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E3 Entertainment Games

E3 Continues Downward Spiral 56

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the bring-back-the-booth-babes dept.
Gamasutra is reporting that E3 is continuing its downward spiral due to forced downsizing of the show and limitations placed on attendees. While this year's show will be returning to the LA Convention Hall, the size of the show will still remain artificially small, which some are saying is stifling the spirit of the show. "These changes have in part been made to encourage the event as a more useful business event, but most of those interviewed in TheStreet.com article are critical of its continuing usefulness. 'E3 had much more of an impact when it was a show,' comments IGN.com vice president of games content Tal Blevins. 'The video game industry is about fun and entertainment, and we should have a show that reflects it.'"
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E3 Continues Downward Spiral

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  • by Sta7ic (819090) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @12:32PM (#24137013)
    I'd like to observe that there IS a show that's fun and entertaining and focuses heavily on gamers and their interests. It's called Penny Arcade Expo and it's in about three weeks. With any luck, it will include 100% less Ewe Boll, and (not saying it isn't already) 100% more awesome.
    • E for All (Score:5, Informative)

      by tepples (727027) <tepples@gmaiBLUEl.com minus berry> on Thursday July 10, 2008 @12:37PM (#24137133) Homepage Journal

      I'd like to observe that there IS a show that's fun and entertaining and focuses heavily on gamers and their interests. It's called Penny Arcade Expo

      That, and don't the people behind E3 put on E for All [wikipedia.org]?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by philspear (1142299)

      Right, but Belvin's right on the money about E3 should be more fun and entertaining since it is about videogames. If I went to the national dentist's convention, I'd expect to be bored out of my mind and maybe see some teeth. If I go to the world adult entertainment convention, I expect to see some boobies. If I go to E3, I'm expecting to see some games.

      If they want a buisness meeting, start fresh with a "Boring parts of the videogame industry yearly convention where we talk about boring stuff like marke

      • by badasscat (563442) <basscadet75@nospAM.yahoo.com> on Thursday July 10, 2008 @03:36PM (#24141141)

        Right, but Belvin's right on the money about E3 should be more fun and entertaining since it is about videogames.

        Two things:

        a) Why? Video games are a multi-billion dollar business. Do you think that developers, publishers and retailers all sit around all day drinking and smoking pot as hired strippers perform in front of them? Because that's what E3 used to be. That's *not* representative of the game industry. It's also not a very good way to get business done.

        It's no different than saying "movies are entertainment, so nobody involved in producing them should have to do any work!" Don't confuse the product with the process.

        b) It should tell you something that Belvin's quote is from a guy who works in the gaming media. It's obviously in his best interests that his web site has something interesting to focus on for a month, because it gets him viewers which in turn gets him ad dollars.

        The problem is the gaming media is not part of the industry. At least it's not supposed to be. The fact that they consider themselves part of the industry is a big problem with "gaming journalism" these days. Imagine if CNN or the New York Times or whatever considered themselves part of the military armaments industry. Would you trust them to report on issues relating to war or the military any longer?

        The media is a wholly separate industry that is independent of any of the events, people or entities that it reports on. So to say "the gaming industry needs this or that" and then use a bunch of media people to bolster the argument is wrong. The media's interests in this case are pretty much diametrically opposed to the gaming industry's interests.

        The media can whine all it wants about this. Publishers themselves are giddy that they don't need to spend a million dollars on a booth and have fifty games ready to be seen the same week anymore, only to see about ten of those games get any actual coverage while the rest just get lost in the shuffle. They may complain about one or two little logistical things about the new E3 - having to walk more between buildings, for example - and the media will always focus on those little complaints because it makes their own complaints sound more legitimate. But don't make any mistake here - the industry loves the smaller E3. It's the media that doesn't.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 10, 2008 @05:29PM (#24143527)

          Do you think that developers, publishers and retailers all sit around all day drinking and smoking pot as hired strippers perform in front of them? Because that's what E3 used to be. That's *not* representative of the game industry. It's also not a very good way to get business done.

          Hmm, having worked in the industry, I can recount tales of how that's exactly how business gets done.

          Sure, the grunts sit in tiny cubes and, if they're very lucky, get to have the odd nerf fight. But then they're the grunts.

          Sales and marketing is sales and marketing, whatever industry you're in. If buying someone drinks and an expensive meal gets them to sign a million dollar advertising deal, you buy the drinks and throw in as many strippers as they want.

          $1,000 extra spent on a the quality of binding for your pitch or a few hours of extra polish will make relatively little difference to whether someone signs or not. $1,000 taking them out for dinner, getting them drunk, then waving boobs in their face can often be a far, far better expenditure. Not ideal, but at least honest about how a lot of human psychology works.

          Not for every client by any means, but think about the underpaid, underlaid, horny nerd demographic that writes videogame reviews. If a thousand dollars of wining and dining gets you a more friendly review than a thousand dollars spent elsewhere, you spend it there.

          And that's before we get on to tales of producers who've legendarily been caught putting $10k on the company credit card, at a con, to fill their hotel room with strippers and expensive alcohol before claiming they got mugged and someone must have stolen their card.

          E3 vendors hired strippers and made loud noise for one reason only... because it worked. If it was profitable to hold quiet quaker prayer circles, you can guarantee they'd be doing that. If it works for your target audience there, it likely works just fine elsewhere too.

          Holier than thou pontificating may be a proud moral highground. It still misses that these things exist because they're effective - no other reason.

        • by Lord Kano (13027)

          It's the media that doesn't.

          Media is plural, so it's "the media that don't."

          Oh, and also the customer's don't.

          RV Expos are more exciting than the new fucked up E3. The PC games market is in the toilet and swirling. Instead of trying to build up some hype and get it restarted, they're further toning down what used to be the biggest annual event in the video game world.

          LK

          • In modern day usage, the term "media" is mostly used as a singular noun, to refer to mass communications industry. It's a collective noun, confer "the people".

            Oh, and the correct pluralisation of "customer" doesn't have an apostrophe.

            • by Lord Kano (13027)

              Touche, regarding my wayward apostrophe. However, I stand my ground on media being plural.

              LK

        • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I think the point is: E3 used to be a huge event. Everyone used to count the hours... expecting the new releases, etc...
          As it is right now, E3 is of no interest to game players, because, frankly, there is not enough noise going on. E3 is just a regular business meeting - or a collection of bussiness meetings, if you will.
          It doesn't necessarily mean that E3 is less usefull than it used to be, to game developpers, and I believe it is much more productive in its current incarnation ... to them.
          But, truth is...

    • I guess he does not realize that there ARE some things boobs can't help you with.

      Man would think he'd learned his lesson with BloodRayne, but then again... he IS Uwe Boll...

    • Ummm. PAX isn't in three weeks. You need to add 4 to that 3 there bucko. and yes... PAX will be awesome.
      • by Sta7ic (819090)
        Hey, can you blame me for wanting PAX a month earlier?
        • Nope! I only know how far away it is because I'm counting the weeks!
          • by Sta7ic (819090)
            You BYOC'ing? (note: every now and then, slashdot needs a "send message" function.)
            • I considered it... and I hear it's an excellent place to stash swag... but my hotel is right across the street and I know that if I BYOC I'll either end up spending the entire time there (and miss PAX) or I'll just ignore it. So... I figure I might as well just skip it and enjoy PAX without having to worry about lugging around my machine. It's not like there's a lack of stuff to do - although gaming in person with the PA crew would be fun.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nobodyman (90587)

      Agreed. I think that E3 and PAX together serve the audience that was previously attending the "old" E3. And that's a good thing. Now the industry insiders aren't complaining about the signal-to-noise ratio, and gamers get to... well, play new and upcoming games. Sounds like a win/win.

  • by Aeonite (263338) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @12:35PM (#24137071) Homepage

    It's Heresy what they're Becoming and whoever is responsible is a Ruiner and a Mr. Self Destruct. Every year brings us Closer to Hurt. I Do Not Want This. Why can't E3 just be A Warm Place again?

    Piggy.

  • Fun!! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by delt0r (999393) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @12:36PM (#24137121)

    'The video game industry is about fun and entertainment, and we should have a show that reflects it.'

    I can drink to that. It a point that too often missed.

    Something starts of small and folks like it. Word gets out that this is a "cool" thing to come to. It gets big. Marketing company/departments see $$. Next thing you know you find yourself paying for the privilege of watching commercials etc. No more fun.

    Seems like a common enough death cycle to me.

  • Pax is it (Score:4, Informative)

    by Detaer (562863) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @12:36PM (#24137123)
    'The video game industry is about fun and entertainment, and we should have a show that reflects it.' Yeah they have it, its called PAX. http://www.pennyarcadeexpo.com/ [pennyarcadeexpo.com]
    • I just wish it were more neutral and disconnected. I think tying a gaming convention to a webcomic in the end will be a bad idea. Them bitching about a game in the comic could cost them thousands which doesnt make for good comic writing. And when the comic eventually fails then so too shall the convention. We need something more like AnimeNorth .... or many of the other anime conventions, none of them are linked in this way and work out fine...

  • I swear it was advertised, several years back, that E3 was to be cancelled and discontinued completely. Can a spiral really go farther down than 'rock bottom'? If anything this looks like a(n albeit it slightly shaky) step up.
  • by Caboosian (1096069) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @01:55PM (#24138993)

    Gameshows, specifically the E3 of yore, was often loathed by developers (mostly large, well-known and well-established devs) because it took a significant time out of their development cycle. I don't have any specific quotes, but I vaguely remember Bungie mentioning after its E3 06 video that they disliked the "circus" because it took nearly a month out of their development cycle.

    Shouldn't we, as gamers, be somewhat happy that these shenanigans aren't delaying our games as much? I'd rather have a game I'm excited about in my hands a month earlier, or have it be a month's worth more polished, than have a sneak peek at it a year before its released and half of the features in said sneak peek are cut.

    That's not to say I don't think every developer hide their game til release - I think they should show some of it pre-release (for the fans' sake) - but on their schedule, not on some expo's. That way they can show the game when they're ready, not when society dictates.

  • everyone gets one booth per game. All booths are the same size.

    They can only bring a hard drive. All PCs will be standardized and provided by the expo organizers and changed every year.

    If developers want to come, it's because they have a great product to show off. If not, they can still book a hall to show a trailer.

    That is a show that I'd want to go to. No swag, no fluff, no marketing, no half naked chicks enticing you to buy crap games.

    The last night of the expo would be a big cosplay ball. Where the attendees can blow off some steam and have fun.

    • by MBGMorden (803437)

      Leave it to a /.'er to suggest removing the half naked chicks in order to make the event MORE fun . . .

  • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @03:46PM (#24141349)

    I'd just like to point out that this is a talking head at ign.com who's saying this. In other words, someone who doesn't have a clue, and sounds like he's been covering videogames for no longer than a few years. E3 was a business show, until it turned into a circus. There are plenty of video games expos that are about fun and entertainment, and, as many already pointed out, PAX is one of them.

    E3 is trying to return to its business roots, and I say it's about high fucking time. GDC is for developers, PAX is for enthusiasts, and there is a need for the business side to have a show. Hopefully, people will forget about E3 long enough for it to get back to its original - and necessary - purpose.

    • I agree to an extent. E3 was obviously the spin off from CES which is a show intended for manufactures and distributors to interact with the retail buying chain. A show for Panasonic to show Best Buy all the cool stuff it wants to sell through thier chain this year. Over the years, CES has taken a larger "marketing hype" role where an attepmt is made to create "buzz" about a product in the mind of actual consumers and not just the retial buyers. This leap is what both created E3 and seemingly will lead to
  • Business Event (Score:2, Informative)

    by illumastorm (172101)

    I thought there already a business-like event, the Game Developer Conference.

  • I was at the VSLive! Conference in San Francisco in April and they had booth babes. If a Visual Studio Conference can have booth babes, why can't E3 have them anymore?

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