More on Disappointing E3 from Ars Technica, MacWorld

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.


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