E3 2018 has wrapped up and as it turns out, Sony didn't butter up Rockstar enough to have them allow the use of Red Dead Redemption 2 to advertise the PlayStation 4.
Not only that, but there were no Take-Two games on display at all, even though Take-Two had its own booth. Thing is, instead of games, the booth was aimed at networking and chilling out.
The Take-Two booth at E3 was a stunningly gaudy and in-your-face power move, the sole purpose of which was to show everyone else how absolutely aware they are that Red Dead Redemption 2 is going to dock the holiday season. Their booth likely cost an exorbitant amount of money and not a single square millimeter of it was dedicated to advertising any of their games.
The huge, walled booth was a small island of calm and quiet amid the biggest and busiest gaming convention of the year.
Kotaku's Stephen Totilo posted a few images of the serene interior of the booth, which one would be hard-pressed to recognize as an E3 installation. It looked more like the interior of a high-end office building in some huge city.
The walls had a clean, smooth, regal wooden finish and neatly tended shrubs lent a fresh green touch to it. Inside, it was spacious, a massive screen with a simulated sky hung above it. Occasionally, birds or planes would "fly" across the screen. There was a separate room with a hypnotic surfing video and a record player for relaxing music.
A small meeting area with a relatively large screen dedicated to nothing but showing the Take-Two logo was positioned in the center of a generic but expensive-looking set of decorated shelves. The spaces were separated by elegant wooden slats and plants were applied generously. Lighting was moodily dimmed, with the whole installation conveying the feeling of a garden at nighttime.
Outside those walls, thousands bustled, colossal illuminated signs sought to imprint the names of the biggest AAA games upon the memories of the attendees, presenters were shouting into microphones and music reverberated across the dozens of booths. Inside, industry professionals had a chance to rest, meet, talk and just get away from it all.
Reserving such a large space at E3 is expensive. A booth like that is even more expensive. Not using any of that expense for marketing purposes is so blatantly cocky and on-the-nose that you can't help but love it. The only company that would pull a stunt like this is a company knows that they will earn themselves silly money in the coming months.
Take-Two's E3 booth was a statement. It was a statement that 2018 is the year of Red Dead even if they don't even mention the game's name at E3.