I originally planned this piece to discuss the things that would be coming out of E3 and in reality that got boring quick. If you want to know that kind of stuff I recommend checking out some of the bigger gaming news sites. Thinking about E3 did bring about a thought that I felt I could write about.
Do we still need E3?
E3 has become this giant spectacle. A monster that has evolved from the simple form that it took back in the 90’s to a giant atomic monster that you cannot help but gawk at, marching through LA on its 4 day long journey. But the question remains; is this a monster of natural evolution? Do we even need it to remain as we have it now?
Is E3 something that should still exist? Yes. Should it still be the same giant that it is now? Well….no.
Where we were.
When E3 originally began it was just a way for companies to come together and show off potential game titles and help drum up interest and buzz around potential games that would be coming later on. It was industry only and it was smaller. Devs could speak to publishers and journalists in order to get the word out. The public as a whole didn’t have much access to what actually came out of E3. Journalists who were in attendance would take pictures and have interviews that would end up printed in their game magazines for the public consumption.
The internet helped change the situation for E3 and all the parties involved. The internet grew and grew and journalists had to adapt and grow to address the change of immediate demand for information. Gone are the times when the public had to wait a month for the special edition of game magazines covering the E3 event. Now we are kept in the loop by the minute as something is announced and presented to the world. This change would have a dramatic effect on the show itself to make it something huge.
Where things are.
Companies came to E3 baring their games in hopes of just having someone looking at them and have the journalists present them to the public in the best light possible. When the public got a look closer inside the event, companies realized they had a better opportunity to reach out to the consumers and engage them directly. As this occurred more and more, everyone came to the same thought that they need to go bigger and bigger. They need to compete and out do everyone else at the show.Everything became more about the spectacle of the event and then the actual games.
The event became open to more and more of the viewers eye. More money was being spent on the actual event and the booths that occupied the L.A. Convention center. The beast that it has become is monstrously different than what was originally intended and in this crowded market this evolution may have not been the correct one. But no one is to blame other than the consumer and their constant craving for what’s next.
What should happen next?
Does E3 continue on its path or does it need to evolve again? Should such an event keep getting such pressing attention? these are some simple questions that should be looked at as we head into this year’s E3. The fact that so much attention is placed on one event seems so difficult in today’s market. More so when you realize the fact that there are so many more events that deal with similar subject matter.
Today, companies recognize so many other events as opportunities to get their product closer to the public. it doesn’t make much sense for anyone to just place all their eggs in the single E3 basket when you have things like GamesCom The Escapist Expo, the Comic Con events and all of the PAX’s. People are seeing new opportunities to actually present their items somewhere and actually have the consumer front and center.
Facing these mounting changes E3 needs to adjust with them. Something needs to give eventually and force E3 to evolve again or just die. There lies an opportunity for change and growth, or in this case shrinkage. E3 has an opportunity to be about something smaller and go back to being industry only. Stop inviting all these celebs and people that shouldn’t be there. Invite those people that actually matter and keep out the people that are just there for the show.
We can never go back to the days of old and print. But we can adjust this so that its back to the things that matter. We have more than enough events currently though the year that we do not actually have to sit and wait for a single event to parade our new games out. Time needs to be taken and thought given to how move this forward. For if we fail to recognize the need for change it is possible that we will lose a institution that we all take for granted.