Dinosaur E3 faces its Ice Age: why ESA must act now

Friday, 8th June 2012 10:26 GMT By Patrick Garratt

If ESA doesn’t quickly reinvent the E3 format we will see the show die, says Patrick Garratt. E3 2012 represented a transition from “losing relevance” to “meaningless,” and the entire industry is losing patience.

As the big-name component consolidates, the freeze deepens. E3 is a dinosaur facing the Ice Age. It represents an old marketing model draped with booth babes, a consumer show parading as trade for the good of no one.

It’s hardly a secret that E3 2012 was terrible. This year we saw all the warning bell characteristics from 2011 accelerated to a DEFCON level of awareness, with, as predicted, a small group of triple-A products fighting for eyeballs while the “something else” section of the show continued its inexorable fade to nothing. As a result, there was even less variety on display for the next 12 months, and the games making their gen-end play were so risk-averse as to blur into one.

E3 has lost relevance to the overall market to such a degree that it’s hard to believe it can survive in its current form.

The week wasn’t helped by the fact that Nintendo blew its opportunity to show Wii U is a safe bet. The firm tried to launch its next generation console to the world with Pikmin 3, a Batman game everyone’s already played, a zombie shooter, another Mario, another Wii Fit and a virtual theme park. Unsurprisingly, many weren’t so much unconvinced as openly hostile. Wii U will launch in less than six months. This was the final pitch to the west. If Reggie and friends are aiming at the “hardest of the core,” they’re about to be in for a terrible shock.

But at least the Wii U games contained the innovation of the second screen. For the most part the titles we saw in the core conferences were barely distinguishable. The triple-A market is being squeezed through the eye of a creative needle to the point where projects are apparently unreasonable if they don’t feature a terrifying level of violence; people shouting “fuck”; a cover mechanic; characters being barraged with buckshot from behind some bullet-proof table; and a person being shot in the face at pointblank range. Tomb Raider, The Last of Us, Splinter Cell, Gears of War, Star Wars 1313, Watch Dogs and Dead Space are all highly-polished variations on exactly the same theme. Despite being dressed in various aesthetics, they’re the same game.

This, though, isn’t E3′s problem. There’s a large market for these games (VG247 aims at it) and that’s why they exist. The main reason E3 was such a crushing disappointment this year wasn’t because triple-A is samey; it was because the show itself became even more irrelevant to the wider games industry than last year. E3 is a failed show format that excludes a huge part of the games trade. Yes, of course E3 should be home to triple-A, but it must also cater to casual, and browser, and mobile, and indie. It has to have a PC hall. It has to be a consumer show with a business section, like gamescom, which is relevant to the public, the trade and the media. E3 means nothing to anyone any more.

Take Nintendo. It’s difficult to find the point in the Wii U software showing. Nintendo was forced to hold two separate conferences outside of its main press event, as if there needed to be any clearer indication that the E3 model is intrinsically broken. Wii U flopped badly, at least in terms of mindshare, with some going as far to call the entire pitch an “embarrassment,” but Nintendo is essentially a casual games firm. Wii U won’t succeed because of core games, and you should be well aware of that by now.

Logically, then, if Wii U’s real success won’t come from the message it was trying to convey at E3, Nintendo didn’t even need to turn up.

Deep freeze

There was no talk of mobile gaming. And there was no talk of PC. Again, E3 proved it’s incapable of being anything other than a triple-A publishing show. As the big-name component consolidates, the freeze deepens. E3 is a dinosaur facing the Ice Age. It represents an old marketing model draped with booth babes, a consumer show parading as trade for the good of no one. We’ve been here before. Why do companies like EA bother? Electronic Arts, to take an example, is healthy through growth in digital, a savvy company well aware of how quickly the market’s shifting. What does E3 give EA? Or Ubisoft? Or THQ? Coverage? Haven’t we learnt from the Q4 release crush just how diluted messages get in a crowd? Aren’t we just back at the situation that crippled E3 last time? Maybe it’ll take JR to walk out again before ESA gets off its ass and actually does something.

Many of my journalism peers didn’t even bother watching E3 this year. We knew what was going to happen, and there were no shocks. We didn’t put people in the press conferences this time, and none of the core VG247 team visited LA. We used freelancers for the show itself, freelancers who turned up for their meetings, were crushed into demos, weren’t allowed to play games and half the time didn’t get interviews. We got what we needed in the main, but from a media business standpoint, E3 in its current format is a complete fucking farce. “Video games” has changed dramatically in recent years, and E3 has failed to adapt.

E3 2013 will be exciting as it’ll host the next gen console reveals, but the character of the entire event needs to change dramatically. How many times do people have to say it? Go fully consumer but have a trade hall. Become inclusive to the rest of the trade. Move to Las Vegas so everyone has plenty of hotel space in a compact location. Ban booth babes. Grow a brain. Listen, ESA, before your ludicrous show loses all relevance and your woolly mammoth bones crumble into the frost. You’re making the final transition from “losing relevance” to “meaningless,” and gamers, the industry and the media are rapidly ceasing to care.



  1. DaveDogg

    Sits back and applauds loudly

    #1 3 years ago

    Was it really that bad?

    Can’t you jst wait until next year?

    It’s not really E3′s fault that MS & Sony are focused on products that they can’t announce yet.

    It’s not really E3′s fault that Nintendo doesn’t have a clue about how to show off it’s products.

    The show is just a stage, but if the ones on that stage don’t take full advantage, then I don’t see the big deal.

    It’s strange, because this E3 was actually vital for the 360 & PS3. It was vital because they needed to convince people to ignore the next gen rumours, and that they should spend money now instead of waiting until next year.

    To be honest, I think they succeeded in that.

    It’s the calm before the storm right now. MS & Sony are both talking openly about next gen already, as if this E3 was some sort of invisible barrier that stopped them from saying anything.

    I don’t think that they will want to change anything, because they’ll be expecting next year to be the biggest E3 so far.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. sh4dow

    Well… I don’t think the overall concept of the show would be so bad. Sure, nobody needs booth babes except for the unfortunately large part of gamers who are fairly primitive.

    But aside from that… imagine if Nintendo had only TWO titles of their biggest franchises, possibly even without cartoony art styles (think e.g. Metroid, Zelda, F-Zero, …), to show and Sony/MS would have shown their nexgen consoles after all, with some ingame demos with a technical magnitude that even surpasses Star Wars 1313 or Watch Dogs. And possibly even a clearly nexgen Mirror’s Edge (which was shown on the thumbnails of every major gaming website when it came to “nexgen EA projects”).

    I don’t think anybody would have complained about E3 being irrelevant had that happened.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Dimaco

    Wait: am I wrong or has there already been a period in relatively recent years in which E3 was cancelled?

    #4 3 years ago

    I don’t think it was ever cancelled, but iirc, they completely changed the format one year, and made it a lot smaller and less ‘showbiz’. They changed it right back the following year, though…

    #5 3 years ago
  6. The_Red

    I think it’s too early to call it either way. Yes, E3 keeps losing relevance. Yes, more people are bored with it and yes, there are many problems BUT!
    But, we should remember that this is a transition year. The year before start of new generation has always been tame, boring and rather meaningless.

    I actually think that this E3 did pretty ok for a late console gen E3. We had actual, promising new IPs like Watch Dogs, Beyond, The Last of Us, P-100 and ZombiU. No end-cycle E3 has had this many promising new games. Those new IPs are usually reserved for the year that new Sega, Nintendo, Sony or MS console is introduced (RIP Sega). So, all in all, yes, there are problems but it’s not the time of judgement (Though it is time to be alarmed, I give you that :) ).

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Johnny Cullen

    What G1G said. The format and location change in 2007 into Santa Monica from the razzmatazz of 2006 in LA basically all but killed it. 2008 moved it back to the LACC, but it was still too business-like only. They loosened up the year after and its been since that way since, but the 2007 switch pretty much had E3 on a ventilator back then.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. OrbitMonkey

    Wait ban booth babes?! The best part of the show!?

    #8 3 years ago
  9. bo_7md

    New consoles are expected to be revealed on E3 next year so I think it’s all-good. E3 is a showroom, and that is as good as the product shown in it. It doesn’t matter how good they make it, if the games suck then E3 sucks.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. Dimaco

    So they already tried to change E3′s formula in the past, just to go back to the original short after… Does that mean it’s not THAT bad, after all?
    (just speculation, never been there myself – unfortunately I have to add)

    #10 3 years ago
  11. DanWhitehead

    Don’t forget the ill-advised shift to Atlanta for two years back in the 1990s. That saw attendance plummet as well.

    “The show is just a stage, but if the ones on that stage don’t take full advantage, then I don’t see the big deal.”

    The problem is that the stage is only open to a handful of large, conservative publishers who represent most of the revenue for the industry but only a tiny fraction of its creative output. It’s become a show for the 1%.

    Part of this is down to the recent fixation on big press conferences. The fact that these now take place before the show even officially starts means that E3 feels like it’s over before it’s begun – the show itself becomes a trudging obligation as journalists turn up at booths for carefully chaperoned close-up demonstrations of games they already saw on stage.

    There’s never been a perfect model for the show, but at least people used to have to walk the show floor to get the news, and that opened it up for smaller companies to attract eyeballs and for journalists to stumble across cool obscure things that were worth covering. To be a journalist at E3 now is like being embedded with a military unit. You see what you’re allowed to see, when you’re allowed to see it, and everyone ends up telling the same story.

    In terms of relevance, E3 is over. Smaller, more grassroots shows have captured the zeitgeist if not the mass audience (yet), by giving indie, PC and digital games their own space. That’s where the medium is headed, but E3 is still trying to party like its 1999.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. Dimaco

    + what sh4dow clearly stated

    #12 3 years ago
  13. Ireland Michael

    It’s not ESA’s fault the big three companies didn’t have many huge bangs to fire off.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. FinalStar

    I fail to see your point of why E3 should become more like gamescom, and why you believe that would be of interesting for especially Nintendo – you know, the one console manufacturer that already said they won’t show up at all at Cologne this year (and didn’t bother to let consumers get their hands on the 3DS there in 2011).

    You could say that’s because Nintendo cares a lot more about the US than Europa, which probably is a factor in that regard, but you could also say that maybe a show-format like E3 is more important to then as well, no matter how much casual stuff they habe on offer.

    Oh, and I completely agree with various previous posts: It’s not E3′s fault if Sony and MS don’t want to show anything about the next gen stuff (which they certainly will not at gamescom, either) and that Nintendo blew their opportunity so badly. When PS4 and Xbox 720 will show up next year, I doubt anyone would call the E3 irrelevant.

    Any why ban booth babes? Surely you’ve been at Cologne and noticed the majority of “normal” visitor there fall right into the demographic that they’re appealing to.

    I’ve had the misfortune to be at the second “re-configured” E3 a few years ago and it was pretty clear that wasn’t the way to go either.

    #14 3 years ago

    I think it’s worth remebering that E3 is actually for four main groups of people.

    There are the journalists, whose job it is to cover the games and they basically use it to get readers and sell advertising.

    There are the pubs and major devs, who use it to show off their games and get lots of exposure.

    There are the smaller devs and start ups who use it as an opportunity to hit as many publishers as they can with their concepts.

    There are the gamers who use it to see what’s new in gaming.

    Each of these groups has different needs from the show, but they all have to interact and the organisers need to find a middle ground.

    I think a journo might be upset with the show if it leaves him with nothing to write about, but that doesn’t mean that the other groups will necessarily be.

    I don’t think most gamers care too much. There are 3 or 4 similar, major events every year, and they’re used to getting dribs and drabs of info on products years before release.

    As for the subject of the indie games, etc. Is there any event where they do successfully promote their games in their own space, away from the ’1%’?

    #15 3 years ago
  16. FinalStar

    Oh, and I’d say Ubisoft in particular got a huge buzz out of this year’s E3 with Watch Dogs. Sure, maybe showing it of outside the show would have been a similar success in the long run, but this week, they’ve surely reached more people at once than in any other place and time.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. SplatteredHouse

    Well said, Mr Whitehead. I was surprised to read in the main article, about the woe encountered, revolving around attending E3 to work. That sort of situation is nonsensical, and does everybody a harsh disservice.

    @14: “Oh, and I completely agree with various previous posts: It’s not E3′s fault if Sony and MS don’t want to show anything about the next gen stuff”

    Except there is a responsibility. If they want to continue to use a stage such as E3 to deliver a mother-lode of news, updates, and announcements, then E3 has to retain relevence. Once expectations begin to decline, maybe interest soon follows and there’s a contraction effect.
    So, there’s a level of responsibility, if this show is going to be used to raise anticipation, if developers are going to be asked to seperate out demos of wip titles to fit it, to make sure that the cupboard’s are sufficiently full to boast a wealth of content, to match the level of stage on which they’re exhibited.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. viralshag

    I’m basically reading this as “it’s not fun for us so why should we bother?” Even though we will cover the shit out of it and generate more interesting news (and most likely more readers too) in a week than we do in most months…

    #18 3 years ago
  19. Hirmetrium

    You remember the Wii unveiling? It was fantastic. That is the year I remember E3 being great.

    Since then, its been boring investor talk, no substance, and motion controls. Third parties are abandoning it, and even EA whom normally have an armada of games had bugger all.

    While yeah, its like that because of the “console lifecycle”, third parties should of torn it up – EA especially with the fact they steadily rely on PC for a good number of game releases.

    M$ seem to have forgotten E3 is about the games – not about how an Xbox can do what my Windows 7 PC can do. They are losing their way, and Windows 8 proves they have nothing for gamers anymore and are slipping back into their old ways.

    Sony are still struggling to secure games for their console.

    Nintendo are still ignoring the massive loud whining in their ears that is the 3DS death knell.

    They seem to all think we’re investors. We’re not. We’re consumers in a recession, and everything in E3 has just screamed “WASTE OF MONEY!”. At least Sony hit it on the head by giving away some games for free with a cheap PSN+ sub – then ignored the elephant in the room.

    I think, most importantly, E3 is a sign of what state the games industry is in – stagnation. Too much, too young, too fast. We’re tired of FPS games. We’re tired of RPG mechanics and unlocks for MP. That line has been trodden all over to the point where you can’t see it anymore. We don’t want to wave our arms around like idiots anymore. We need something new.

    EDIT: Good god, I just looked back at last years article. THAT was a completely forgettable E3. And they announced the Wii U then. Somehow, I don’t think this E3 will be remembered either.

    #19 3 years ago
  20. viralshag

    @19, I’m not disagreeing with you but who is this “we” that’s tired of the things you listed? I mean, you can’t write off the millions of people that still buy FPS’s, MMORPGs and regular RPGs as non-gamers or casual gamers or anything like that.

    I just find it strange to think that vocal gamers on sites and forums seem to think they ARE the voice for gamers… and that because they’re bored, everyone else must be too.

    I just think if the masses really were bored with FPS’s and MP unlocks; the COD, BF, Halo and Gears games wouldn’t be selling in the millions.

    That’s not even to say that indi/more creative games sell badly through the likes of Steam and XBLA

    #20 3 years ago
  21. olif

    Do you need more proof that ESA is out of touch with reality than backing SOPA? After that little trick, I wish them farewell.

    #21 3 years ago
  22. DSB

    Outstanding article Pat, but for as long as I can remember, E3 has been followed or preceded by prophecies of impending doom, and it just hasn’t happened.

    I think the obvious reason for that is that it still generates loads of stories on sites like these, and even if the show itself is antiquated, it’s still a kneejerk reaction for sites like this to cover it in full (even if you’re using freelancers) and so it must be a kneejerk reaction for publishers to show up.

    Some conventions are gonna have to give eventually, I think the current selection is too big for everyone to survive, but more than anything I’m leaning towards the first thing you said. AAA is a worn out and conservative business at this point.

    There really is a slump, and short of the indies and the Kickstarters picking up the ball, I don’t know who will. I get the sense that publishers are slowly monetizing and advertising their games to death. Like so much DLC, those things don’t present any actual added value to the games themselves.

    #22 3 years ago
  23. beamadelica

    What you said, mostly. Although I do wonder even if E3 tried to do more with social/mobile games, the publishers there would reciprocate. They certainly don’t need to pay for million-dollar stands, and they’re on entirely different development/release cycles – so the idea of saving their big games for one annual blowout expo surely wouldn’t appeal.

    A big, glitzy show in LA works for big, glitzy console games. I’m not sure there’s any way it could be made relevant for mobile/social.

    #23 3 years ago
  24. TheBlackHole

    Yeah, an interesting piece, but misguided in the main.

    Mostly agree with G1G, which doesn’t happen often :)

    #24 3 years ago
  25. Hirmetrium

    @20: “I mean, you can’t write off the millions of people that still buy FPS’s, MMORPGs and regular RPGs as non-gamers or casual gamers or anything like that.”

    I’m not. I’m stating the POV of the millions who don’t buy them, who regularly express disgust at the likes of SWTOR and COD. Everyone has their cup of tea – but everything is also recycled nowadays. I doubt I am alone in this opinion, hence why I used “we”. But, I do have a bad habit of generalising things, so I apologise.

    Hell, I couldn’t view the Watch Dogs trailer with the immediate though of “Hmmm, he walks like hes in assassins creed” or “hey, its almost cyberpunk but not – like the recent Deus Ex” and “Oh wow, cars and guns, thats straight out of GTA”.

    “I just find it strange to think that vocal gamers on sites and forums seem to think they ARE the voice for gamers… and that because they’re bored, everyone else must be too.”

    I’ve not claimed to be a prophet or the voice – but you cannot deny that people are tired of the same COD year on year. My friends say it, online commentators say it, and even you didn’t flat out disagree with me. Am I wrong to use the pronoun “We” in this case?

    #25 3 years ago
  26. Ireland Michael

    “I’ve not claimed to be a prophet or the voice – but you cannot deny that people are tired of the same COD year on year.”

    Many of us, the vocal minority who are long term core gamers, may be tired of it, but the sales of the games themselves tell a completely different story. It’s kind of hard to ignore that.

    #26 3 years ago
  27. olif

    Why on Earth should AAA and casual, consoles and PC be exclusive again? It’s one or the other because ESA is stuck in time and hasn’t noticed things are moving on all sorts of directions. Why couldn’t there be iOS games launches on E3, for instance? Why not talk about browser games too? Why not have an indie pavilion for those starting their craft to show off shoulder to shoulder with the big guys?

    …Because ESA is all about the big guys and couldn’t care less about the rest of the world, even though ‘the rest of the world’ has already become bigger than the ‘big guys’. And this is essentially why I fully agree with the article: E3 is stuck in the past and useless in its current form. Go to GDC, much more interesting stuff taking place there, because GDC is multifaceted, it respects all expressions of games — not this ‘elitist’ rubbish where only those who can fork millions and sponsor booth babes can have a presence on the trade floor.

    Perhaps if ESA didn’t waste so much time lobbying for SOPA and the likes, with wet dreams of wielding ultimate power over copyright on the web, it would have noticed the ground shifting under their very feet. I don’t know about you guys, but I have far more interesting things to read on indie forums these days than on most console-focused sites, and E3 is just a reflection of that mediocrity but organised by ESA.

    #27 3 years ago
  28. viralshag

    @25, There’s no need to apologise and I’m not having a go or anything. #26, kind of sums up what I was getting at. I didn’t mean to come across like I was actually accusing you of prophesying, so my bad. ;)

    I don’t disagree with you that things are recycled but then in my case I just love gaming, as long as a game is good and I can get enjoyment out of it then I’m happy. Maybe I’m just easy to please.

    I think gaming will be somewhat limited while we use the same inputs such as controllers, mouse and keyboard. I think input methods can be somewhat restricting and it’s not exactly as if the “core crowd” took to motion control very well. But then some gamers aren’t renowned for embracing change. :P

    I think if games go beyond the regular control methods real changes and innovation will follow. The WiiU may or may not be the start of that with their control pad/ second screen.

    #28 3 years ago
  29. Zanchbot

    This article is pretty stupid. You sound entirely too angry over nothing. Just because YOU’RE jaded and nothing interested you personally doesn’t mean E3 has no value. It’s not the ESA or E3′s fault if no one decided to show up with groundbreaking software. Don’t cover it at all next year if you hate it so much. People will simply get their coverage elsewhere.

    #29 3 years ago
  30. olif

    @29: Actually, it is ESA and E3′s fault because the companies ESA represents and elects to be at E3 with the event’s fares, format and policies, are no longer the companies innovating in the game sector — thus nothing exciting came out of it.

    Should indies and new studios who no longer rely on bricks&mortar publishers been there, you can be pretty sure way better things would have been on display. No wonder Comicon and PAX brings more exciting gaming stuff than E3 these days.

    Snoop Dog on Tekken. Yeah, that’s what gamers need… Wow.

    #30 3 years ago
  31. Phoenixblight


    Publishers and developers pay to get in to E3. ESA is not going waste their time looking at what each developer will be showing especially not in the time frame they have.

    #31 3 years ago
  32. DSB

    @26 I’m not sure there’s a rule that veteran gamers can’t appreciate hyped AAA titles.

    While AAA games do pull AAA numbers on average, I think there’s evidence to say that sales are either down or stagnant, which to investors is roughly the same thing.

    I think it would be a stretch to blame that on the financial turmoil. Games took a hit as much as anything else, but a lot were growing again within two years.

    They aren’t now, and I kinda hope that’s because the barrage of media and overselling has reached some kind of limit, or at least managed to make a few gamers not care anymore.

    Whether you call it “Premium Sub”, “Online Pass” or “DLC” I’m pretty sure most people don’t enjoy paying for little to no value.

    #32 3 years ago
  33. IL DUCE

    Yeah I dont think it was as bad as what Pat made it seem…sure it wasnt all that eventful and pretty much what we expected (not to mention Pat knew what was going down before things even got revealed so…not exactly a person who shouldve been expecting intrigue and surprises)…its the end of a generation, the games industry is pretty much going to stop in the first half of 2013 next year as the next-gen push begins…everyone showed what needed to be showed, I enjoyed it very much..Watch Dogs, Splinter Cell Blacklist, Far Cry 3, Beyond, The Last of Us, Halo 4, Medal of Honor Warfighter, Crysis 3, Dead Space 3, Tomb Raider and I’m sure others I didn’t mention I found very impressive…it seems Pat is more expressing how he feels as someone who has been involved in the industry for a very long time and is tired of the same old same rather than giving a stance as it would be seen from a normal consumer’s point of view…

    I do however agree with the point that it should be opened up to consumers and not be a show only for media and trade personnel…and I agree that E3 will have problems if they don’t re-think their strategy on those matters…

    Plus games like Star Wars 1313 and Watch Dogs were running on high-end PCs and games like Star Wars The Old Republic had some presence there, but yeah I can say I’d like to see more PC-based stuff @ E3 but not everyone can afford and keep up wit hthe maintenance required for high-end gaming PCs, console gaming is just much easier and cheaper for the more baseline consumer…but mobile and social are fine and all, but in no way are they taking over the industry, sure casual gamers play a game here or there for a couple hours or so but there’s no loyalty in that industry of gaming, and someone can play Angry Birds one day and not play it again for weeks, or never care whether new content or a new version is coming out…therefore, it doesn’t make sense to invest in those sectors of the industry by wasting press time @ E3 to cater to people who the majority of which who don’t care or don’t even know what E3 is besides the core gamers or people in the press/trade that happen that also play casual/mobile/social games…

    #33 3 years ago
  34. GwynbleiddiuM

    The E3 has lost its relevance there are no disputes there but it is those who participate in E3 that made it so. Everyone now has their own conference and they have nothing significant to show to the public. IMO the E3 lost its cool by being divided into 6-7 irrelevant events instead of 3 good eventful ones.

    Even there I have problem because Playstation, Xbox and Nintendo do their own thing and there’s nothing to cover other areas. We need events that are about PC, we need events that indie devs can come and have their own thing with a live coverage, we need an entire event for technology that may or may not have an impact on the future of the industry not just 10 wealthy publishers showing their stuff like bunch of 6 years old that showing off their new toys to piss each other off.

    Current model is pointless my favorite gaming event of the year always has been Gamescom because it’s not just about games, it covers many different aspect of what makes an entire industry.

    The industry itself is here to be blamed because it doesn’t take itself seriously and those with fat pockets take the most out of it (be it little to nothing these days) and those with no representatives or budget to muster the cost of participation in such an event will always left on the sidelines. E3 needs a shake up, fuck that, it needs to be seriously re-imagined and rebuild.

    It shouldn’t just be about those with means to get the most by showing very little, it needs to have live show floor for those who are always on the sidelines, and there is a need for a even for PC Gaming. The problem is the PC doesn’t have any owners, it’s not a brand that Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, etc can cash in on it and use it to promote their same old bullcrap, it takes an effort by the entire industry to start treating it as a platform of its own, much like mobile and browser and online and whatever else is out there.

    #34 3 years ago
  35. Beta

    I think the thing that partly spoiled E3 this year for me was the fact that there were hardly any surprises as everything was leaked or announced before hand.

    It wasn’t a brilliant year true, but it’s a bit over dramatic to say that the show is completely ludicrous and pointless and dead isn’t it? I find myself agreeing with @15.

    #35 3 years ago
  36. OlderGamer

    I really like this from DSB:

    “There really is a slump, and short of the indies and the Kickstarters picking up the ball, I don’t know who will. I get the sense that publishers are slowly monetizing and advertising their games to death. Like so much DLC, those things don’t present any actual added value to the games themselves.”

    I think this generation has gone on too long. And I think a lot of people are unhappy with the same worn out games with there same worn out designs. Where is the magic? Do adults still get as excited about games that they used to when they were younger? Is it the games? Is it the audiance changing. I don’t know.

    But if I had Pats job, I would have a hard time finding the passion and drive to cover the industry the way he does. Sometimes I come here and all I want to do is bitch about this or that game or stupid thing going on in the industry. I often want to scream at people; “WAKE THE HELL UP!”.

    Why? Pretty much because I don’t enjoy games the same way I used to. I am not having fun. I still have games I enjoy, but most the games I play leave me feeling empty. What do you do when the biggest name games no longer hold your interest? Stop playing because you have gotten too old for gaming?

    But what do you do when something you have enjoyed for 30+ years leaves you behind?

    I think the industry is fine. Not that I like its direction or even its offerings. But because at some basic level I understand that the industry is larger then I am. I just don’t matter. Neither do you. If everyone on this site stoped playing tomorrow, games would still come out. The industry will march on and nothing will change.

    I know a bit dramatic for most peoples tastes. And not everyone has been playing for that long. But, prolly most of us will cross that bridge at some point. Where the industries top devs/pubs aren’t aiming their wares at us anymore, and their games don’t float our boats anymore. As we mature it is unfortunate that the industry doesn’t mature with us, at least in some part. Be honest, you ever ask a gamestop employee how many younger then 25yr olds buy Halo or CoD? I have and the answer I got was most were teens.

    Thats why DSB is drawn to Indies and Kickstarters. A lot of us are. That is where the most creative(some in a retro flavor; and some in totaly new flavors) games are coming from right now. It is one of the biggest reasons I play on a PC. There is some very neat games out there if you can see past the glow radiating from the AAA big box games.

    I can not put into words how much I loath shooters at this point. And shooters seem to be the main focus of some of the platforms right now. It is hard to explain. It isn’t that I don’t enjoy a round of OMP once in awhile. But when the genere gets so big it can support yearly releases and subscriptions, that I feel cast aside. Do people really just want a XB720 with a Halo subscription, Gears subscription, CoD subscription, and so on? This is one of those wake up moments for me lol. Cause I have a feeling you could boil down games into a small handfull of AAA franchises, and put them all on the same platform, and need nothing else to sell.

    But if people are going at or looking at E3 to be a place where new, creative and interesting games can be shown off…they are going to be let down. It isn’t what E3 is about. Not any more.

    Some of the posters here are right. E3 is about the biggest and most powerful companies in the industry maintaining their control over the industry. And some of them are also right, this year was a year of trying to convince people that this gen still has life in it. Next year will be more exciting from a tech aspect. I hope new games come out of it too. I kind of doubt it tho. Instead of new games, we will get “look what we can do with your old fav games”. There will be a new gears, Forza, Fable, uncharted, GT, LBP, Ass Cred, Dynasty warriors, Namco fighters, Capcom Fighters, CoD, NFS, BF, EA Sports games, Kinect 2, RE, either in game form or talk about their next gen game form. The franchises we know, the franchises we love, the very same franchises that now feel stale and worn out to many, will be back and better then ever.

    A fresh coat of graphics, and in 6 years time we will be right back to asking ourselves if E3 even matters anymore.

    #36 3 years ago
  37. Da Man


    #37 3 years ago
  38. Da Man

    Most of people playing indie bs are between 17 and 25, age of soul searching and mistaking computer entertainment for literature (sadly, these days).

    >25 y/o spend half an hour on some Soul Calibur, Fifa or Cod, if any video games.. Certainly they aren’t going to sit thru hours of bla bla bla…

    I wonder how many 25 years olds play Mario…

    #38 3 years ago
  39. Edo

    It’s calm before the storm people…

    #39 3 years ago
  40. Old MacDonald

    I agree that the E3 model is flawed. But let’s face it: E3 would have been a hell of a lot better if the main attractions weren’t doing everything in their power to become irrelevant to gamers and the games press. ESA can’t fix Nintendo and Microsoft.

    #40 3 years ago
  41. evilreverend

    @Patrick Garratt

    “We used freelancers for the show itself, freelancers who turned up for their meetings, were crushed into demos, weren’t allowed to play games and half the time didn’t get interviews. We got what we needed in the main, but from a media business standpoint, E3 in its current format is a complete fucking farce.”

    Are you saying that the media don’t receive enough special treatment at E3?

    I was there this year and can say that regular people who work in the industry could not get into see any of the most exciting games (Watch Dogs, Last of Us, Beyond, etc.) because they were behind closed doors for VIP only or media appointments. My own company wouldn’t let me have a VIP pass due to appointments with retailers and media.

    I hope I’m not misunderstanding your statement above, it just sounds to me like you are stating that the treatment of the media at E3 is a joke and that is not true at all. They are treated better than anybody else on the show floor.

    #41 3 years ago
  42. Ireland Michael

    @48 Even when you can get into closed door meetings, most of the time they are nothing more than demonstrations, and you don’t get to play anything. Questions are usually allowed, but If it’s anything beyond the most basic enquiries then half the time you won’t get much more than “we can’t take about that”.

    I find the smaller companies (and a very few of the larger one) are open with the media. The gaming industry has the media by the balls and a noose around its neck, fully aware that it has the puppet strings entirely under control.

    #42 3 years ago
  43. Clupula

    I’m still trying to figure out why Pat wants to ban booth babes. If anything, I think a return to the days when E3 used to a big, fun spectacle is exactly what’s required.

    #43 3 years ago

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