More on Disappointing E3 from Ars Technica, MacWorld

July 23, 2008 -

Media reaction to 2008's disappointing E3 continues...

Calling this year's show a "complete dud," Ben Kuchera of Ars Technica weighs in with his own four-point program for reviving the once-great expo:

  • Take pride in outward appearances... A few banners for big-name games, some creativity in the meeting rooms... these things would go a long way towards getting people excited about the show.
  • The keynote should be given by someone we want to hear from... Texas Governor Rick Perry delivered this year's keynote, and it sounded more like a commercial for Texas than analysis into the industry... Give us someone who actually makes games, who can speak to why we love this business... How can a show that is completely filled with interesting games and fascinating people have a keynote so stupefyingly boring?

  • If you have a press conference, make it worth going to... Sitting through a press conference, in most cases, is a waste of time that you could spend getting more hands-on experience or talking to people. It's easier and quicker to skip the meeting, grab the press materials, and be done with it.

  • Find a new, better venue. Hint: it doesn't have to be in LA...  Why not move it? ...From a social, technological, and even convenience standpoint, Vegas has it all over the Los Angeles convention center.

In his critique of E3, Peter Cohen of MacWorld focuses on game publishers, the ESA and its president, Michael Gallagher:

Last week the E3 [expo]... took place, but you probably wouldn't have known it unless you're in the video game business... the event came up short... and the shortcomings weren't missed or overlooked by gaming executives... They miss the spectacle of the old show... They miss the grandeur, the attention the world paid. In short, they miss some of the same things that, two years ago, they were complaining about.

 

The ESA [which runs E3] has had a tough year. The organization, which represents the video game industry on Capitol Hill... has lost several high-profile members... Some attribute the defections to a change in leadership... Doug Lowenstein, the organization's founder and former president, stepped down in 2007... [and] was replaced by Michael Gallagher, a refugee from the telecom industry who maintains a much lower profile than Lowenstein ever did...

 

There's certainly a place for a major gaming event in North America... One thing is for sure--the way [the game industry is] doing it just isn't working for anyone, not the industry, not the public, not the press.

 


Comments

Re: More on Disappointing E3 from Ars Technica, MacWorld

I say...

BRING BACK THE OLD E3!!!!

There was nothing better than the 2006 E3.

We can do more with more showmanship and highlighting the new games (both core and casual) and everyone has some fun.

I miss the old E3 because I used to read about it in magazines of past years and really wanted to one day see it while it was big back in those days.

Not sure if I want to these days because of it being a Business Sumit.

The people at ECA have forgotten what Videogames are all about, fun and enjoyment and that is what the E3 used to be.

Re: More on Disappointing E3 from Ars Technica, MacWorld

You mean the ESA right?

Re: More on Disappointing E3 from Ars Technica, MacWorld

Move it to Houston or Dallas. Both are fairly common host cities, and both have anime conventions, so why not?

Re: More on Disappointing E3 from Ars Technica, MacWorld

Any city with a a large airport and a massive convention center would work actually.

Re: More on Disappointing E3 from Ars Technica, MacWorld

Honestly, ifi t got moved to Vega, I think certain opportunists would use that to tarnish the industry's image further.

Re: More on Disappointing E3 from Ars Technica, MacWorld

Grass is always greener, I'm afraid.

Thing is, companies got annoyed at the fact that E3 was turned into a 'show', the booth babes etc were, to be honest, getting a bit ridiculous, however, the solution wasn't to turn it into a drudge for those involved. The companies want to feel professional, but this is the entertainment industry, it should be... well... entertaining.

The new E3 was, I think, designed to show the Video Game industry as serious, forward thinking establishments, but it should be held in mind that most coders work for lower wages than they really deserve and to worse time scheduling than jobs that are considered far higher pressure, it is because they love what they do, companies rely on the fact that game designers and coders get excited about their product, it's a good percent of their profit margin.

So the new version of E3 presents a Dichotomy, an industry that tries to present itself as fun and easygoing to it's consumers and potential employees is suddenly placed in this serious, stifling environment, and it is, quite simply, not how they are used to, or even really want to present their newest little gem.

Re: More on Disappointing E3 from Ars Technica, MacWorld

Hey, why not move it to Texas. Mike seems to be real good buddies with the Gov there so they could probably work a deal. In fact why not move the whole ESA's base of operations to Texas. Take the lead ESA. If you want Texas to be the next video game hot spot, you should lead by example.

E. Zachary Knight
http://www.editorialgames.com
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091

Re: More on Disappointing E3 from Ars Technica, MacWorld

Find a new, better venue. Hint: it doesn't have to be in LA...  Why not move it? ...From a social, technological, and even convenience standpoint, Vegas has it all over the Los Angeles convention center.

Technically they just tried that and didn't think it worked. Though from a practical standpoint they didn't put much thought into the last move and made about a dozen other poorly thought out changes at the same time.

The first question is "Did they sign another multi-year contract it'll take millions to break?" If the answer is no, then the next question is "What other good locations have nice convention centers?" Since clearly the driving force behind moving back to LA was a dislike of the lack of centralization.

-Gray17

Re: More on Disappointing E3 from Ars Technica, MacWorld

I really hope they don't put it in Vegas.

Then again, I'm the only person I know who doesn't like Vegas.

Re: More on Disappointing E3 from Ars Technica, MacWorld

I doubt you're alone in your dislike.
There's nothing wrong with Vegas as such in my opinion, and plenty of people like it, but I always feel that it almost seems to try to hard. Being bright and shiny and loud as an end in itself rather than a means to promote the entertainment Vegas is famous for. Everything there seems so over the top, almost to the point of being ridiculous. Personally I wouldn't choose that as a location for something like the E3, but can't deny the presence of everything a big show like E3 needs over there.

Re: More on Disappointing E3 from Ars Technica, MacWorld

I don't like it because I don't like people trying to put advertisments for hookers into my hands. I hated having to walk to other hotels.

 
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