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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Re: Just another sign?
Aug 4, 2006, 21:25
42.
Re: Just another sign? Aug 4, 2006, 21:25
Aug 4, 2006, 21:25
 
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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