More Details on New E3

by Steven Rodriguez - July 31, 2006, 9:33 pm PDT
Total comments: 14 Source: Game Informer Online

Smaller show to take place in July; invite-only format will prevent huge crowds and allow companies and media outlets to conduct business more efficiently.

Game Informer Online talked with ESA president Doug Lowenstein to get an explanation on the what future holds for the Electronic Entertainment Expo, the industry's main event. In the Q&A, Lowenstein clarified how the show will change, and why such a change was necessary.

The smaller-scale E3 will still take place in Los Angeles, but no longer be at the L.A. Convention Center, and no longer during the month of May. The new date for the show will be in early July, and possibly at many different hotels or similar venues. The large-scale "every man for himself" show floor atmosphere will be replaced by private, invite-only meetings where game companies can more efficiently show their products to professional media outlets and other VIPs. This will ensure that everything that needs to get done at the show will get done in the three days the event is scheduled for, and not spill over into days before and after.

One of the driving reasons behind the big change is that game companies weren't always getting a good return on the investment spent in putting on a show at E3. It's not that E3 was too expensive; Lowenstein himself doesn't know for sure if the new format will be more or less expensive. The ESA and its members just want to conduct business more rationally and realistically. Ultimately, E3 wasn't doing what the industry needed it to do.

Lowenstein still expects for the big three console manufacturers to have their mega pre-show press events, but then afterwards have a E3-style "booth" setup at a hotel, similar to how Microsoft showed their games to the press after their E3 2006 press conference. The format would allow third party publishers to have similar events, and also allow smaller companies to get more exposure without needing to spend money on a fancy E3 booth.

Details of the new E3 are still being worked out, but comments from the ESA's president are doing a lot to help us all understand exactly what's going on here. As the press release stated, more info on how the next-generation E3 will be setup is coming in the next few months. PGC will bring you any new information on this important development as it becomes available.

E3 Scales Down

The ESA says the new Electronics Entertainment Expo's more "intimate" environment will no longer cause ears to bleed.

Entertainment Software Association Announces Evolution of E3Expo for 2007

Monday July 31, 1:46 pm ET

WASHINGTON, D.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 31, 2006--To better address

the needs of today's global computer and video game industry, the 2007

Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3Expo) is evolving into a more

intimate event focused on targeted, personalized meetings and

activities, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced

today.

"The world of interactive entertainment has changed since E3Expo was

created 12 years ago. At that time we were focused on establishing the

industry and securing orders for the holiday season," said Douglas

Lowenstein, President of the ESA, the trade association representing

U.S. computer and video game publishers and the owner of E3Expo. "Over

the years, it has become clear that we need a more intimate program,

including higher quality, more personal dialogue with the worldwide

media, developers, retailers and other key industry audiences."

The new E3Expo will take shape over the next several months. As

currently envisioned, it will still take place in Los Angeles,

described by ESA as a "great and supportive partner helping to build

E3." It will focus on press events and small meetings with media,

retail, development, and other key sectors. While there will be

opportunities for game demonstrations, E3Expo 2007 will not feature

the large trade show environment of previous years.

"E3Expo remains an important event for the industry and we want to

keep that sense of excitement and interest, ensuring that the human

and financial resources crucial to its success can be deployed

productively to create an exciting new format to meet the needs of the

industry. The new event ensures that there will be an effective and

more efficient way for companies to get information to media,

consumers, and others," said Lowenstein.

Additionally, the evolution of the video game industry into a vibrant

and expanding global market has led to the creation of major events in

different regions, such as the Games Convention in Leipzig, the Tokyo

Game Show, and company-specific events held by Sony, Nintendo,

Microsoft, and others around the world. As a result, Lowenstein said,

"It is no longer necessary or efficient to have a single industry

'mega-show.' By refocusing on a highly-targeted event, we think we can

do a better job serving our members and the industry as a whole, and

our members are energized about creating this new E3."

Additional details about the new E3Expo event will be forthcoming in

the next few months.

The ESA is the U.S. association dedicated to serving the business and

public affairs needs of the companies publishing interactive games for

video game consoles, handheld devices, personal computers, and the

Internet. ESA members collectively account for more than 90 percent of

the $7 billion in entertainment software sales in the U.S. in 2005,

and billions more in export sales of entertainment software. For more

information about the ESA, please visit www.theESA.com.

Talkback

ShyGuyAugust 01, 2006

Any ideas yet how this will affect PGC's coverage of the event?

One reason I don't like this idea is having this private showings allows companies to show their games in even more of a vacuum. Developers do use the show to see what their competition is up to, and they do "steal" their ideas. However, it keeps the industry at least somewhat competitive. Sure, this could occur at TGC but you don't have the big public hands on (and public focus testing) that shows what works and what doesn't.

Look at the Wii, some publishers were really surprised how well the public took to it. It may motivate them to change their plans. In the planned vacuum that shift in perception may not have occurred.

They talk about how this makes it easier for publishers to get their stuff out there, but I see it as making it harder. If they aren't at the same locations (talking about multiple hotels being used as sites) it makes moving from one place to another. At least Kentia was only a walk away, if it were a drive away I doubt people would care to go see it.

Berto2KAugust 01, 2006

The more Doug talks, the more it sounds like it is going to hurt the industry more. The good thing about E3 was that all the companies were there in one location, and not spread out.

When was the last time Nintendo held their own major event...2002??

getter77August 01, 2006

Pretty much. If Nintendo resurrects Spaceworld and none of the other major cons get the boot I think things may yet work out.

Crimm seems spot on to me about the isolation not being a good thing potentially. E3 may have had some needless pomp to it, but that doesn't mean it ever failed to serve its given purpose for the devs and the gamers.

I don't think people are ever gonna stop blaming EA and Sony under their breath though.

Nick DiMolaNick DiMola, Staff AlumnusAugust 01, 2006

I too am pretty pissed about all the E3 news I am hearing. The only justifiable reason I heard for killing E3 is the insane push until it happens every year. Corners are cut in games, things are half-assed, for what reason? Simple to make sure they are prepared for E3. Maybe with the show in a different state the push to get games into a showable mode at a certain time, will allow them to work harder to a cleaner final build of the game. But really, this news totally sucks.

CericAugust 01, 2006

*Shrug* I can definitely see where there coming from here. Everyone whose talked about E3 always says that its not even close to optimal to try out games. This will make it more optimal. Though I would like to see a 4th day 12 hour bonanza where people put there wares out for general testing. But with it moving to July and the growth of PAX I could see companies shifting that sort of thing over to PAX because there people could care less what your booth looked like they just want to play the games. It's not the E3 we all know and love but, in the end I think it will be more productive even for us. (Oh and don't kid yourself when you think this will stop the rush builds for this event.)

couchmonkeyAugust 01, 2006

This isn't quite what I was hoping for. It only seems to benefit the "big guys". There are two things I do like about this system:

- only people who will actually report back to us regular non-E3 peons will be playing the games, as opposed to every jerk that has a moderately popular website (that includes me) and is just going for giggles (that also includes me, I'd report back on some of it, but I'm not going to lie, I'd do a half-arsed job).
- games can be shown under more ideal conditions. Crimm is right about his vacuum theory, but at the same time, more than a few Wii impressions this year included the "E3 is not a great place to try games" caveat.

The problem is, I don't see this benefitting the "little guy". If I have to choose between two different locations, one with Nintendo or Capcom giving a presentation and one with Orbital Media or Way Forward giving a presentation...guess who I'm going to pick? Even if they don't overlap, if Nintendo starts late and runs long, I'm not going to leave halfway through to make the 20 minute commute to the next presentation. I also agree with Crimm's comments.

Edit: Oh yeah, and July? I don't know anything about L.A.'s weather, but I'm thinking that's going to be pretty darn hot.

CalibanAugust 01, 2006

I think someone like Sony and MS didn't like the fact that all the attention got diverted to Nintendo. Sony got pretty bad press, so basically they had a loss from their investment on E3, in loss I mean that they lost a big chunk of media credibility which is what makes 99% of sales for Sony outside E3.

MS? Well they've got enough pocket change to fund their E3 show and whatnot.

Nintendo? LOL, they got more than they expected from E3, so I think they aren't going to complain much.

But then there's TGS which is twice a year, cost isn't a factor now? And it's just as bloated as E3 is. LOL!

Bill AurionAugust 01, 2006

Quote

Originally posted by: Caliban
I think someone like Sony and MS didn't like the fact that all the attention got diverted to Nintendo. Sony got pretty bad press, so basically they had a loss from their investment on E3, in loss I mean that they lost a big chunk of media credibility which is what makes 99% of sales for Sony outside E3.

It seems like this is the most likely reason...I can't think of any other reason for publishers wanting to pull out of E3 so suddenly...

(Laugho quote by Deg on MSN: Nintendo finally, definitively, totally, tools the competition and all of a sudden they don't want to play anymore? Babies.)

ArbokAugust 01, 2006

Quote

Originally posted by: Caliban
I think someone like Sony and MS didn't like the fact that all the attention got diverted to Nintendo. Sony got pretty bad press, so basically they had a loss from their investment on E3, in loss I mean that they lost a big chunk of media credibility which is what makes 99% of sales for Sony outside E3.

MS? Well they've got enough pocket change to fund their E3 show and whatnot.

Nintendo? LOL, they got more than they expected from E3, so I think they aren't going to complain much.


A repost, which is now in all three E3 topics, but Nintendo was one of the companies that jumped ship and caused for the event to collapse.

"Once Nintendo, Microsoft, SCEA and EA had stepped out, E3 was history. It was multilateral disarmament."
http://www.next-gen.biz/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3548&Itemid=2

We're planning a Blah Blah Blah on this topic, but I think you'll find that most media who have been to E3 are going to be enthusiastic about these changes. All the GameStop kids who just went for fun and shouldn't have been there in the first place are going to be shut out of the new event, and they will be pissed.

vuduAugust 01, 2006

Quote

Originally posted by: Jonnyboy117
We're planning a Blah Blah Blah on this topic
Is Ty going to participate again? I loved his thoughtful insights in the Wii Edition Blah Blah Blah.

here's my blog
My life is a perpetual flashing toilet
i'm going to kill myself or play dreamcast, i'm not sure which, bbl
RUBOLOTION
changes topic to 'lower-case-i sure is trendy '
SNAP.
the internet is a cesspool
what if it actually prounounced "WHY", like wi-fi or "oh god, why???"
snap

IceColdAugust 01, 2006

No double posts!

NinGurl69 *hugglesAugust 01, 2006

DEATH TO E3

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