Since the scaling down of E3 and the disappearance of the booth babes, the appeal of the event has waned.
E3 2008 has finally come to a close, but all is not good apparently as several major publishers have voiced concerns about the worth of the show and whether or not they will continue to be part of it in the future.
EA's CEO John Riccitiello was perhaps the most blunt of all who said that he flat-out hated E3 in it's new scaled-down incarnation during an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle
"I hate E3 like this,
" said Riccitiello. "Either we need to go back to the old E3, or we'll have to have our own private events.
These opinions were then mirrored by Ubisoft as well, where the publisher's American president said that the show was totally terrible and is now similar to a pipe-fitters show in a basement.
E3 used to be the most important event on the games calendar, but has been scaled down in recent years to become a press only event. However, with publishers now keen to show products on their own terms and time-tables and without competitions, E3 has largely become redundant for many. EA for one already hosts several events around the year - in fact, we're heading out to see the latest build of Red Alert 3
tomorrow - while Ubisoft hosts a larger single showcase in France every year.
"It's one milestone in the communication of your products throughout the year, and it's important because it's the ramp-up for Christmas,
" said Ubisoft's Alain Corre in an interview
with GI.biz. "But E3 here, mid-July, in the Convention Center in downtown LA - it's not appropriate I would say.
Even Nintendo has been critical it seems, with Shigeru Miyamoto stating that the event is no longer the place to showcase titles for the dedicated gaming enthusiast.
The attendance figures are especially damning though. At it's peak, E3 played host to over 60,000 attendees, whereas the event is now limited to just 5000 professional journalists. This year's keynote speaker Governor Rick Perry delivered his opening speech to less than 20 people. What does that tell you? Let us know in the forums