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UPDATE: E3's Role to be Diminished? Boo-hiss!

Filed under: E3
Posted by Jeremy on July 31, 2006 9:16 AM
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Many sources are reporting that the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), the annual industry event held in L.A., is dead as we know it. No longer are thousands of "game industry" types going to be allowed to browse amongst the latest offerings. Instead, the event will be downsized and will welcome only a select group of retailers and journalists for a more honed and directed show. The major reason for this is that there is some belt-tightening going on at the major publishers, most notably EA. Many have complained about the cost-to-benefit ratio of staffing, travel, displaying, making demos, competing for attention, etc.

UPDATE: The ESA has made their announcement. E3 will now be a, "more intimate event focused on targeted, personalized meetings and activities." Continue Reading....for the full press release.

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Personally, I think it's a bunch of whiny-ass-titty-babies crying and complaining because they're not making any money right now. We are in the black hole of the console cycle. Not only are there not any games out there right now that are selling (save for Nintendo), but publishers are spending an arm and a leg getting ready games for the next-gen consoles. Taking all of that into account, it's no wonder publishers want a less costly E3.

However, it doesn't serve the gaming public well. How excited do we all get around E3? It's like Christmas and your birthday rolled up into one event. During the event gaming sites go crazy, videogame-dom is highlighted on CNN for a couple of days, and everybody is talking about the next great thing.

What if all of that excitement is taken away? Who will be the grinch? I blame EA. It's not time to get cheap. Let the fans of video games revel in your large displays and hyperbolic rhetoric. Let streaming video of E3 events get me so excited I have to pee every 15 minutes. Let me have my E3 as I know and love it.

An announcement for the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the folks who run E3, is due out sometime today. I'll update this story when that happens.


Entertainment Software Association Announces Evolution of E3Expo for 2007


Washington, DC (July 31, 2006) – To better address the needs of today’s global computer and video game industry, the 2007 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3Expo) is evolving into a more intimate event focused on targeted, personalized meetings and activities, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced today.

“The world of interactive entertainment has changed since E3Expo was created 12 years ago. At that time we were focused on establishing the industry and securing orders for the holiday season,” said Douglas Lowenstein, President of the ESA, the trade association representing U.S. computer and video game publishers and the owner of E3Expo. “Over the years, it has become clear that we need a more intimate program, including higher quality, more personal dialogue with the worldwide media, developers, retailers and other key industry audiences.”

The new E3Expo will take shape over the next several months. As currently envisioned, it will still take place in Los Angeles, described by ESA as a “great and supportive partner helping to build E3.” It will focus on press events and small meetings with media, retail, development, and other key sectors. While there will be opportunities for game demonstrations, E3Expo 2007 will not feature the large trade show environment of previous years.

“E3Expo remains an important event for the industry and we want to keep that sense of excitement and interest, ensuring that the human and financial resources crucial to its success can be deployed productively to create an exciting new format to meet the needs of the industry. The new event ensures that there will be an effective and more efficient way for companies to get information to media, consumers, and others,” said Lowenstein.

Additionally, the evolution of the video game industry into a vibrant and expanding global market has led to the creation of major events in different regions, such as the Games Convention in Leipzig, the Tokyo Game Show, and company-specific events held by Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, and others around the world. As a result, Lowenstein said, “It is no longer necessary or efficient to have a single industry ‘mega-show’. By refocusing on a highly-targeted event, we think we can do a better job serving our members and the industry as a whole, and our members are energized about creating this new E3.”

Additional details about the new E3Expo event will be forthcoming in the next few months.

The ESA is the U.S. association dedicated to serving the business and public affairs needs of the companies publishing interactive games for video game consoles, handheld devices, personal computers, and the Internet. ESA members collectively account for more than 90 percent of the $7 billion in entertainment software sales in the U.S. in 2005, and billions more in export sales of entertainment software. For more information about the ESA, please visit www.theESA.com.

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