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E3 2019 Report Card: The Winners and Losers

The E3 2019 press conferences are officially a wrap, with Microsoft, Nintendo and a handful of gaming’s biggest third-parties coming out to show their latest and greatest wares to fans both in Los Angeles and around the globe. And even in a year with no Sony, the competition for best E3 show was fierce.

Credit: Marvel Entertainment

(Image credit: Marvel Entertainment)

However, not all press conferences are created equal, and some companies had much better showings than others. Here are the big winners and losers of E3 2019.

Square Enix

Credit: Square Enix

(Image credit: Square Enix)

You've got to give Square Enix credit for giving the fans exactly what they wanted. Gamers wanted to see the Final Fantasy VII Remake and Marvel's The Avengers, and that's exactly what they got - along with a plethora of other games, from remastered JRPGs to inventive co-op shooters. Square Enix's lineup was impressive in pure breadth, if nothing else: Final Fantasy XIV: Stormbringers, Life Is Strange 2, Circuit Superstars and Dying Light 2 all cater to vastly different audiences, and we got a good taste of what each one will eventually feel like. Of course, FFVIIR and Avengers took center stage - and both are playable at E3, and coming out within a year. Of course, it helps that gamers already love Final Fantasy and The Avengers - but it was up to Square Enix to make both games look great, and the company delivered. - Marshall Honorof

Grade: A

MORE: Square Enix E3 2019: Final Fantasy VII Remake, Avengers and More

Microsoft

Credit: CD PROJEKT RED

(Image credit: CD PROJEKT RED)

Earning a near perfect score just for the surprise appearance of Keanu Reeves, Microsoft also brought exciting news on several different fronts. We got some more information about the Xbox One’s successor Project Scarlett, the cloud gaming service xCloud, the introduction of Game Pass for PC and a new Xbox Elite controller, plus Microsoft’s purchase of respected studio Double Fine. Add to this news from games like Battletoads, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Halo Infinite, Gears of War 5, Elden Ring, Cyberpunk 2077 and a host of smaller titles, and it’s easy for any gamer to find something to look forward to from the Microsoft conference. The only mark against it is that a lot of these things were already announced or rumored, and the completely new announcements lacked the impact to push our rating for the briefing any higher. - Richard Priday

Grade: A-

MORE: Xbox E3 2019 Recap: Project Scarlett, Halo Infinite and More

Nintendo

Credit: Nintendo

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Nintendo's E3 2019 direct was a lean, focused blitz of fun-looking games that started off solid and ended incredibly strong. We got new peeks at upcoming titles like The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, Luigi's Mansion 3, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 3 and Astral Chain. No More Heroes III and a Panzer Dragoon remake were both nice surprises, as was the upcoming Switch port of The Witcher 3. While we would have liked to see more of Animal Crossing: New Horizons (which has been delayed to 2020), Nintendo finished strong by revealing that N64 icons Banjo and Kazooie are coming to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and that a sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is in development. - Mike Andronico

Grade: B+

MORE: Nintendo E3 2019: Breath of the Wild 2, Banjo-Kazooie in Smash and More

Bethesda

Credit: Bethesda Softworks

(Image credit: Bethesda Softworks)

Bethesda tempered expectations before its actual press conference, announcing that neither Starfield or Skyrim would be making an appearance. That meant that the show primarily focused on bolstering current titles like The Elder Scrolls Online and Rage 2 with beefy new DLC content. Fallout 76 got the same treatment, but not without a well-deserved apology. But there were some new titles to get gamers salivating, namely the beautifully brutal Doom: Eternal, the supernatural Ghostwire Tokyo and the co-op friend Wolfenstein: Youngblood where you and a friend can play as the twin daughters of B.J. Blazkowicz and kill legions of Nazi Scum. Bethesda proved it had something for everyone, announcing that the free-to-play mobile game The Elder Scrolls Blades is available to play complete with a snazzy new PvP mode. The company also announced a reboot of the 90’s hit Commander Keen in mobile form. But the biggest surprise was the company’s Orion software, which will revolutionize cloud gaming by optimizing compression and frame rendering, which could drastically reduce latency. If adopted by a large set of developers cloud gaming could become cheaper for them and consumers. –– Sherri L. Smith

Grade: B-

MORE: Bethesda E3 News: Doom Eternal, Wolfenstein and More

Ubisoft

Credit: Ubisoft North America

(Image credit: Ubisoft North America)

Watch Dogs Legion looks like an incredibly inventive title, full of crowd-pleasing moments and a gameplay innovation that's never been attempted in a big-budget open-world game before. But aside from that, Ubisoft's press conference showed us pretty similar stuff to what we've seen in past years. After seeing a whopping five(!) Tom Clancy games, we saw another Just Dance title, a few incremental updates for Brawlhalla and For Honor, and precious little else. In fairness, Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet could be a fun TV show, and the mythological action/adventure game Gods & Monsters has potential. But it's hard to shake the feeling we've seen most of this before. - Marshall Honorof

Grade: C+

MORE: Ubisoft E3 2019 Recap: Watch Dogs Legion, Ghost Recon and More

Be sure to follow our E3 2019 news hub all week long for the biggest reveals and impressions out of Los Angeles.