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The E3 2013 Prospectus

Do you invest in gaming trends? Let our team of seasoned professionals tell you where to place your bets coming out of the big show.

This article first appeared on USgamer, a partner publication of VG247. Some content, such as this article, has been migrated to VG247 for posterity after USgamer's closure - but it has not been edited or further vetted by the VG247 team.

These are difficult times, and you're worried about providing your family, that country where that war is happening, widespread fluoridation of drinking water, and vaccines. In these uncertain times, we need to allocate our investment dollars wisely, maximizing the potential for return while limiting our exposure to risk. Like a lottery ticket. To help you navigate the murky waters of these pants-wetting times, the USgamer staff has compiled our E3 2013 Prospectus, picking out the trends that you need to safeguard your family/amass an obscene fortune.

Open-World Games - Strong Buy

When the Xbox 360 launched, it was nearly a year before open-world game designs started showing up on the next-gen release lists. Fans of ignoring an imminent world-threatening crisis in favor of putzing around looking for hundreds of shards/packages/feathers are in for a big generation, as E3 showed off new open-world ambitions from Dead Rising 3, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Sunset Overdrive, Watch Dogs, The Crew, and Tom Clancy's The Division. And let's not forget the new installments of series that have already proven their chops with open-world games, like Infamous: Second Son, Need for Speed: Rivals, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, Batman: Arkham Origins, and the granddaddy of them all, Grand Theft Auto V.

I can't decide if MGS V's cardboard box should be big enough to cover both the horse and Snake, or if it would be better to just have Snake crouching in a normal cardboard box on top of his horse.

Indie Lip Service - Buy

Everybody loves indies now, woooo!!! After seeing Jonathan Blow's appearance at the PS4 unveiling make a stir in the industry, Microsoft matched the competition by showcasing Capybara Games' Below during its E3 media briefing. Then Sony countered again by dedicating a section of its two-hour show to indies, giving Supergiant Games' Transistor a moment to bask in the spotlight before hurtling through cameos from eight other devs. And even though it didn't have a big media briefing, Nintendo featured a number of upcoming indie-developed eShop releases in its Nintendo Direct event on the first morning of the show. We'll see just how much of a push these games get when they actually release, but all of them received a nice boost in awareness from their involvement in the show.

Stupid Names for Game Technology - Strong Buy

Considering this is the evergreen blue chipper in the game industry, it's no surprise we're once again rating it a strong buy coming out of E3. While we do worry about the industry's marketers going "A Bridge Too Far" with their attempts to leapfrog each other's stupidity, they seem unable to outpace the gaming public's willingness to accept idiotic names for things, no matter how hard they try. There were a number of strong contenders this year, including NBA Live's "bounceTEK" dribbling and Battlefield 4's "levolution" for partially destructible levels, but the winner had to be Forza Motorsport 5's "Drivatar," a verbal human centipede of "drive" and "avatar" used to describe the game's ghost driver system. (It's also been trademarked by Microsoft, because when you come up with something that absurd, you need the force of law to prevent other people from using it.

This year's show was a kindler, gentler E3, still full of explosions and headshots, but with fewer attempts made to depict and celebrate the actual consequences of violence.

Hyperviolence - Sell

The market for this one clearly peaked last year, when there was a mercenary with a knife in his throat around every corner (much to the chagrin of LACC cleaning crews). While the trying-too-hard-to-be-mature-and-gritty genre saw representation this year, most notably with Ryse: Son of Rome's faux-interactive cutscene kills, this year's show was a kindler, gentler E3, still full of explosions and headshots, but with fewer attempts made to depict and celebrate the actual consequences of violence.

Alienating Women - Hold

On the one hand, there were some high-profile games with female protagonists this year, including a new Mirror's Edge and Beyond: Two Souls. On the other hand, the rape connotations of the trash talk in Microsoft's Killer Instinct demo and the preponderance of booth babes on the show floor suggest that we are still in the period where everyone complains about the problem, but few companies are actually committed to doing anything about it.

Nintendo's lack of a media briefing was clearly not a sign of surrender, as the Wii U maker still loomed large at E3.

Wii U - Buy

We might be going out on a limb with this one. After all, the system's third-party support is going from "unfortunate" to "downright embarrassing," Sony's launching the PS4 at price point just $50 above the Wii U's, and Nintendo didn't even bother to have a media briefing event at the show. That said, the Wii U booth was hopping, people flocked to Best Buys around the US and Canada in order to get hands-on with demos for key titles shown at E3, and the first-party lineup received some good buzz at the show. Mario Kart 8 was seemingly loved by all, The Wonderful 101 lived up to its name, and Bayonetta 2 dropped jaws. And regardless of what you thought of the new Mario and Zelda games, they're new Mario and Zelda games, so they'll probably do pretty well for Nintendo.

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