E3 Gets Failing Marks Again

E3 Gets Failing Marks Again

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E3 is over for another year, and once again many game executives are coming away dissatisfied with the experience.

After a peak attendance of roughly 70,000 in 2005 and 60,000 in 2006, the ESA reorganized the show to a tightly-controlled press-only event in 2007, reducing the number of attendees to less than 5000 and moving the show out of the Los Angeles Convention Center to smaller locations in Santa Monica. While the changes were made in response to complaints from exhibitors about the high cost of the show, response to the changes in 2007 was almost entirely negative, and based on a San Francisco Chronicle report, 2008 isn't much better.

"I hate E3 like this," said Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello. "Either we need to back to the old E3, or we'll have to have our own private events." His sentiment was echoed by Ubisoft North America President Laurent Detoc, who said, "E3 this year is terrible. The world used to come to E3. Now it's like a pipe-fitters show in the basement."

While nobody expects a return to the E3 excesses of old, a shift to a louder, flashier, more open format may very well be in the cards. Simon Jeffery, president of Sega of America, said E3 needs some flash to attract the retail sector, which turned its back on the event following the restructuring. The show's mid-July timing has also come under fire for placing it in the middle of the industry's traditional down-time, and its proximity to the strong fall sales season meant many companies were unable to wait for E3 before making big game announcements.

ESA President Michael Gallagher indicated the show will likely grow next year, although he wouldn't speculate as to how much, saying only that the ESA will continue to tweak the show to meet the demands of exhibitors. "We just need to decide where the dial needs to go," he said.

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I say it bring it back, booth babes and all. It has been another watershed year of growth and the hubris and decadence normally associated with this sort of business climate just isn't there. I'm sure somebody thinks this is a good thing and a sign of industry maturity, but it's hardly entertaining.

And really, is it that unreasonable to ask these companies to bite the bullet on one really large domestic trade show?

I hate to be Mr. Cliche, but you can't have your cake and eat it too, execs.

On the opposite side, I've heard lots of reports from people there that it's so much better for getting information on games. You actually get time to try out games for more than 10 minutes and get a better feel of the game and presents better opportunities for the media to get more on the games. But I guess that doesn't mean much if the companies presenting stuff don't feel compelled to pull out the stops for an event they don't enjoy.

Miracleknight:
On the opposite side, I've heard lots of reports from people there that it's so much better for getting information on games. You actually get time to try out games for more than 10 minutes and get a better feel of the game and presents better opportunities for the media to get more on the games. But I guess that doesn't mean much if the companies presenting stuff don't feel compelled to pull out the stops for an event they don't enjoy.

Although the individual may have been worse of by what I like to call the old fun E3's overall, everyone gained. Companies got the attention they need for new releases and announcements, because although the press is important in getting the message out, you need reatilers and gamers to take notice to, and including them in the events was a great way to do that. So although the individual may not have got as much play time on certain booths, overall we all got more, every year you'd have thousands of pictures, blogs, and movies being released just by the general public. Of what went on at E3. So whereas now you usually find a couple of 5 min vids detailing a game, you used to have 20 or so 5 minute video's of each, which when you got bored one day were exceptionally fun to watch through a lot of them.

While the Old E3 was a major gong show this new one is downright boring, this is an ENTERTAINMENT expo, it should act like one and be entertaining.

Does anyone remember the huge ass line for when the wii was announced? I think what E3 did (making the convention smaller) was (mostly) smart, that way we get more coverage of the actual games.

I don't think E3 will die out, per say, i just htink that it'll get smaller and just be one of those small conventions like leipzig or PAX (not sure if those conventions are that big anyway)

Like Klutz said, you can't have your cake and eat it too. Though, I suppose this is better than every major publisher having their own event.

stompy:
Like Klutz said, you can't have your cake and eat it too. Though, I suppose this is better than every major publisher having their own event.

As Yahtzee says I think it's perfectly reasonable to want to eat a cake that is in your possession.

Jumplion:
Does anyone remember the huge ass line for when the wii was announced? I think what E3 did (making the convention smaller) was (mostly) smart, that way we get more coverage of the actual games.

I don't think E3 will die out, per say, i just htink that it'll get smaller and just be one of those small conventions like leipzig or PAX (not sure if those conventions are that big anyway)

I was under the impression that attendance wise, PAX is pretty massive.

Although the individual may have been worse of by what I like to call the old fun E3's overall, everyone gained. Companies got the attention they need for new releases and announcements, because although the press is important in getting the message out, you need reatilers and gamers to take notice to, and including them in the events was a great way to do that. So although the individual may not have got as much play time on certain booths, overall we all got more, every year you'd have thousands of pictures, blogs, and movies being released just by the general public. Of what went on at E3. So whereas now you usually find a couple of 5 min vids detailing a game, you used to have 20 or so 5 minute video's of each, which when you got bored one day were exceptionally fun to watch through a lot of them.

These are good points, but I guess it comes down to how you really want your gaming media to be. I'd prefer to have someone who's been able to sit down and give about an hour of time with a game (Or like an entire day if you take into account one friend's time spent with SFIV) or someone who has 5 minutes to just get hang of the controls and maybe play through a level one time. Versus lots of media for your entertainment, to me though the internet has enough entertaining things that I don't really require 20 videos of 5 minutes of each game but I can see the appeal.

Miracleknight:

These are good points, but I guess it comes down to how you really want your gaming media to be. I'd prefer to have someone who's been able to sit down and give about an hour of time with a game (Or like an entire day if you take into account one friend's time spent with SFIV) or someone who has 5 minutes to just get hang of the controls and maybe play through a level one time. Versus lots of media for your entertainment, to me though the internet has enough entertaining things that I don't really require 20 videos of 5 minutes of each game but I can see the appeal.

True, I would have liked to see in depth views of each game, as well as all the fun little vids. I admit even when E3 was massive it did need tweaking, however the complete overhaul it recieved? No.

Keep E3 like this and just move all the fun into PAX, everyone's a winner?

I like E3 like this (not open to public)

tendo82:
I say it bring it back, booth babes and all. It has been another watershed year of growth and the hubris and decadence normally associated with this sort of business climate just isn't there. I'm sure somebody thinks this is a good thing and a sign of industry maturity, but it's hardly entertaining.

And really, is it that unreasonable to ask these companies to bite the bullet on one really large domestic trade show?

I concur completely.

The games industry is a huge business. We should celebrate our little micro-economy in style, not with modest, press-only demonstrations which are blogged about five minutes later anyway. We should have performances and bigger crowds - let E3 turn into a real hands-on event again and stop people from wandering away to host private gigs (Blizzcon is bigger than E3, FFS).

PAX does it right; it is a tradeshow with decent PR reps and aims to celebrate all things gaming. Shouldn't that be the same for an exclusive electronics expo too?

I'd have to say that I have read like 14 articles from a variety of newspapers, American, British, Australian etc, and they all seem to talk of E3 in a way that didn't seem to view E3 as a neat exhibit for the public but not one where any serious business is done. It sort of felt like when you were a kid and you took something really seriously but your parents followed along but only to humor you. Keep E3 like it is but earlier in the year.

Weren't these the same guys who complained that E3 was getting too big and they were tired of keeping up with the Joneses?

Saskwach:
Weren't these the same guys who complained that E3 was getting too big and they were tired of keeping up with the Joneses?

Oh the hipocrasy.

The truth is, developers and publishers are just spoiled brats. As someone said above me, you can't have your cake and eat it which to this day i still don't understand...

 

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