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E3 Rumors Fly

ESA to downsize E3? on GameSpot (thanks Frans) quotes "informed industry sources" (IIS) in reporting that the ESA is planning drastic changes to the structure and scope of the Electronic Entertainment Expo. According to their IIS, the annual show will move from the LA Convention Center to a smaller venue, and will serve a smaller group of attendees in a series of meeting room conferences, rather than the open floor event it has been. GameSpot notes that one of their IIS thinks the changes will result in a more productive environment, which is hard to disagree with, though I always enjoyed the chaos of the show floor. They also point out that there is a financial motivation to cutting down on the showy part of the show, which has indeed always been strikingly extravagant, but they also speculate it may force smaller companies to seek alternate promotional opportunities. They say an official announcement about this will come tomorrow. In a more drastic take on the rumors, Next Generation has busted out the caps lock in declaring "EXCLUSIVE: E3 FINISHED" (thanks StrategyCore) saying any coming announcement of a smaller event is damage control, but that the real story here is that E3 is ostensibly dead. They say an official announcement is likely over the next 48 hours.

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42. Re: Just another sign? Aug 4, 2006, 21:25 Riley Pizt
 
10+ billion a year isn't necessarily a niche market anymore.
It's still a niche market because of who is actually playing the games which is still predominately young males. Compare that to the film and music industries which have much more diverse subject matter and therefore much broader demographic appeal.

Riley apparently thinks it does, yet the industry as a whole obviously disagrees.
Actually the industry as a whole doesn't disagree. It's just the handful of major manufacturers and publishers who simply don't want to pay the price for large presences at the show itself when they are already spending lavishly to hold their own exposition events which precede the show. That is why E3 is changing. There was no mass uprising amongst vendors against it. The big three plus EA simply agreed to collectively pay $20 million to the ESA to not have E3 as is next year so they wouldn't have to spend $20 million each to be present.

In addition my main point is also not that a large, open tradeshow like E3 has been is a must for the industry but rather that a scaled back one as has been described is certainly not a substitute for it. The video game industry needs mainstream media coverage to overcome its niche appeal. Whether that entails more mass-market advertising on television and other mainstream media or large celebrity-laden tradeshows like E3 is really a moot point. Having a tradeshow which caters only to the relatively few major players in the video game media industry is a pointless exercise because those media outlets already get plenty of access and attention from game publishers and developers. If that is the primary audience, then there doesn't need to be a tradeshow at all.

This comment was edited on Aug 4, 21:36.
 
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41. Re: Just another sign? Aug 4, 2006, 20:54 Masa
 
A trade show like that is necessary for the video game industry to become more than just a niche market.

$10+ billion a year isn't necessarily a niche market anymore.



I'm not arguing E3 (or advertising more widely) is irrelevant, just not as important as it was.

Riley apparently thinks it does, yet the industry as a whole obviously disagrees. Not that he's necessarily wrong in his logic, but many people in positions within the industry who are paid specifically to evolve such ideas for their companies that I wouldn't say are exactly disagreable.


This comment was edited on Aug 4, 21:05.
 
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40. Re: Just another sign? Jul 31, 2006, 18:59 Tango
 
I'd be curious to check Blues for each year. I'd imagine the amount of news coming out of E3 declines each year. As does the amount of interesting news.
Instead we check it each day because news is now released when it's done, not at some catch-all event. With the rise in the internet, gaming magazines have become less relevant (if they ever were) and showing off to them has also become less necessary. You and I can now watch the promo / demo ourselves and say ooh and ah.

Riley, I'm still not sure that many would have heard of E3. Yes, I do see it pop up on TV every now and then (and this is in the UK, which may get less coverage) but of my friends, none of whom would ever have heard of Blue's News etc, none would know what E3 was. Yet they are all PS2 owners who await the next GTA/Gran Turismo/ Pro-Evolution Soccer. They're not that interested in promos, they're just interested in buying the game when it's done. These guys are the majority of gamers that the E3 guys like to think they attract.

I'm not arguing E3 (or advertising more widely) is irrelevant, just not as important as it was. But lots of people have said that, more succinctly than me

This comment was edited on Jul 31, 19:00.
 
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39. Re: Just another sign? Jul 31, 2006, 12:56 Beamer
 
<i>What exactly happened in 2005 that made it better than 2006?</i>

Didn't mean to imply it was better.

I'd be curious to check Blues for each year. I'd imagine the amount of news coming out of E3 declines each year. As does the amount of interesting news.

At least this year had two new consoles being unveiled. Next year won't even have that.

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38. Re: Just another sign? Jul 31, 2006, 11:55 nin
 

With the Revo and Sony, I thought it was the best one in awhile...



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37. Re: Just another sign? Jul 31, 2006, 11:38 Undead Scottsman
 
But remember E3 this year. Did anyone follow it closely? This year was the most disappointing E3 I can remember. There was virtually no news, outside of the keynote speeches by the three consoles. Take the first look at Wii's games and the controversy over Sony's pricing and what do you remember coming from E3 this year?

What exactly happened in 2005 that made it better than 2006?

 
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36. Re: Riley Pizt Jul 31, 2006, 10:37 Riley Pizt
 
and 95% will never have heard of it.
On that you are wrong. E3 has gotten major mainstream television coverage in the past few years due to the very things like huge crowds, celebrity appearances, and publicity stunts which the "gaming purists" are decrying. A trade show like that is necessary for the video game industry to become more than just a niche market. If game publishers and developers want the enormous sales that come from being part of the mainstream pop culture, then they have to put up with the presence and expense of the Paris Hiltons.

The shame is that developers don't get to talk to each other, swap ideas or generally shoot the breeze.
That still takes place. However, it is more prevalent at GDC which is a better venue for it.

I imagine they are chained to the nVidia / Xbox booth to answer questions by pricks like "will it run on my kompootuh" who have no business in being there.
Actually PR lackeys generally handle the throngs of "free badge" people. Developers usually don't waste their time on that.


 
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35. Re: Just another sign? Jul 31, 2006, 09:10 Beamer
 
Bad news for the gaming magazines.


Their sales are bouyed by E3. Take away that E3 issue and what will sell that month? Hell, they tend to milk E3 for most of the slow summer months.


But remember E3 this year. Did anyone follow it closely? This year was the most disappointing E3 I can remember. There was virtually no news, outside of the keynote speeches by the three consoles. Take the first look at Wii's games and the controversy over Sony's pricing and what do you remember coming from E3 this year?

-------------
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Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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34. Just another sign? Jul 31, 2006, 08:44 Turtle
 
Just another sign of the coming video game crash? Although I don't think we are heading for a crash as bad as the one in the 80s, I do think we have a major downard correction on the horizon.

 
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33. Re: Jul 31, 2006, 07:41 The Half Elf
 
Living in Orlando I like that idea.

But I do agree that E3 needs to be scaled back quite a bit, alot less flashy, and more about substance.

Example: Halo 2's E3 demo was pretty much just for E3, and was never worked into the game, as well as another game that just escapes my memory at this time.

As for gaming magazines... I use to be a die hard PC Gamer reader, when you use to get the 400 page magazines without 300 pages of advertisements. Now it's roughly 60 pages and the majority of that is ads.

 
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32. Re: Jul 31, 2006, 06:38 Chip
 
this has been going around for awhile. I know it was talked about at E3 2004 when I was there and many talked about not coming next year because it was too expensive and little visible return. They need to move it to Orlando if it returns in any incarnation. LA is just to damn scary. Blood on the sidewalks and razorwire on the building and I was only 3 miles from there.

On a side note... I guess the Dew is screwed!
 
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31. Re: It started with the booth babes Jul 31, 2006, 05:42 Tr0n
 
Games Convention in Germany, Leipzig now seems like the biggest gaming show around.

http://www.gc-germany.de/

I'm definitly going this year. Guild Wars World Championships ftw!

This comment was edited on Jul 31, 05:44.
 
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30. Re: Riley Pizt Jul 31, 2006, 03:25 Tango
 
Most of the big game announcements are now made long before E3 as it boosts the publisher's stock price sooner rather than later. 99.9% of gamers will never go to E3, and 95% will never have heard of it.

In a world where all the publicity material (videos, demos, shakycams) is online sooner or later, legitimately or otherwise, those who might like to go can now all see what the game journalists or that lucky 0.01% who have time to go and make up our own minds rather than have PC Gamer or CGW print an advert dressed up as impartial journalism.

The shame is that developers don't get to talk to each other, swap ideas or generally shoot the breeze. Under the present system, I imagine they are chained to the nVidia / Xbox booth to answer questions by pricks like "will it run on my kompootuh" who have no business in being there. I'm not sure how much GDC or similar conferences are still exclusive to developers.

 
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29. Re: Riley Pizt Jul 31, 2006, 01:57 Zephalephelah
 
ZEPH: An invitation to all national gaming magazines, Electronic Magazines, and gaming television shows should be sent with 4 SuperBowl-type hologram tickets to each publication. would request tickets. No one else gets in (period).

RILEY: That is a horrific idea. All that does is provide the same narrow gaming coverage that existed before the emergence of the world wide web. If game developers and publishers only want coverage from the major whore trade rags in which they advertise, they don't need a tradeshow to get that.

All the game magz, Gamespot, Bluesnews, G4 (previously Tech-TV),IGN, UGO, and probably 100 times the amount of coverage that existed before the emergence of the world wide web.

And they *DO* Need that E3 coverage! E3 is a big, big, big deal. Why send a PcGamer reporter to talk to Crytek about some new engine called FarCry that sounds gay to begin with? But if you are going with 3 of your co-workers on invitation to an event where you can report about the emergence of 40 games, 5-6 which are very good, then that's AN IMPORTANT PLACE TO BE IF YOU ARE A GAMING DEVELOPER!!!!

Letting in every Tom, Riley Pizt, & Harry is the distraction that a Game Developer doesn't need. No booth bitches. No Dicks. No bullshit. And I bet those guys have more time to visit every booth & generate better reports to communicate what they saw to us. I mean, serve good food or something. Be classy. You don't have to cater to the minds of non-reporters if they aren't there to begin with.

Let people in on a Multi-player LAN Testing station with 100 seats that is open for 2 hours a day & set up so that every person in attendance gets exactly the same amount of time throughout the event and outside of those 2 hours per day the computers are OFFLINE. I want to know about the games so letting the reporters play beta-versions is acceptable & would be quite useful for us. But don't let some stupid hype fiend play Crysis for 95% of his stay there. Limit EVERYTHING except developer to reporter communcation so that the regular consumer has the very best chance to know what every game is about, not just the hyped ones or the ones with playboy bitches or the ones with a keg-party or whatever. NO GIMMICKS! You talk, you show, it's reported, I see, I buy. That's it.

This comment was edited on Jul 31, 01:59.
 
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28. Re: Meh Jul 31, 2006, 01:27 Yosemite Sam
 
In my opinion they need to find back to the roots

My dad used to get me in to the CES show in vegas, this is before E3 was even a dream. I would go play all the new Atari 2600, Intellevision games all day. It was all hype, booth babes and massive crowds, so your so called roots are pure fantasy that never exsisted. Trade shows have been like this since ... ever.


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27. Re: E3 Rumors Jul 31, 2006, 01:26 Riley Pizt
 
. An invitation to all national gaming magazines, Electronic Magazines, and gaming television shows should be sent with 4 SuperBowl-type hologram tickets to each publication. would request tickets. No one else gets in (period).
That is a horrific idea. All that does is provide the same narrow gaming coverage that existed before the emergence of the world wide web. If game developers and publishers only want coverage from the major whore trade rags in which they advertise, they don't need a tradeshow to get that.


 
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26. Re: Meh Jul 31, 2006, 01:19 Riley Pizt
 
Large extravagant booths with babes.. just go to vegas
E3 should have been and still should be held in vegas. There's more parking, the facilities are bigger and better, the hotels are better and there's more of them, the food's better, and there's plenty of extra attractions in addition to what is going on at the show.

However, sadly it looks like these large-scale tradeshows of the past are now dinosaurs.


 
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25. No subject Jul 31, 2006, 01:14 Riley Pizt
 
Shit! First Comdex and now this. I guess the grand tradeshow is now finally dead in the Internet era.

 
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24. It makes sense Jul 31, 2006, 00:49 Creston
 
The last several years, E3 has been more about the show than about the games. Booth babes, who has the best booth, who has the loudest music, who has the biggest lines, etc.

Lost in that shuffle, somewhere, was "who has the best GAME?"

Going smaller, and focussing more on meeting room conferences can take the entire spectacle back to where it used to be, and needs to go get back to; focussing on games. Game designers talking to other game designers about new ideas, doing presentations on things, and developers showing off their latest game to the press.

I think it's a good thing. Sure, we'll miss some of the entertainment value that E3 used to deliver, but in the end, I just want to see good games, not badly dressed semi-strippers hanging off a pole. I can get that kind of entertainment far better at other venues.

Creston


 
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23. Dunno how I feel about this one... Jul 30, 2006, 23:40 MacD
 
I agree with both arguments already stated here. E3 no longer serves the purpose it was meant to/evolved into at one point. The flash was outweighing the substance. Maybe it's Origin's fault for cranking up the speakers during their Wing Comander demo

But even so, E3 provided a lot of things; a playground to show off new games to devs, publishers and press, a place to generate hype, a meetingplace for all kinds of crosspolination (although one can argue that GDC fulfills the latter). And of course the rush of gaming news...I'll miss that, even though it was becoming a bit much, really...spacing out product announcements (and thus saving every dev the E3 deathmarch) isn't such a bad thing.

But in the end I agree with Some Dude...if some of the crazyness that is E3 remained (GODGames et al ).

 
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