he patrolled the show floor. Rumours that he was going to jump on-stage during The Last Guardian's re-reveal and shout 'Imma let you finish, but Duke Nukem Forever was the best vapourware of all time' are completely fabricated.
Longest Job Title Award: Step forward Mike Ybarra, Partner Director of Program Management, Xbox and Windows Platform at Microsoft. How big are his business cards? Or does he just hand people a Surface with the whole thing typed on the screen already?
The Daintiest Skewering Award: That skeleton, staked through the heart in Sea of Thieves was a strangely child-friendly vision of cold-blooded murder.
The Weirdest Thing That Is Now a Thing Award: The speculation over Phil Spencer's T-shirts was so heated this year that he had his jacket zipped up for the first half of the presentation, even though it made him look like a PE Teacher. Was his T-shirt reveal - Rare was this year's fashion - actually embargoed?
The Divining Miyamoto's Next Game by Looking at his Interests Award: We've had gardening and we've had pets, but this award took a really weird turn this year. Who would have thought: local shrine = StarFox?
The Oil of Olay What's Your Secret Award: It's been years since we last saw Last Guardian, and yet it hasn't aged a jot.
The 'Is This Real Life, Or Is It Just Fantasy?' Award: In the jet lag fug of E3 there are always moments you question - still frazzled by the dramatics of the previous night, it took a few of us a couple of seconds before realising Nintendo's event was being fronted by puppets - but it was Taro Yoko, striding on-stage wearing Emil from Nier's head as he announced the sequel, that really took the biscuit.
The Ikea Award for Most Impeccably Presented Swedes in One Place: EA's conference had a stylish, handsome backbone thanks to Dice's dual-showing, as well as the utterly charming Unravel from Coldwood Interactive (whose creative director, Martin Sahlin, was even more adorable than the game's lead). All we need to know is, which one of them was it that patted Pele's head?
The Award for Most Unexpectedly Moving Moment of E3, Bar None: Yes catweagle's return had us welling up, and by the time Yu Suzuki was invited on stage and those mystical leaves from Shenmue started falling behind him there wasn't a dry eye in the house, but the real emotion came the following day at Square Enix's conference. As president Yosuke Matsuda took to the stage, flanked by the great and the good of his company, the Final Fantasy fanfare trumped along as he delivered a message of hope and inspiration. Like much of the conference, it was awkward, stilted, but also kind of brilliant.
The Most Ubiquitous Developer Award: It can only be Platinum, the Osaka outfit propping up a new Transformers, StarFox Zero and working on a sequel to Nier - all that, and Hideki Kamiya's Xbox One exclusive Scalebound is still waiting in the wings.
Most Unlikely Sufferer of Stage Fright Award: There were a handful of people whose fear was present in their eyes as they took to the stage, but the only person to really wig out during an E3 presentation wasn't even real. Step forward Nathan Drake, caught frozen at the top of the Uncharted 4 demo before we switched to a video back-up. Still, it was great to get some time to appreciate those lovely crowd animations.
The Angriest Fans Award: With Sony and Microsoft working hard to appease their fans - Sony with its resurrection of legends, and Microsoft with backwards compatibility - it was the Nintendo crowd that romped home with this one. Being upset with a weak presence is one thing, but calling for the cancellation of a team's game before anyone's had a chance to even play it? Bravo!
The My Family Once Founded an Industrial City in the Amazon Rainforest Specifically to Make Rubber Award: It's not rare to see famous faces brought on stage at an E3 press event, but how many of them have a family history that involves the founding of an ill-fated city in South America? Only one, unless Jason Derulo is really holding out on us. In 1928. the original Henry Ford created Fordlandia near Santarem, Brazil, to ensure a cheap supply of rubber for his production lines. Ford never actually visited the place, however, and Wikipedia states: "The project was ultimately a total failure." Presumably, it will not be a track in Forza 6, although we hear Dan Greenawalt is busy setting up a Communist paradise in Nicaragua as we type this.
The "Let's Chill Here on the Deck" Kaz Hirai Memorial Award for Excellence in Strained Banter: Aisha Tyler's dalliance with an Assassin's Creed cosplayer in the audience, who most definitely wasn't on Ubisoft's payroll, comes close, but there can only be one winner here. Step forward, Pele! And then park up on that stool and regale us with tales of that lovely cream tea you had in Margate in 1965.