My Thoughts On E3comments powered by Disqus
Posted on Saturday, May 23 2009 @ 08:21:40 Eastern
Since reaching peak attendance in 2005 (which was a whopping 50,000 people), E3 has been in decline. This is down to a million things, but the ascension of blogs such as this site are definitely partially to blame. Back in the day, when people built golden statues in Kieron Gillen's image and Ed Zitron could say whatever the Hell he wanted, E3 was massive. This was because it was covered by all the major gaming magazines as a front page story. After all, you were only allowed to attend as press if you actually had some credentials. Any old idiot with a fansite and a 4 megapixel camera couldn't get into the place for free. Nowadays, these sorts of people are event let behind closed doors.
Is that a bad thing? No, but it also means that E3 is now over saturated by those people who can get into 'access all areas' category. Last year I couldn't get onto site which had any sort of relation to gaming without hearing about E3. Therein lies the problem, though. Despite everyone who has ever written professionally attending, the developers there chose to showcase very little, making going to be a bit of a waste for any big-time journalists.
In part, this is because that developer studios and their PR companies realise that if the game is decent enough, they could launch it at any time and still create a bit of a fuss. The advent of solid blogs and websites that run in real-time (instead of being updated monthly) help make this happen. No one needs to go to a glorified hypefest (for lack of a better word) when they can hear about the latest releases at home, on the Internet, for free.
So why do so many people attend PAX, which has many similarities to E3? PAX has been able to not only provide something for exhibitors, but also for the every-man who pays to attend. There's a whole community atmosphere there and brings novelties (such as nerdcore MCs and machinima showings) that E3 simply have been unable to provide. E3 are still working in the Dark Ages, actively encouraging their exhibitors to show off their new games to journalists (in the vaguest sense of the word) behind closed doors, and let them report back to their respective sites. But doesn't this ruin the point of inviting the general public, who sometimes spend hundreds of pounds to attend? E3's exhibitors should open their doors and give something for everyone, not just people they want to suck up to.
Either that or the ESA should find something better to spend their money on.