On Saturday I wrote in my Joystiq column that E3 is dead.
This is my strongly-formed impression based on the sorry state of last week’s show at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Calling the LACC "quiet as a college library during summer," Wedbush-Morgan analyst Michael Pachter raises similar concerns.
Pachter recaps the show in a note issued this morning:
The show was small in scope, and the spectacle of E3 is dead. The Los Angeles Convention Center concourse was as quiet as a college library during summer, with little to attract media attention. The main game display area was similar in size to a school cafeteria (as compared to filling the entire convention center)…
E3 is headed for extinction, unless the publishers and console manufacturers wake up to the fact that nobody cares about the show anymore… [the] show is ill-timed, coming after most major holiday announcements are out, and landing during [SEC-mandated] “quiet period” for most of the companies… The lack of a spectacle will likely keep media away in the future, the lack of surprises will keep retailers away, and the lack of interaction with management will likely keep investors away…
We strongly believe that E3 should be held no later than early June (when companies can meet with investors and when some “secrets” have yet to be revealed), and believe that the spectacle should be restored by increasing the size of the show space.
Pachter goes on to say that game publishers made a mistake by insisting on a smaller show in order to save money:
This is the second year of the new, slimmed-down E3 format demanded by the Entertainment Software
Association’s membership in order to control the significant costs incurred for prior E3 events. We believe that the smaller scale is a mistake, and believe that the media attention attracted by prior shows had far greater value than most of the ESA’s members appreciated.