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Taco Bell Decided To Host Its Own E3 Out of Nowhere

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E3 may be dead and buried, but if you’re craving live stage presentations with huge surprise announcements, celebrity guests, early leaks, a giant screen displaying hot new trailers, and a roaring crowd, don’t despair. You can find all that and more…courtesy of Taco Bell. Yes, Taco Bell just hosted its own announcement showcase ala E3, and the whole thing is kind of wild.

Taco Bell Live Más Live 2024, which streamed live earlier today, is hosted by rapper Armani White, and features all the greatest hits we’ve come to love from gaming presentations. It opens with a montage celebrating Taco Bell, followed by a few words from Taco Bell CEO Sean Tresvant. Tresvant, clad inexplicably in a letter jacket over an untucked white button down collared shirt, starts by shouting out a bunch of influencers in the audience before giving the audience a Taco Bell history lesson, including the deeper philosophical meaning of “Live Mas.”

This is followed by a “look behind the curtain” at the Taco Bell test kitchen, with global chief food innovation officer Liz Matthews taking the stage to reveal a bunch of new menu items: triple decker tacos, more coffee choices, gyoza (???), more vegan options, a partnership with ice cream chain Salt & Straw for what appear to be ice cream tacos, a baffling cross between a chimichanga and chalupa, and the introduction of Taco Bell milkshakes (to ooos and cheers from the crowd). Also, Baja Blast pie??? No??? Absolutely not???

YEAH. I KNOW.
YEAH. I KNOW.

It is so weird how many cues this presentation has clearly taken from video games. There were corny jokes (“The Naked Egg Taco. Don’t bring up the Naked Egg Taco? Okay, scratch that.”), celebrity appearances, crowd shots, they gave out swag, there was live music. There was even a brief awards ceremony ala The Game Awards, including an award given to the best Taco Bell wedding (awarded to a couple who got married in the “Taco Bell metaverse” and an award for “Drive-Thru Ride of the Year” given to a guy with a Taco Bell-themed motorcycle.

Finally, the company CMO Taylor Montgomery showed up with some more announcements, but not before he called out a guy in the audience who apparently always leaks news early on Reddit. He rattled off a number of new menu items of varying degrees of meaty and cheesiness, including Taco Bell chicken nuggets, the return of Nacho Fries, Baja Blast ice cream, and a brand new sauce packet reveal (gasp!). There was even the equivalent of a shadow drop (or as close as the food business can get), with the Cheesy Chicken Crispanada, out next Thursday.

And of course, there was the quintessential “one more thing” at the end. It’s a crunchwrap. With a giant Cheezit inside. I’m not joking! That’s what Taco Bell was announcing at an E3-style presentation today! It’s completely serious!

The gaming industry is no stranger to non-gaming brands trying to lean into gaming vibes. There was that KFC dating game, sponsored collaborations like Monster Energy in Death Stranding and Cup Noodle in Final Fantasy 15, and that time when the Arby’s Twitter account was cool. Or, you know, this guy. But I don’t really know what Taco Bell was thinking with this one. There does seem to be a small but very hungry group of legitimate Taco Bell influencers who are very into what the food chain was selling today, but it seems odd to have run a whole live event like this when “Baja Blast Pie” is perfect viral tweet material on its own.

Admittedly though, after watching an hour-long presentation that largely consisted of oozing cheeze shots and sparkling ectocooler-colored soda, I’m a little hungry myself.


Rebekah Valentine is a senior reporter for IGN. Got a story tip? Send it to rvalentine@ign.com.





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