Devolver Digital took E3 by storm, lambasting the conference PR mentality and the industry at large.
“Tomorrow’s unethical business practices today!” was writ large on the forefront of the strangest PR performance in gaming history — and it just got crazier from there, starting with some stock footage of audience members clapping to the arrival of Devolver PR parody and “Chief Synergy Officer” Nina Struthers.
When the faux audience refused to cease their canned applause, Nina began firing a handgun into the air. Her pitch was spectacularly blunt. It was every E3 presser introduction but without the doublespeak:
This is our first year of bringing you to the very edge of your seats with the very best of what video very games have to offer very and I am very very proud to have you here on this very journey with me.
But even as the insanity escalated over the perpetual enthusiasm of the pre-recorded viewers, the publisher began to trot out an actually impressive looking list of coming titles. Ruiner, an atmospheric isometric cyber-punk shoot-em-up, was looking particularly good. Surprisingly, the clever Swords of Ditto was barely more than a blip on the screen.
Milo Lowrie, of “Research & Developer & More Research,” pitched “Devolver Digital Screen Pay,” a system in which you literally throw your money at the computer screen when you’ve become drunk enough on marketing buzzwords and trailers.
Nina took aim at abusive Early Access releases of unfinished products with “Earliest Access.” According to Ms. Struthers, it represents “a revolutionary way to hastily rushed unfinished game content out to consumers.” It’s Early Access, so early that you can purchase the concepts as they pass through the minds of development team members.
What’s more, if you don’t like those ideas, “Comment Created Content” will allow your angry internet comments to be more effective than ever before.
The mock press conference was created by Imagos Films in partnership with Devolver Digital. In the aftermath, its creators took to Reddit for an AMA where they discussed the four gallons of fake blood, Nina Struthers’ actress Mahria Zook, and planning to top the whole thing next year.
It was a bold satirical statement by a publishing neophyte and definitely made an impression on fans and journalists alike. Imagos Films and Devolver managed to boil down just about everything you love and hate about E3 into 15 minutes and ended up producing the closest thing you can get to a live E3 experience outside of going yourself.
Now, if only the big ticket publishers would pay attention.
Follow Nate Church @Get2Church on Twitter for the latest news in gaming and technology, and snarky opinions on both.