E3 looking empty this year?

Written by Joe Martin

May 5, 2008 // 11:40 a.m.

Tags: #2008hollenshead #activision #e3 #esa #expo #games #id #show

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.
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