With E3 press conferences getting into full swing this morning, Alex Pham of the Los Angeles Times examines what has become of the once-huge video game extravanganza
Swinging from circus romp to buttoned-down boring, the annual video game confab known as E3 kicks off today in downtown Los Angeles like an overgrown teenager grappling with an identity crisis and longing for the world to take it seriously.
Now in its 14th year, an undercurrent of factionalism has cast a shadow over what should be the $40-billion industry’s biggest event…
Pham spoke with Disney Interactive exec Graham Hopper, an ESA board member who expressed concern about defections by several game publishers, including Activision:
It’s more important than ever for the industry to be able to speak with a clear voice on those [political and regulatory] issues… The game industry is emerging as an important cultural voice in the entertainment world…
Spike TV’s Geoff Keighley expressed concerns of his own:
E3 used to be such a spectacle. As much as everyone groaned about it, everyone still saw it as a national stage for the industry… I don’t think people are convinced the ESA is doing as good of a job as it can be… [The Fox News attack on Mass Effect] was the perfect opportunity for the ESA to step up, and they were nowhere to be found.
Meanwhile, Cnet’s Daniel Terdiman takes his own look at the 2008 E3. ESA VP Rich Taylor told Terdiman:
We’ll know the result… as we get throughout the week. But all indications are, from early feedback and the way things are teed up, that folks are looking forward to a very successful and positive week… Hardware sucks the oxygen out of the room very easily [at E3]. In non-console-launch years, the software becomes the focus (and) we get to see so much of the creativity coming from game developers and game designers.
G4TV host Adam Sessler was enthusiastic:
We’re going crazy over E3. This is definitely the biggest [E3] in terms of the amount of games you can see… So we’re having 35 live demos on our stage.