Ubisoft's slate of big-budget, serialized action games -- "Assassin's Creed" and "Far Cry" -- may well be joined by a selection with broader appeal, including a new "Just Dance," during the June 9 Los Angeles stage presentation due to start at 3pm local time.
Admittedly, "Just Dance" might be construed as an outside bet, with Ubi's pre-show material aimed squarely at attracting those interested in the new "Assassin's Creed" and "Far Cry 4," while driving game "The Crew," online post-apoc urban survival game "Tom Clancy's The Division" and the touching (but nevertheless wartime-era) "Valiant Hearts" have also been named.
But Ubisoft has traditionally been careful to produce glossy action titles complemented by accessible lines that appeal to wider audiences: witness "Just Dance," "Your Shape: Fitness Evolved" and "Raving Rabbids," with "Rayman: Jungle Run" a delightful mobile riff on a revitalized retro franchise.
How on-stage execs will celebrate the success of new franchise "Watch Dogs" remains to be seen. General critical acclaim and blockbuster first week sales are undisputed, but the press, industry reps and enthusiasts looking on all know that it was hobbled by considerable performance issues on PC, in addition to significant downgrades on PS3 and 360, as compared to more marketable PlayStation 4 and Xbox One content.
What's almost certain is that the Paris-based multinational will look to continue a recent tradition of combining edgy hosts ("CSI" and "Ghost Whisperer" regular Aisha Tyler returns for the third year running) with completely unexpected last-minute reveals (see "Watch Dogs" in 2012 and "The Crew" in 2013), while having to negotiate any technical and presentational hiccups that inevitably crop up.
For viewers, whether in attendance or online, that makes for a cocktail of anticipation and nervous tension in a live show that is, just like its fellow E3 keynotes, compulsive viewing for many and a near-guaranteed source of accidental and eminently shareable memes.
How to watch it
Ubisoft's media briefing at E3 2014 starts at 3pm on June 9, 6pm in New York, 7pm in Sao Paolo, Brazil, 11pm in the UK and South Africa, and midnight in Central Europe. That's equivalent to 6am on June 10 in Beijing, Singapore and Malaysia, 7am in Japan and 8am in Sydney, Australia.
A pre-show starts 15 minutes beforehand, with a post-show Q&A also scheduled.
The presentation will be broadcast live via E3insider.com, youtu.be/Lcu6PBvshoM, twitch.tv/ubisoft and Spike TV, and uploaded to youtube.com/ubisoft shortly after.