It seems that E3 this year is turning out to be quite the event. Evidently, the organisers of The Little Convention That Couldn’t have turned things around and have produced a show that is well worth attending. If you can get your hands on a press-pass of course.

I would love to go to E3, I’m sure it would be an incredibly exciting event. Having the opportunity to check out all of the latest games before release, meet the developers behind your most loved titles and rub shoulders with the people you read about on Twitter and on your favourite blogs would be worth writing home about. Or at least, blogging about.

Having said that PAX would be all of that, plus webcomics. Hrm. Also, it’s open to the public. Also, Gabe and Tycho would be there, bringing with them some incredible musical acts, the Omegathon and the beauty that is a huge LAN. Double-hrm…

This year’s E3 has been chock-full of very exciting announcements. In my opinion, the most notable were the announcements and demos of:
Microsoft’s Natal,
Sony’s new motion control system,
Assassin’s Creed 2,
Brutal Legend,
Splinter Cell: Conviction
and Left 4 Dead 2.

Left 4 Dead 2 was quite a shocking announcement for a lot of people. I have heard and read many comments around this, from people I know and respect, don’t know and respect, and don’t know and might respect if I knew them.
By far, the most numerous is the following, from this post on “Why should we have to buy a brand new game after only a year?”.

My comment on the post sums my my feelings on the topic.

“Why should we have to buy a brand new game after only a year?”

It’s funny isn’t it?
Valve have been almost totally unique in their approach to DLC. No charge, awesome content updates, long-term purchase support. TF2 is the prime example.

But, when they decide to produce a paid sequel (we have no idea of the price as yet – the optimist in me wonders whether it will even be full price?) we complain.
Perhaps the question you should be asking is why aren’t more publishers releasing free content updates for their games?

Valve could have quite easily charged $5 for each of the class update packs. They wouldn’t have had the uptake on them that they have now, but at least they would be getting clear payments for the work that goes into the DLC. At the moment its good press and word-of-mouth that are making them money. “Dude! You should buy TF2 – its awesome! They keep releasing updates FOR FREE!” This leads to further purchases of the game itself, rather than nickel-and-diming current customers to death with micro-transactions.

Ok, so Valve are releasing a paid sequel to their game a mere year after its initial release – Just like _everybody else_. I imagine that this isn’t going to become a trend. L4D2 will most likely be their long-term platform for this game series.

(NB: This will be my last Valve post for a while – I’m starting(?) to sound like a fanboi)

Hands on with L4D2 at E3
Interview with Tom Leonard: “Why oh why a sequel, Valve?”

EDIT #2:
Microsoft’s Project Natal tech demo to Kotakuites prove my spurious scepticism unfounded.