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E3 Coming Back Big In 2009 35

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 ) < minus painter> on Tuesday October 21, 2008 @04:38AM (#25450721) Homepage
    Just let them try to top PAX.
  • yawn (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 21, 2008 @05:31AM (#25450939)

    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 until their modeling ship comes in....


    The only thing worthwhile at E3 was Kentia Hall, and that was only because it was like walking around an insane asylum looking for the craziest of the crazies -- in the end you still felt sorry for them because, in fact, they're in Kentia Hall, where you might as well have your booth's signage read "Despite any indication to the contrary, we are absolutely not meant to be taken seriously -- please check out the original Asteroids cabinet in the middle of the Kentia exhibition area (but Gorf is still broken, as it's been the last three years)."

    If you thought E3 was great, worth saving, or worth even going to -- you never went.

    (But if you really must go, here's the pro-tip assuming the same location: Parking is $40 downtown. Drive to somewhere in Hollywood. Park for the whole day for $10. Get a Metro day pass. Ride the red line; transfer to blue, take it one stop, go in to the exhibition hall. You're welcome, I just saved you $30 - the cost of a small Pepsi.

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

    by ElectricTurtle ( 1171201 ) on Tuesday October 21, 2008 @09:43AM (#25452653)
    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 attendance.) IDG completely dropped the ball, didn't learn anything from other events, and they were hostile and disingenuous to other events (to the point of virtually starting a hilarious war with PAX).

    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 has had so many other internal problems and failures and could be considered to be fighting for its life, I think the ESA looks at a reborn "old school" E3 as its last, best chance for relevance and consequently they'll throw everything they can at it. They want to take back the primacy of mediating the entire industry's message to consumers (which was previously always E3 by default because of no other comparable venue, even though it wasn't supposed to be a b2c event), but I think at this point now that PAX has proved itself to be the best b2c expo model in the gaming industry in the Western Hemisphere with attendance to match, that game is over. Moreover I think the ESA will fail to fully assess the realities of the new market environment, overreach itself, and collapse.
  • Re:So they say. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by philspear ( 1142299 ) on Tuesday October 21, 2008 @12:46PM (#25455533)

    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 talk about dismissively, I would assume they generate a lot of buzz where it counts about upcoming games, I could see more reason to give them a sneak peak over other game developers.

    Press, obviously, would seem like the top priority, and I'm a little suprised that it sounds like press had to wait in line, but if you're complaining because you work for, say, Blizzard and didn't get to try the wii out first, well, what makes you better than the "gawkers?"

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

    by ElectricTurtle ( 1171201 ) on Tuesday October 21, 2008 @12:57PM (#25455721)
    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 their competitors like a designer or dev might.

Order and simplification are the first steps toward mastery of a subject -- the actual enemy is the unknown. -- Thomas Mann