ECA’s Hal Halpin Offers Historical Perspective on E3

The ranks of those who have weighed in on last week’s disappointing E3 is both long and distinguished.

Add Entertainment Consumers Association president Hal Halpin to the list, but with a unique twist.

In his analysis of the show for GameDaily, Hal reveals much of the backstory as to the origins of E3:

[E3] was conceived as a standalone show… as [the game biz] matured back in the early nineties. Game publishers were members of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and showed their wares at…  (CES) – a gargantuan event, which is still held in the Las Vegas Convention Center…. As the sector grew and the confines of the LVCC did not… Game publishers complained to each other about their second-class treatment and talked of their own show.

 

…the publishers approached the CES staff and CEA about a CEA-owned and run dedicated gaming event. The CEA board passed, likely thinking that the up-and-coming business was a fad [and] led the disenfranchised games folks to launch the Interactive Digital Software Association (IDSA), the predecessor of the ESA… the brand new trade association… created a joint venture with IDG, the publishers of GamePro magazine and a formidable event marketing and publishing business… E3 was born.

There’s more history in the GD article. If that kind of thing interests you, check it out. Going forward, Hal believes E3 will surive and suggests a less cavernous venue than the LACC as well as offering public admission during the show’s final days, as per the Tokyo Games Show:

…the fate of E3 is far from set in stone… I’d have to respectfully disagree that the show is either the raving success that one outlet described or that it is dead, as many have stated. E3 is standing upon the precipice. There are no easy decisions here…

Full Disclosure Dept: The ECA is the parent company of GamePolitics

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