Fear and (Self) Loathing at E3

Video game execs apparently hated this week’s E3 .

They shouldn’t feel bad. Everyone else hated it too.

I’ll have more to say about that, but for now, digest these quotes from today’s San Francisco Chronicle:

John Riccitiello, CEO of Electronic Arts:

I hate E3 like this. Either we need to go back to the old E3, or we’ll have to have our own private events.

Laurent Detoc, president of Ubisoft North America:

E3 this year is terrible. The world used to come to E3. Now it’s like a pipe-fitters show in the basement.


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  1. oto kirlama says:

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  2. Darkrdier says:

    I was watching some of E3 on Gamespot while they were on the floor and I must say that it looked like a barren wasteland.  Their were maybe a hundred people and it really didn’t feel like it used to.  Its like an abandoned video arcade instead of the biggest event in gaming.  Either E3 gets back to its roots or some one else makes something better.

  3. lumi says:

    Okay, I’m sure this was just me, but as my eyes were scanning the end of the article, I could have sworn for a moment that one of the tags on this article was "jumped the shark".  I did a double-take and saw that it was nothing of the sort, but how appropriate would that have been? =P

  4. Hessen says:

    So, would it be fair to say that Games Convention (Leipzig and Asia) is the new E3? They could make a GC in the US. One for Asia, America, and Europe.

  5. Tubatic ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    My Memory’s fuzzy.  Wasn’t EA one of the first to want a smaller, more intimate E3?

  6. Cecil475 says:

    I didn’t even look at the E3 event they showed on G4 except for that small bit on the Thompson parody, and looking @ Dennis via Twitter (You gotta tell me more about the new Geometry Wars! XD ))

    I tell you, maybe if they could bring some of the old splender of it back, like a few here have mentioned,  and let EVERYONE come It might be better. Look, All you have you do is charge the them a small fee to enter. Maybe as an example $30/day for the four days $120 total if they decide to come back to see it the rest of the week. You let the gaming press and whoever you normally let in for free or however much it cost them to get in. (I admit that I don’t know if there was normally an entrance fee.) There..It can be the old E3 again or close to it making it if not all the normal regulars happy. It will let more people see it, which will make them happy, and Becuase those people are paying to get in, it will put more money into the ESA’s wallet which, should make them happy.

    A win-win situation, unless I’ve missed something….and I might have.


     – Warren Lewis



    R.i.P GamePolitics 2005-2016

  7. Rosco says:

    Which company was it that always had the wild parties and expos just outside of E3 every year?

  8. Karsten Aaen ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Your memory is not fuzzy. EA wanted to have a smaller more intimat event that actually excluded the publlic at large sin all the public cared about ever was to drink, eat, and be photographed with the booth babes… However, that was when the other guy (not john r) was CEO of EA…

    Before they changed the E3 event, E3 actually had become more of a spectacle than a show about the games. I wasn’t there, so I can’t tell what’s wrong with it, but adding a little splendour and glamour sounds juts about right. As always, imho…






  9. ecco6t9 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    There was something magical about using the school computers during E3 02-04 and seeing all this great new flooding in every 10 mins or so.

    Now a ****** logo for a GTA game is considered big news.

    I say give me the old E3 or watch the death of the industry caused by Nintendo making a Wii Everything game,Sony being 2 years behind Microsoft on Media Downloads,Microsoft ripping off everything that Nintendo and Sony does, and finally no real price drops on video game hardware just a new ****** SKU called the Playstation 3 96GB and the Xbox 360 Elite Ultimate Edition.

  10. Asmodai ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The booth babes were just the first symptom of "teh suck" setting in.

    Seriously, if the biggest problem you have is people complaining about scantily clad young women strutting your product (ie. advertising), you really don’t have a problem.

    This is a classic example of "if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it".  They fucked around with something that was working fine and now it’s a joke.

  11. Zero Beat ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    But don’t you think it strange that the year they banned the booth babes was the same year that it started to suck?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Well the thing is it wasn’t just fine. E3 as it was had become WAY too large, and were maxing out the crowds that they could get through there. It was an intensly stressful time for everyone involved.

    However it looks like they scaled back far too much, and now nobody likes it. 🙁

  13. Lost Question ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    trying to cut e3 in half seperating the buisness and the public seems to have broken the entire event.

  14. DeusPayne ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    So…. if the consumers don’t like the new E3, and journalists don’t like the new E3, and now game execs don’t like the new E3. Oops… looks like the ESA has run out of crowds to say they are catering to. They’re so boned.

  15. JustChris says:

    Whether you think booth babes are pointless or not, they were a good indication of how "out there" the event used to be. The industry’s environment is a casual one, and the biggest event representing it should reflect that.

  16. Fallenone says:

    I don’t know if they did or not, but it’s always seemed to be for game journalist and the like. I remember always wanting to go. Nope, not a game journalist. Nope, don’t work at a game store. Blah. Let consumers go. That is why PAX and Blizzcon is nice.

  17. chadachada(123) says:

    I thought they used to sell tickets, back in the good ‘ol days

    Also, the captcha I have to type in has "E3" at the end of it, just saying

  18. Anonymous says:

    Well put.  PAX is not only a terrific spectacle without going over the top in crassness, it’s the show the customers want.  E3 doesn’t need to find a replacement, it just needs to acknowledge that it already has been replaced.

    You want an industry trade show where the executives hobnob with each other, go schedule a retreat in Aspen or something.  You want to show off your company to the market, go to PAX.

  19. Ghost Coins says:

    A humble recommendation to those execs looking to get the size of the old E3’s back without all the financial hub-bub of having to make a $6 million booth.  Go to PAX.  Talk to the gentlemen over at Penny Arcade and see if you can sqeeze your announcements in before the Omegathon or other key events.

    You want to rub shoulders with the masses, meet your consumer constituents, and unveil to the salivating masses the keen secret you have been hiding away fro the past few months, do it there.  I heard mild cheering and clapping from the announcement of FF XIII coming to the xbox 360.  I can gurantee that if you had done that at PAX, there would have been a cheer that left the speaker’s ears ringing for hours on end.

    They can’t make a show big enough to satifsy their egos and fit their budgets, so go to a show that is big enough to satifsfy their egos, and will cost them a scant bit less.


    To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; credible we must be truthful. Edward R. Murrow

  20. Wyvern says:

    Wait, you mean they don’t?! Jesus, I remember thinking "Why are they scaleing it down? They must make a killing in tickets alone". You’re right, frigging sell tickets.

  21. Black Lab says:

    Why’d they have to go and knock on plumbers and pipe-fitters like that?

    At least at plumbing trade shows they still hand out lots of free stuff.

  22. Salen says:

    Yeah, can’t say I was overly impressed this year either. Maybe it doesn’t help that they only open E3 up to select groups instead of letting the gamers who help drive this economic bus join in or something. Oh well. Hopefully E3 will get this stuff squared out… or die. At this point, either seems like a good and viable option for them.

  23. Krono says:

    The problem wasn’t that they banned booth babes, it was that they banned everything else along with booth babes.


  24. mq says:

    Oh, spare me. If the only thing making E3 great was its booth babes then it didn’t exactly have a lot worth having to start with, did it?

  25. jds says:

    And it all started when they banned booth babes. Ban the babes and the show goes to shit.


    . . Wisdom begins in wonder. – Socrates . .

  26. Azhrarn says:


    "We just need to decide where the dial needs to go," Gallagher said.

    How about to eight or nine? It seems that nobody liked the newer smaller E3, but the huge and costly E3 couldn’t be justified financially, find a happy medium and let the gamers of the world once again enjoy the show all the developers put on. Sure, keep it a little smaller to not force everyone to have killer budgets, but bring some of that old splendor back. It will only do good in the long run.

  27. Kris says:

    Private events doesn’t seem like a bad idea, considering how thing went down this year.  It would probably be cheaper, too.  Then they can talk about games for 13-year girls (I’m looking at you, Ubisoft) on their own turf.  I saw someone mention that it needs to be earlier in the year (as it used to be), which can be good and bad.  We already knew about most of the games this year; there weren’t many surprises honestly.  Though it’s still good to see so much footage and many demos, which is something that would suffer by going back to an earlier date. 

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