After the incredible festivities of the first two days, I didn’t think E3 2018 could get any better but then Day 3 swung around, which brought with it the first official day of E3 as the convention kicked off at the Los Angeles Convention Centre.
Compared to last year’s chaos, due to E3 being open to the public for the first time and there being little to no proper security, this year saw more order and a lot more security. Not only that but the layout of the show was different as well, with Xbox’s booth being moved to the Microsoft Theatre about five to ten minutes away from the rest of the show floor.
Before I jump into the events of the day, let me just clarify that Xbox moving to the Microsoft Theatre was actually a good thing in my book, at least for this year anyway. I absolutely loved last year’s massive Xbox area, which not only included rows and rows of consoles with a variety of games, but also an incredible area kitted out for the Xbox Design Lab, where attendees could design their own exclusive E3 Xbox One controller. However, while Xbox had a large area, Microsoft’s streaming platform, Mixer, only had a small tiny corner, back against a wall in the corridor the convention centre.
As both an Xbox fangirl and an exclusive Mixer streamer, it would have been ideal for both Microsoft properties to have an equally large stage to showcase to the world how wonderful they both are in their own ways. Sadly, we don’t necessarily live in an ideal world and so this year, Xbox gave up it’s usual location in the convention centre to Mixer, who made full use of the space they now had to really WOW the crowd. I can’t begin to describe how impressed I was to see the huge Mixer booth and the way it displayed itself proudly. As a streamer on its platform, I felt so incredibly proud to see the big ‘X’ marking the convention floor, the bold and elegant McLaren Senna car enticing fans, while the Hype Zone wall dominated by showcasing the latest new streaming game, Realm Royale. Each time I walked past the Mixer booth or stopped by to chat with fellow streamers and Mixer staff members who I had only ever connected with online, made me feel a sense of ‘home’. If you haven’t already heard me say it before, the Mixer platform is a fantastic new challenger to Twitch and YouTube and by far has one of the best communities out there. I’ve never felt like I belonged more than when I’m streaming on Mixer or interacting with fellow Mixer streamers online or offline.
Having the Xbox booth at a separate location was a little bit of an inconvenience, having to move between two different locations for meetings and appointments with developers etc but it was a nice change of scenery. In my personal opinion, I enjoyed being ‘forced’ to step outside and walk to and fro. It meant I managed to get some fresh air during the day and it was quite nice having an Xbox space that was purely about Xbox. I really enjoyed seeing the Microsoft Theatre kitted out in green, with the inside being fully Xbox themed. I especially loved the stand selling the official Xbox merchandise, everything from Gears of War mini-figures to exclusive Xbox t-shirts and hoodies. I couldn’t help myself and had to pick up some t-shirts to represent my love for the brand.
Now, back to Day 3. Thankfully, the showrunners of E3 learnt from last year and allowed media and industry members to enter the convention floor two hours earlier than the general public. This was so much better than last year, where everyone was packed like sardines. In that first two hours, I managed to see everything I needed to in the first hall and got to take some incredible photos.
I knew right away that my first priority was to visit Epic Games’ Fortnite booth. As soon as I got there, I was stunned at how fun it was. Epic Games has certainly found a way to take gaming to a whole new level and make it a fun and engaging experience. Even the booth itself was all about experiences, from photo opportunities with various pickaxes in front of a full size Battle Bus to a mechanical bucking llama that attendees could ride. I ended up being the very first person to ride the llama and pulled my thigh from trying to stay on as long as possible. At least I managed to humiliate myself right away, everything could only go up from there.
The rest of the convention floor was much of the same with various publishers having designated areas to showcase their games. After visiting as many as I could, I, naturally stopped by the Mixer booth and got to finally meet some of the online friends I had made. It was a surreal experience. The Mixer team welcomed me with open arms and even invited me to hang out in their partner lounge, even though I’m not a partnered streamer. They fed me snacks and gave me drinks, along with a bunch of t-shirts, pins and pop-sockets that I could use to represent the platform at home and run giveaways. Did I mention how awesome Mixer is?
Next to the Fortnite and Mixer booths, it was Bethesda that really outdid themselves, with a very interesting Fallout 76 ‘surviving the shelter’ experience and a few other cool activations. Unfortunately, by the time I had arrived at the Fallout 76 stand, the line was already full.
In the afternoon, I was lucky enough to attend the Fortnite Pro Am event which saw some of the top Fortnite streamers, including Australia’s Muselk and Loserfruit, team up with celebrities, which consisted of singers, actors and even NBA stars, to battle it out for the ultimate victory. This was an especially incredible event as all proceeds, including the $300,000 prize money was to be donated to the winner’s charity of choice. Who said gaming was bad?
I was super excited for this particular event as I, myself, absolutely love playing Fortnite and am a big fan of the current top Fortnite streamer, Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins. Unfortunately, the press box, where media was located was really far away from the main stage and I only had my phone on me so I couldn’t really see all too well and my camera could only capture so much in reasonable quality. Not only that but the event was supposed to kick off at 3pm but due to technical issues only began just before 5pm. As I had another event to attend at 6pm, I had no choice but to leave early. I was really gutted as I heard later on that Ninja had won and Muselk did something quite epic with a shopping cart in game. Not only that, but I am also a huge fan of Robbie Amell (yes, Stephen Amell’s equally good looking cousin who played Firestorm briefly on The Flash) and Janina Gavankar, an actress who I actually got to meet at last year’s EA Play at E3 2017. Thankfully I got to see a glimpse of Robbie Amell on the big screens while he was being interviewed, so that was nice. In addition, I received some Fortnite swag too, which is also a nice bonus.
After my epic rush back to downtown L.A, I then attended quite possibly the nicest and low-key party I could have attended at E3, which was the Mixer party. It was there that I truly connected with some of the streamers that I’d been talking to and following for a number of months. It was a really lovely ‘mixer’ and reinforced my decision to stream exclusively on the platform. From the things I was hearing and being told, Mixer has some big plans in place and will be bringing some more interactivity and fun to the platform, which got me incredibly excited. That and the fact that Mixer feels like a place that encourages and supports diversity definitely made me more determined to encourage streamers to look at Mixer as a viable alternative to Twitch, YouTube and even Facebook Gaming, which actually had a reasonably sized booth at the E3 show floor.
After the party, I was completely knackered, and since I couldn’t get in on the Fortnite Party Royale party which was taking place that very night, I decided to return to the hotel early to write up my experiences. Of course, technology being the most reliable thing in the world (that’s sarcasm in case you weren’t aware) my computer refused to work properly, despite it being two weeks old. So I ended up going to bed, resetting myself for the excitement that was to come on Day 4.