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E3 Coming Back Big In 2009 35

Posted by Soulskill
from the back-from-the-dead-some-would-say dept.
Newsweek reports that next year's E3 will be expanding its attendance cap to 40,000 in an attempt to return as the premiere large-scale gaming expo. E3 scaled back its operations over the last few years, leading some to speculate that it was outliving its usefulness. This year, according to E3's organizers, we can "expect a boat load of press conferences on Monday during the day and on Tuesday morning." Newsweek also claims E3 will be opening to the public for the first time, allowing fans inside for the last two days of the event. However, G4's coverage says that while the vetting process for attendees will be eased, the event still won't be open to the public. An official announcement will be made tomorrow by the Entertainment Software Association.
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E3 Coming Back Big In 2009

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  • So they say. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AltGrendel (175092) <ag-slashdot@[ ]t0.us ['exi' in gap]> on Tuesday October 21, 2008 @04:38AM (#25450721) Homepage
    Just let them try to top PAX.
    • Just let them try to top PAX.

      They won't be trying to. PAX is for gamers.

      E3 is (and always was) for the game industry, or at least very loose definitions of it anyway.

      We won't know until the official announcement, but I'd lean more toward G4's version.

      • Re:So they say. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by rsmith-mac (639075) on Tuesday October 21, 2008 @08:39AM (#25452019)

        I don't know anyone who went to the old E3 and could say it was about the industry. You had Gamestop stockboys from a 5 state radius there trying out games for their own personal amusement, while companies set up booths with automobile-sized speakers and threw a party because that's what the aforementioned stockboys expected. And if you really were in the industry, sure, whatever you say, you still wait in line.

        The ultimate example of this I believe to be the line for the Wii in 2006 immediately after it was announced. It was hours and hours and hours long, a quite unprecedented line even by E3 standards. And it was filled with gawkers: the stockboys, their girlfriends, their best friend, and other people who had no business at an industry event. Lord help you if you had a legitimate reason to be there, you'd still need to send someone to stand in line all day just to get a shot at using the Wii to cover it for your publication, decide if you want to allocate shelf space for it, etc.

        The new E3, on the other hand, was definitely an industry event. In fact I'd call 2008 a very good year; everything was well organized, getting to meetings was easy, and getting face time with a game and a developer was a piece of cake. Everyone was there to do business, there were no gawkers and vendors weren't forced to throw the equivalent of spring-break indoors.

        I don't know why the E3 organizers would want to go back to the horrible old format, I guess it's better for them if it's a public show like PAX rather than an industry event? In any case, make no mistake, going back to the old format means it's a gamer show, and by extension it's gunning for PAX.

        I should add that PAX is a cool show too, but like the old E3 it is not a good place to do business, and with the increasing crowds it only gets worse

        • by PhilJC (928205)
          Having never been to E3 itself this may be completely wrong but I would guess that all the industry crowd/journalists get allocated a wad of free tickets to use for non-public days so it would make sense that by letting in the "stockboys" for a couple of days, for a fee, would definitely help offset some of the cost of hosting the overall event.

          Just the way I'd do it anyway.
        • Yes, as I implied with, "or at least very loose definitions of it."

          Their stated intentions have always been of a trade show for the industry, even if it didn't really end up that way, as you have pointed out.

          They definitely needed to tighten the policy, but I think the invite-only solution was too extreme in that direction and made the show a lot less useful than it could have been.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          I think it's clear why the old format is returning, first, the press doesn't care about the conduct of business at E3. They want exclusive access to unreleased material, lots of flash and excitement, and with E3 not giving them any, they all went to PAX instead.

          Secondly, the ESA's handoff to IDG to do E for All (AKA E4Empty) was an epic, epic fail. When you go from year one to year two and your attendance shrinks , you know you have a serious problem. (Compare to PAX, where year one to year two doubled
          • by ImpShial (1045486)

            ESA's handoff to IDG to do E for All (AKA E4Empty)

            ...... I expect E for All to be canceled for 2009. E3 wanted E4A to be the b2c face of the ESA, and since it didn't work, and the ESA....

            My god, That's the most acronyms I've ever seen in a post!

        • I think why E3 is changing back is because, although the new format was better for doing business, E3 was rapidly becomming an unimportant event for publishers because it was losing the attention of gamers. For years E3 has been more about building hype than it was about getting stock into retail outlets, and (with the growing popularity of blogs) the average stock-boy was starting to have a greater influence on pre-launch excitment for a game then gaming magazines were.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by philspear (1142299)

          And it was filled with gawkers: the stockboys, their girlfriends, their best friend, and other people who had no business at an industry event. Lord help you if you had a legitimate reason to be there, you'd still need to send someone to stand in line all day just to get a shot at using the Wii to cover it for your publication, decide if you want to allocate shelf space for it, etc.

          Aw, sounds like someone is mad he'll have to wait in line again! (Kidding, kidding, I tease).

          Serious question though: you're saying that at the old E3, the press was treated the same as the retailers? "In the industry" doesn't seem like a real reason to get priority for trying new games, unless you're just talking about press. If I make games though, there's no reason I should get to cut in line to try my competitor's products, at least none that's obvious to me immediately. Those gamestop stockboys you

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            Mod parent up. Game company execs and devs are there to have meetings. The most likely result of playing competitors' games is either copying features they feel are innovative and/or starting 'counter-buzz' about how underwhelming and incomplete their competitors' E3 builds are.

            If anything the stock jockeys are more valuable than the professional media, because they'll go home and talk about the reality of the game, rather than suck up to their industry sponsors like most gaming media outlets or pan thei
        • If you want a truck, don't buy a prius and then complain that it's not a truck.

          If you want to start an Electronic Entertainment Conference, go right on ahead. As long as it's an Electronic Entertainment Expo, however, you should expect it to be more like a business fair and less like a corporate meeting.

          You're dealing in an industry that thrives on impulse buys, heightened reflexes, and short attention spans. The big names in the fields are rarely MBAs, statesmen, or Nobel physicists; rather dropouts
        • I don't know why the E3 organizers would want to go back to the horrible old format

          Simple: They want to make money.
          Or: They want to generate press for the industry's benefit.
          Or: They want to generate public awareness for the industry's benefit.

          Everyone bitched about how "wrong" the old event way. And yet a ton of press were there, generating a ton of press for all of the studios/etc. Studios that, for all their bitching, turned up, rented space, etc. for it.

          Then they went ultra exclusive. And the press got

  • They are dead (Score:3, Informative)

    by rgo (986711) on Tuesday October 21, 2008 @04:38AM (#25450723)
    PAX has replaced E3 for a lots of people (including journalists)
  • yawn (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Yes, sweet, let's go to the Staples Center, walk around in the halls where it's got the approximate temperature and humidity (due to nerd-sweat) of the jungle; wait 3 hours to see a five minute demo; almost touch a controller connected to something that could be cool before stopping at the last second when you see it's covered in... red bean paste(??); watch all the dorks taking pictures (with L-glass used mainly to do macro shots of their latest Gundam build) of girls who are just doing this booth thing un

    • by jafuser (112236)

      They must have really jacked up the price in the past two years. In 2006, parking was $15-$20 within the radius of a 5 minute walk to the convention center. Our group even arrived late in the morning on most days and still had parking available.

  • My arse (Score:3, Informative)

    by MoFoQ (584566) on Tuesday October 21, 2008 @06:02AM (#25451075)

    Maybe these guys are smoking the same stuff that the guys at Fanny Mae, Freddy Mac, AIG, and WAMU have been smoking.

    In this economy and the fact that tech giants have recently announced major lay-offs and down-sizing and what not (plus Circuit City is in the brink of bankruptcy according to the evening news), what company has the the money to spend on an expo that has diminishing returns and in the eyes of many if not all techies, a dead show? They are more likely to spend what little and precious funds they have on PAX and other more "successful" shows.

  • by master_p (608214) on Tuesday October 21, 2008 @06:48AM (#25451309)

    E3 comes back for one game only!!!!

    That's right, you heard it here folks: DNF would be ready and shown in the next E3!!!

  • A honest question. Given how void of breaking news the last E3 was , is there a point in making it anymore? The same applies to other shows throughout the world, including the latest TGS. All I saw was mostly marketing and hype, hype and marketing. If games shows are headed this way, it would be better not to hold them at all.
  • IMO, there isn't really room for multiple major gaming and electronic expos like E3, PAX, etc. Considering the economy and the inherently fickle nature of the gaming & gadget market, people and companies only really have time/money/energy for 1 of these mega shows per year in this area of interest. While E3 was king for a long time, the people there screwed up and PAX is just too good to let them back in. The ship sailed on E3 and it ain't comin back.
  • /sits up
    /stretches
    /blinks eyes
    /looks around


    Sorry, you were saying something?
  • But it's not E3 without The G.O.D. Parking lot and mexican hot dog vendors. Both of which won't be there in 2009. It's like going to Disneyland when everything is down for maintenence.

    No midgets, strippers, boxing nuns, booth babes, press lunches, drinkin with dev's. The only thing this has in common with E3's of past is that it's in the same building and that Kentia hall will still probably be the ass end of the expo.

  • Newsweek also claims E3 will be opening to the public for the first time, allowing fans inside for the last two days of the event

    Sounds like that's about when most of it's packed up and leaving.

  • E3 is so last century.

    Seriously, they pulled a PS3.

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