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E3 looking empty this year?

E3 looking empty this year?

Publishers and developers like Activision and id Software are pulling out of E3 2008.

The Electronic Entertainment Expo, otherwise known as E3, used to be the single biggest event on the games calendar until about two years ago when the show organisers mercy-killed a large part of the show. Recognising that the event, which was open to the public, was growing beyond their ability to control they scaled it down to a press-only event.

Unfortunately, the mixed reactions that met the first new E3 are still doing the rounds and a number of large publishers and developers have announced they have no plans to attend the show this year.

Since the new E3 is invite-only for journalists, the general vibe seems to be that publishers and developers could be just as well served by hosting their own shows entirely (see Ubidays) or simply dealing with the journalists individually.

So far, a number of big names have announced they will either not be attending the show or that they are currently undecided. This includes NCSoft, that claims the event doesn't sync with any releases this year, and Atlus, that told Joystiq the event didn't do much for them financially.

More worryingly, Vivendi Activision has decided not to attend also and has gone so far as to split from the ESA group altogether - which Kotaku puts possibly at the feet of ESA president Mike Gallagher under claims of mis-management.

More recently, id Software has been in the spotlight though and Joystiq is reporting that the hugely-influential developer may yet pull out of the show too.

So, does the industry really need a show like E3 at all, or have we grown past that with events like TGS in Leipzig? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

21 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
DriftCarl 5th May 2008, 12:55 Quote
Shame really, I use to look forward to that every year. I wont be on the edge of my seat this year waiting for "news" to come out of the show.
bowman 5th May 2008, 12:57 Quote
E3 died when they executed it a long time ago. I don't think I've ever even noticed E3 news since then.
freedom810 5th May 2008, 15:39 Quote
Oh well theres lots of other events throughout the year. Liepzeg??
DXR_13KE 5th May 2008, 15:40 Quote
and it was one of the events i had planed to go before i died..... shame....
HourBeforeDawn 5th May 2008, 17:20 Quote
ya E3 has been going down hill for a while now, I dont even think about it anymore, in fact until you mentioned it, I forgot that it was even coming up lol.
Arkanrais 5th May 2008, 17:21 Quote
"Vivendi Activision"
I thought they were called "Activision Blizzard"...?
Deadwolf 5th May 2008, 17:57 Quote
e3 is kinda waste of time these days any way since most companies are stalked by press everyday about gaming news. e3 was more of a circus o'lay for spectators, being able to get a taste of things to come, only to be let down with production delays and company shortfalls.. leading to a total disapiontment from gaming fans...
supermonkey 5th May 2008, 18:09 Quote
I was talking about gadget shows and conventions with a co-worker the other day. I mentioned that the National Association of Broadcaster convention felt a little scaled down this year compared to last year's event. He thinks conventions in general are on the way out. In his opinion, now that we're fully embedded in the internet age, the days of consumers flocking to large arenas to gather information about products is coming to a close.

I think he may be partially correct. Pretty much every company will pass out a simple flyer or CD to redirect folks to the company's website "for more information."

Add that to ever-expanding tech journalism, net conferencing, and the ease of e-mail, and it almost seems silly to spend a bunch of money to go on a junket attend a large convention.

-monkey
CardJoe 5th May 2008, 18:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arkanrais
"Vivendi Activision"
I thought they were called "Activision Blizzard"...?

They don't have an official name I don't think. I've heard PRs describe themselves as working for both, plus Blizzivivison and variations thereof.
Quote:
Originally Posted by supermonkey
I was talking about gadget shows and conventions with a co-worker the other day. I mentioned that the National Association of Broadcaster convention felt a little scaled down this year compared to last year's event. He thinks conventions in general are on the way out. In his opinion, now that we're fully embedded in the internet age, the days of consumers flocking to large arenas to gather information about products is coming to a close.

I think he may be partially correct. Pretty much every company will pass out a simple flyer or CD to redirect folks to the company's website "for more information."

Add that to ever-expanding tech journalism, net conferencing, and the ease of e-mail, and it almost seems silly to spend a bunch of money to go on a junket attend a large convention.

-monkey

I think that's a bit of an over-simplification. Members of the public still want to go and play all the newest games at E3, grab all the swag and see all the babes etc - the only thing which has changed is the event. The event is now for trade only so, rather than rushing a potentially buggy product out to demo to some journalists and risking bad PR and getting lost in the deluge of news, it now just makes more sense for publishers to control it themselves and invite journalists to their offices throughout the year when they want and can have a controlled environment.

The fact that Leipzig is now so big it needs a new venue definitely proves that there is still a huge interest in games conventions for the public.
unrealhippie 5th May 2008, 18:26 Quote
Bummer :(
pendragon 5th May 2008, 19:11 Quote
that's too bad.. I miss the days of the free-for-all spectacle of E3 back in the day .. ho hum :-/
devdevil85 5th May 2008, 19:14 Quote
so......Leipzig = the new E3?
Quote:
Originally Posted by unrealhippie
Bummer :(
This saddens me as well because I always looked forward to an event where ALL companies/developers joined together in one place and showed off what they had coming up even if all they had were games/apps/etc. that were still years off and not seen as final product. Now that that was fun, but now what is there to look forward to Joe? I'm dying here....
TreeDude 5th May 2008, 20:37 Quote
I miss the good old days. Gaming has changed so much in the last 10 years. I wish I had a Delorean....
devdevil85 5th May 2008, 20:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by TreeDude
I wish I had a Delorean....
Me too, just so I could go back to the year 1995 and have a reason to fly to L.A. and see those scantily-plad booth babes! (I heard they've really stifled down the skin showing.... :'()

"The first E3 was put on by the Interactive Digital Software Association (now the Entertainment Software Association). It coincided with the start of a new generation of consoles, with the release of the Sega Saturn, and the announcements of upcoming releases of the PlayStation, Virtual Boy and SNK's Neo*Geo CD. Specifications for the Nintendo Ultra 64 (later renamed Nintendo 64) were released, but there was no hardware shown."

Good times.....
TreeDude 5th May 2008, 21:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by devdevil85
Quote:
Originally Posted by TreeDude
I wish I had a Delorean....
Me too, just so I could go back to the year 1995 and have a reason to fly to L.A. and see those scantily-plad booth babes! (I heard they've really stifled down the skin showing.... :'()

"The first E3 was put on by the Interactive Digital Software Association (now the Entertainment Software Association). It coincided with the start of a new generation of consoles, with the release of the Sega Saturn, and the announcements of upcoming releases of the PlayStation, Virtual Boy and SNK's Neo*Geo CD. Specifications for the Nintendo Ultra 64 (later renamed Nintendo 64) were released, but there was no hardware shown."

Good times.....

My sweet spot would be 1999. The release of the Sega Dreamcast. *sigh* Time goes by way too quick.
supermonkey 5th May 2008, 22:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
I think that's a bit of an over-simplification. Members of the public still want to go and play all the newest games at E3, grab all the swag and see all the babes etc - the only thing which has changed is the event. The event is now for trade only so, rather than rushing a potentially buggy product out to demo to some journalists and risking bad PR and getting lost in the deluge of news, it now just makes more sense for publishers to control it themselves and invite journalists to their offices throughout the year when they want and can have a controlled environment.

The fact that Leipzig is now so big it needs a new venue definitely proves that there is still a huge interest in games conventions for the public.
Perhaps that's true. Though, I have to wonder how many people in the general public can continue to afford to go to these kinds of events, even if only to play games and get swag. Maybe it is an oversimplification to say that conventions in general are on the way out, but I think there's at least a nugget of truth in the decline of the mega conventions of the past. I really think this is true when it comes to the trade shows, more so than the "general public" kind of thing.

-monkey
CardJoe 5th May 2008, 23:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by supermonkey
Perhaps that's true. Though, I have to wonder how many people in the general public can continue to afford to go to these kinds of events, even if only to play games and get swag. Maybe it is an oversimplification to say that conventions in general are on the way out, but I think there's at least a nugget of truth in the decline of the mega conventions of the past. I really think this is true when it comes to the trade shows, more so than the "general public" kind of thing.

-monkey

There's always a hardcore appeal in any market - just look at the people who boggle me every year by paying through the nose to go to sporting events and world cups.
woodshop 6th May 2008, 09:27 Quote
TBH.. I say all the groups get together, make a web site, and post all there news in the form of happy 720p torrents..
completemadness 6th May 2008, 16:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by woodshop
TBH.. I say all the groups get together, make a web site, and post all there news in the form of happy 720p torrents..
dont be silly, that would be cheap and please many more people
devdevil85 6th May 2008, 18:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by completemadness
Quote:
Originally Posted by woodshop
TBH.. I say all the groups get together, make a web site, and post all there news in the form of happy 720p torrents..
dont be silly, that would be cheap and please many more people
yeah that would be madness! Utter madness!
Xir 7th May 2008, 09:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
The fact that Leipzig is now so big it needs a new venue definitely proves that there is still a huge interest in games conventions for the public.

A bit OT... Leipzig doesn't "need" a bigger venue...a bigger convention organizer convinced* the main (german) gaming industry collective that Leipzig (as a city) was too small to hold something as important as this... and organizes a new event in cologne (in 2009).

Leipzig still holds the rights to the GC...but it remains to be seen if they stage one without their most important partner.

So the 2008 GC (in Leipzig) will probably be the last.

Think of it as a business aquisition, some company (Leipzig Messe) has a successfull product (Games Convention), something the other, bigger "Messe" companies never bothered to develop. So Cologne Messe lures away the main exhibitor and presto, the new show is on the way and the old one hopefully killed.

Just ranting because now i'd have to drive 500km to the show instead of 70. :(

Xir

*bought out...charmed...bribed...
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