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E For All Attendance Lackluster 50

Despite the upbeat tone of IDG's official release about the first 'E for All', commentators are noting that the reported figure of 18,000 attendees is lower than expected. Wired is blunt about it: E For All has nothing on PAX. "Penny Arcade Expo was everything E For All dreams of being: a well-attended show packed wall-to-wall with crazy game fans. But it's also inexpensive: three days and two nights of musical performances for way, way less money than an E For All ticket, let alone the additional cost of Video Games Live. And it's got a whole mess of community events, like panels, gaming rooms, and other opportunities that make E For All's extracurriculars look slim. The show floor is just one part of PAX, but it's practically all of E For All."
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E For All Attendance Lackluster

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  • And nobody on slashdot cares. I mean, seriously, first post here is low hanging're think some AC would have jumped on this...
  • And next year they plan to run the same weekend as PAX. Do they want to fail so they can blame PAX and not their horrible attempt at a game show?
    • by rk ( 6314 )

      If that's the case, it would be a pretty stupid way of going about it. I mean, "we failed because everyone wanted to go to PAX instead!" is basically the same as saying "PAX is better than us and beat us."

      • The PA guys even said they called the E for All president and she said she would get back to them but never did. I mean, I could care less if they crash and burn, but you'd think after this lackluster start they'd rethink their plans if they do indeed want to succeed.
    • Hopefully they'll stop their obstructive marketing [] in front of PAX, since they'll be 2 states away.
      • If by 'obstructive', you mean 'people were standing on a public street handing out fliers', then yes, E for All had a lot of 'obstructive marketing' in front of PAX.
    • I suspect that they'll offer a 'strategic partnership' to PAX, and/or try to lure exhibitors, performers and vital staff away. Staging both conventions on the same weekend would mean that those so targeted would have to make a serious choice about which to attend.
    • by Tuidjy ( 321055 )
      Stupid. I flew north for PAX, and I couldn't bother checking
      'E for whatever' in my backyard, on a weekend when the winds
      kept me mostly indoor. I can simply not imagine why they
      would set themselves in direct opposition to something that
      it ten times as fun, and why they would force industry
      representatives and gamers to choose between the two.
  • Soo (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jarjarthejedi ( 996957 ) <> on Monday October 22, 2007 @01:51PM (#21074413) Journal
    So it appears that a Video Gaming convention organized by videogamers for fun not only gets more attendance but is also considered more impressive by the media than a convention put on primarily for money and advertising. I feel like I should be unimpressed, kinda like a 'duh' thing, but then I remember how big E3 was even though it was quite low-quality. I'm quite happy that E for All didn't do so well, their attitude towards PAX and gamers in general was quite arrogant and getting taken down a notch is never bad for big execs. I'm also glad that it appears that the majority of gamers are more concerned with good entertainment and discussions rather than simply addicted to cons.

    All in all I'd say this is good news.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I feel like I should be unimpressed, kinda like a 'duh' thing, but then I remember how big E3 was even though it was quite low-quality.

      E3 was fine for what it was supposed to be. It's when it turned into a gamer convention instead of the industry show it was that it fell apart.

    • by Sta7ic ( 819090 )

      When I was going over the E4E flier I was handed outside PAX, it felt much more like they were doing the whole thing for a buck, rather than because they wanted to bring all the crazy fans together to meet the people behind the screen names, play games, and have fun.

      PAX is more of a social gathering that mutated into something unexpected, which you can't duplicate without something that draws people at its core.
    • I'm also glad that it appears that the majority of gamers are more concerned with good entertainment and discussions rather than simply addicted to cons.

      So the majority of gamers are wannabe criminals! []. Jack Thompson was right!
  • Honestly, can anyone name one convention/show/expo that had phenomenal attendance its first time out? There's still hesitation, it doesn't matter that this tried riding on the coattails of a bygone E3 or not. Give them a few years and they may see great attendance (doubtful, but that's me), but to believe they were going to get huge numbers is just ignorant.

    Hell, they could've had free prostitutes, gumdrop slides, lollipop gardens, and a playable SSBM and I still would've have gone - couldn't trust they'd h
    • I wasn't there but even the first PAX was packed to the gills beyond what they had expected. That's a convention I've wanted to attend from the first.
      • Nah, PAX only did like 3k its first year, not to mention a much smaller venue.
        • Sure PAX did only 3k the first year - because it sold out. It could have done more easily. They only really advertised on Penny Arcade itself!

          That is what I mean by a success right out the gate, rather than a convention heavily advertised with sparse attendance. Success is in exceeding goals that you set, not in any absolute numbers. You can't arbitrarily set an exact attendance figure for which any class of convention is considered a success or not, it's all relative to the intent of the organizers and
          • It didn't sell out it's first year. Granted, it did far better than most nascent expos, but it didn't sell out.

            Success for a convention/expo/show/festival is always based on attendance, both visitors and exhibitors, without which you have no future. You go in expecting/hoping for a number which correlates to interest (not to mention recouping losses), which, if your goal is met, you could repeat your event the following year. And if you exceed? Awesome! Consider changing venues, increasing exhibitor space,
    • Let's see... E3 was Manufacturers, Distributors, Retailers, Press, Fan-press (when they could lie convincingly enough to get past teh registration nazis), and .... developers.

      The new E3 was Manufacturers, Distributors, Retailers, maybe press.

      Let's see E For All was Manufacturers, maybe press, and fanboys.

      And they failed why? Because the cut out the drunken developers who all went to GDC. Partay!!! W00t!@ ... who I might add went to PAX as well . Hmmm.
  • More models. Preferably the hot female variety. If they happen to look elvish, all the better!
    • Actually, the "Booth babes" at E4All were extremely, extremely annoying (at least in the SSBB section). Sufficiently so that, even though the sound was recorded, the creators of many videos that came from E4All were kind enough to just rip out the sound and put some videogame music over it. Everyone in the Smash section that I talked to mentioned how horribly annoying they were. This may be the first time in my life that I'd have preferred *less* hot females. E4All could have done a lot to increase atte
      • by Toonol ( 1057698 )
        I'm not quite sure what you're saying. The booth babes were all too noisy? Were they singing or yelling, or are you just objecting to their voices? I can't imagine the cons (NOISY babes) outweighing the pros (noisy BABES).
  • with a name like "E for all" I'd think at least Club Kids would show up in hopes of free Ecstacy.
  • by dcowart ( 13321 ) < minus bsd> on Monday October 22, 2007 @02:42PM (#21075185) Homepage Journal
    Gabe has the details at: []

    "For example I had no idea that e for all had hired guerrilla marketers to wander the streets..."

    Read below that for the story about the drunk vgXpo guy.
  • I considered buying tickets because my brother was interested in going, but I balked at the price of entry. I'm not too surprised by the sparse attendance.
  • So the "news" this article presents is that E4... isn't... newsworthy? Am I missing something here?
  • by MMaestro ( 585010 ) on Monday October 22, 2007 @03:08PM (#21075569)
    Any serious analyst saw this coming for months. They hosted the event in California where any serious hype would simply be reserved for E3 (ever hear of market saturation?) The price of entry was too high ($90 for the weekend? I've been to anime conventions larger than E for All for almost half that price) and lets face it, California is not exactly the easiest place to get around (or cheapest). They managed to get Nintendo and EA and ignored/failed to get everyone else (wheres Ubisoft, Microsoft and Sony?).
    • Actually, this was one part of what the old E3 became. E3 used to be really overcrowded and it was hard to get any "real" business done. And this was despite the old E3 being in California and being rather expensive (if you couldn't sleaze in on a free industry-only pass), so I don't think you can blame those for being reasons for the lackluster conference. So, now there's E3 which is invite-only and intended for game developers and publishers and press. "E for All" was intended to be something the game
      • E3 used to be really overcrowded and it was hard to get any "real" business done.

        And whose fault was that? I was reading articles written by news companies complaining about the lax screening process for years (Gamespy once posted a photo of 9 year old at E3 several years ago) and we ended up with a knee-jerk reaction by the ESA (which was to basically restart E3 supposed "the way it was supposed to be" never mind the fact that practically half of the show was axed).

        And this was despite the old E3 being i

  • First, I would say that 18000 is not too shabby for a first time effort. Second, I would say that Nintendo's appearance there makes me wonder about who the target audience really is. It's no secret that Nintendo is targeting the so called casual gamer very successfully with the Wii, DS, and a lot of kick ass 1st party software. I don't think that Nintendo hates hardcore gamers (at least not yet), but their attendance at E For All tells me that they were expecting a healthy showing of casual gamers.

    PAX is a
    • by Guspaz ( 556486 )
      But they're not marketing it as a first-time expo. They're marketing it as the successor to E3, they've chosen a similar name "E4 All", and have people like Tommy Tallarico pimping it as "E4".

      This year, those 18000 attendees were probably mostly drawn in by the attempt to tie it to E4. Now, the cat is out of the bag. The media has more or less panned the event, and playing the E3 card isn't going to work again.

      Next year, they'll be going up against PAX, which was likely double E4A's size this year. PAX tend
      • The attendance for E4 was at most 9,000 -- 18,000 was turnstile and take into consideration that you had to buy at least a 2 day pass. PAX had something like 14,000 concurrent attendees Saturday afternoon. Their turnstile was the afore mentioned 34K.

        Keep in mind that PAX sold so many one day badges that they RAN OUT this year and had to make more. Their actual attendance was much closer to turnstile than E4's.

        I can guarantee you that E4 included distributors, booth babes and maintenance people in their at
  • Did anyone go to it? My friend and I did. We're old school gamers (80s). It was mostly fun especially in the new Nokia Theater [] (second day of its opening; don't think all 7,000 seats were taken/sold out), but our seats sucked (front on the right; map seems to be inaccurate but I noticed the front has lower numbers than the back in the orchestra area). It was nice to hear all the old favorite game music (e.g., Rastan, Frogger, Outrun, Gauntlet). There were problems as well like Frogger didn't work in a compe
    • I didn't go to E For All (bleh, I couldnt stand going to E3, skipped out on it last couple years despite my free industry pass), but I did go to VGL. It was only about half full. I went to VGL last year as well, at the Hollywood Bowl. The music selection this year was better (they ditched the 10 minute "Advent Rising" selection), but the Nokia Theater has horrible acoustics (echoes), very uncomfortable seats, and the food prices are abominable.

      I won't be going to VGL LA 2008 if its at the Nokia Theater,
      • by antdude ( 79039 )
        I didn't notice any echoes where I sat. Where did you sit (My friends and I were in J 118 and 119)? We just didn't have a good view (had to watch the left monitor and the conductor a lot. Hollywood Bowl is better (isn't that 2005, not 2006)? Interesting. I didn't think the audio would be better in an outdoor environment.
    • by neminem ( 561346 )
      I was at the show as well, also in crappy seats (near the front, but way off to the side). I also only paid 50 bucks including fees and parking, but probably would have paid a little more if I'd had to. Despite the problems, VGL is still an absolutely amazing show (even if about half the music isn't new, if you've got a collection of old arranged game music from Japan like I do), and in any case, I like to give money to the cause of making game music an economic success here the way it is in Japan.

      • by antdude ( 79039 )
        I am not surprised by E4All after E3 went byebye. Which side were you at Nokia theater? Left or right? My friend and I were in J row at 118-119.
  • Thay managed only to fill the main hall (and just barely) of the convention center with vendors and while there were a couple fun things to do (I must have wasted 3 hours on the Halo3 LAN setup) and contests to win, I easily saw everything in the show the first day. So I did not bother to show up for the other three that I paid for.

    That said, it wasn't a total waste. The lack of "crowding" made it a bit more enjoyable (didn't feel like I needed to rush everywhere or plow my way through crowds).

    Rockstar ha
    • I've seen pictures of the whole show -- the main floor wasn't filled. They were about 30% empty and so they had a lot of movable expo-walls (those huge black pieces of fabric that are like 20 feet high) brought in to make it look more compact.
  • The trade convention is now the Game Developers' Conference []. That's where both the technical people and executives now go. Sessions like "Know Your Players: An In-Depth Look at Player Behavior and Consumer Demographics" and "10 Steps to Success in Outsourcing Contracts" are attended by suits and management level technical people. "Meeting Players Halfway: Using Adaptive Systems to Prevent Player Frustration" gets game designers. The more theoretical game programmers go to talks like "Skinning with Dual Q

    • E3 let the developers compete for eyeballs in a more honest way than normal PR (at the cost of having an extra huge milestone). That was rewarded with much more media hype and consumer interest than they are getting now AFAICS. Anyone can lie and get those lies spread by proxy, all it takes is money and no soul, shining at E3 took talent ... I don't think the loss of E3 was good for the good developers or even the industry as a whole.
    • The GDC is for Developers, not buyers or consumers.

      E3 was (suppose to be) for buyers and media. E for All and PAX is for general gamers.

      If I see cosplay people at the next GDC I'm getting my bat...

      • by Animats ( 122034 )

        If I see cosplay people at the next GDC I'm getting my bat...

        I once took an animator friend to GDC, dressed as a game warrior, with boots, short skirt, tank top, equipment belt, and fingerless gloves. She's from SF, where that's ordinary clubwear. She was an early Maya user, and stopped by the Maya booth to find out if some critical bugs were being fixed in the next release. The Maya people had real trouble dealing with a woman who looked like a booth babe but actually understood the product.

        (This w

  • Not knowing what E For All was, I assumed it was Ecstasy for All. Which seems like it would be well attended.

  • Yeah no one was there, we called it E4 empty.

    Although the booth girl for K2 slinging the Free MMO Sword of the New World, was HAWT.

May all your PUSHes be POPped.