About 15 minutes into the two-hour Koch Media presentation this afternoon, I considered cutting bait and going to play Mass Effect Legendary Edition instead. I kept at it, not out of an ounce of interest, but to see how long this slow-motion train wreck could possibly last.
E3 shows are meant to get people excited about upcoming games, and if you’re a publisher, show that you are in-tune with fans and are a good steward of their favorite properties. Literally nothing Koch Media did this afternoon inspired confidence. In fact, if your favorite franchise is one Koch gobbled up within the past few years, you should be supremely concerned.
The format of the show was all wrong. It was about 90% discussion and 10% footage of games when that ratio should absolutely be reversed. I had to chuckle at one point as the folks at Kinda Funny switched off of their coverage of the Koch stream to watch what IGN was doing, and came back to Koch 10 minutes later — after seeing three game trailers — to find the same developer still speaking in a barren home office. Most of what took place did not just miss the mark in terms of entertainment — it wasn’t even in the same galaxy.
On top of that, the chat was a mess. For a long while, it was full of rude comments about Koch’s presenter, Opal, along with ASCII genitalia, snoring emotes, and other various things being spammed. A good bit into the stream, someone at Koch apparently decided they should probably start moderating the chat a little bit. Couldn’t hurt, right? But the chat — like the stream itself — had been a dumpster fire so long that many viewers had already dipped out.
And after sitting there for all that time, I really don’t know what I’m supposed to care most about from the whole thing (aside from Payday 3, which came at the end). Nor do I have a sense of when we’ll actually see most of these games. This was more a presentation about Koch getting developers to say nice things about it than one geared toward gamers. This was Koch attempting to justify its existence in a world with a lot of great developers and publishers, which is why this botch job is a very troubling sign.
I really feel for the aforementioned Opal and for Geoff Keighley, who helped her host the event, as anyone would’ve had trouble selling a product this thin. This is a company that 100% should not have done an event, but wanted to do one anyway, and did so without regard for anyone’s precious time.
There are certain expectations that come with putting on a stream like this, right at the start of E3, and Koch Media didn’t seem to get it. That should be particularly troubling to those who gave Koch crap-tons of money to buy a universe of studios, hoping it will sell enough games to see a return on that investment. This was the kickoff of “New Koch.” This, along with the launch of its Prime Matter publishing label, was Koch officially trying to position itself as a force to be reckoned with.
It left me feeling like this larger company — above the developers who make games for it — may be a bit clueless.
It was a disaster.