Let us know what you’d like to see in the com­ments!!!!!!!


In the old days, peo­ple used to hud­dle to­gether in the corners of the In­ter­net, in fo­rums and on mail­ing lists, to talk about videogames. We know this be­cause we were there. We even had our own dis­cus­sion board, be­fore some ge­nius from our par­ent com­pany’s Men Who Wear Af­ter­shave di­vi­sion de­cided that there was no value in it and shut it down. This was so­cial media be­fore the term had been in­vented, but only so­cial in the con­text of oth­ers who were in­ter­ested in videogames enough to hunt us down and join in. To ev­ery­one else, we might as well have been in­vis­i­ble. But then ev­ery­thing changed. User con­tri­bu­tions are the beat­ing heart of to­day’s In­ter­net, from Face­book and Twit­ter to Kick­starter and In­sta­gram, and ev­ery­one is pay­ing at­ten­tion. To un­der­stand the ex­tent of the shift, you only had to watch E3’s media brief­ings un­fold this year.

It used to be a Very Funny In­dus­try Joke to pre­pare E3 con­fer­ence bingo cards, set­ting out a grid of sights and say­ings to tick off as they played out on stage in LA. But then, part­way through Sony’s E3 event, the com­pany’s VP of pub­lisher and devel­oper re­la­tions Adam Boyes lit­er­ally pulled out his own ver­sion, on which he had writ­ten ‘ The Last Guardian’, ‘ FFVII re­make’ and ‘ Shenmue III Kick­starter’. Some­how, Sony had put a tick against each item. ‘We lis­ten to our fans’ was the mes­sage, though it could hardly be heard through the noise of an au­di­ence of­fer­ing a hitherto-un­ri­valled demon­stra­tion of the fa­mous Amer­i­can cus­tom known as ‘los­ing its shit’.

That these games don’t have firm re­lease dates – or even a start date in the case of Shenmue III – wasn’t al­lowed to get in the way of a tidal wave of fuzzy feel­ings. This is E3 now: even louder than be­fore, and to or­der.

In this en­vi­ron­ment, and as fun as it is to see such things play out, a meet­ing with the man be­hind Dark Souls feels like a sober­ing slap on the cheek. Hide­taka Miyazaki is re­turn­ing to the di­rec­tor’s chair for the se­ries’ third in­stal­ment, and he’s con­tin­u­ing to walk his own path. In our cover story, we em­bark on the tough quest of find­ing out where he’s headed.

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