Friday, May 2, 2008

E3...dead for reals this time?

First Off, I'm playing with the color scheme a little bit here. Let me know what you think. I like the soft green text cause I feel like it's easy on the eyes...but maybe it doesn't fit with my Moody silent hill motif. keeping aside I wanted to put in my 0.02 on the todays blogsphere flap over Activision/Blizzard bowing out of E3.

Personally I was really hoping that there would be a return to the huge spectacle of E3s past. I attended 2004-2007 and I have to say that last years E3 was pretty boring. I think above all E3 is a marketing device. I'd a lot rather see developers and publishers shilling their games at E3 than at GDC. The Gears of War 2 announcement at GDC was soooooo lame and out of place. It's like yeah announcing a third party game to a room full of competitors at a show that's supposed to be about development, just seemed slimy and fell really flat.

So I personally was hoping that E3 would return and save DICE / GDC from being turned into surrogate E3s. But after the boring, ill conceived E3 of last year it seems like publishers are deciding they'd rather spend the money on their own events. Or at least events with cross promotional appeal like Comic Con or Leipzig or some such.

The worse part about this is that most of these companies are also leaving the ESA altogether. Which, say what you will about E3, the industry NEEDS a lobbying group. For all the forum bitching about the media's take on violence in games. The industry needs real political players to fight against unconstitutional legislation and regulation.

I guess that the OTHER way to look at it would be that the industry is so large that it is large than one trade show. Like you don't see the film industry having one all encompassing industry event that they use as a spring board for all their marketing and PR announcements. But the game industry is more product based than the film industry and the consumption of these products is more like consumer goods...with most sales happening right around the holidays (maybe less so now, but still the holidays are a major boost to sales).

It'll be interesting to see how many companies drop out of E3 in the coming months.

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