Published on June 6th, 2014 | by gareth0
Why E3 Still Matters
With E3 2014 starting next week I noticed amongst the abundance of press releases, meeting requests, and announcements, and predictions their worst the articles asking if the convention is still relevant and necessary. As anyone who’s ever been fortunate enough to attend the convention it is a chaotic and wonderful time that gives industry journalists and professionals the chance to meet with one another, discuss business, and show off their latest and greatest creations. While there is certainly other conventions in the world not limited to the PAX Expos, Gamescom, and The Tokyo Game Show, E3 is as far as I’m concerned is vital now as it ever was.
One of the big reasons for this is simply timing and logistics. Many companies wait for this event to make their announcements as they know eyes the world are upon them. Several years back the convention opted not to open to the public and yet professionals from the world over still flock to this event. If you are a journalist and Europe or Asia, I’m sure it is very appealing to combine your coverage of the event with the trip to Los Angeles. Those with time to spare pre-and post-show naturally will find themselves drawn to many the area attractions ranging from theme parks to fantastic beaches as well as the wonderful cuisine that is offered in the area. If you work for one of the larger publications and you happen to be traveling on their dime all the better.
While my staff and I are certainly no strangers to covering large conventions one of the biggest appeals to E3 is the sense of excitement over reveals as this is a convention that often provides our first glimmer of information or look at a new title. While other conventions often give you more hands-on time or a look at a more polished product, E3 is where companies choose to lift the lid more often than not.
If you’ve ever been in the press room at the conference, you will hear languages from all corners of the world as well is accented English spoken which underscores how overseas professionals view this as a must attend event. We can be spoiled with the abilities to catch events and other states throughout the year but for professionals based overseas this is often their one shot per year to meet with developers to plan and discuss business and coverage in the upcoming year. As such you will see companies that often do not travel to some of the other conventions in attendance.
Now the cost of the convention is undoubtedly high as I am sure boot space is at a premium as well is the expenses of traveling and lodging employees, as well as booth designs, swag, and other logistical and marketing cost associated with attendance.
For me the whirlwind days of meetings, taking pictures, coverage, and networking that takes place is especially vital. Not only does it give us a fresh batch of story topics for the site and magazine, but also provides plenty of content for the radio show and the newspaper in the weeks ahead during what can often be the dog days of summer. E3 gives us an indication of what to look forward to in the fall as once the show is completed, our attention has to turn toward Gamescom and The San Diego Comic Con. The next large game conference we cover after that will be PAX Prime at the end of August where the focus is often on a more consumer friendly show that will show how much the titles have advanced since we last saw them as well as setting the stage for our fall and winter coverage.
For some smaller companies this is a crucial time to obtain coverage that they otherwise couldn’t get due to not having the ad budget and resources of some of the mega-developers. For the larger developers, it is the opportunity to get buzz going on their latest and greatest as anyone who has ever attended Comic Con can tell you, the early buzz on a film can make or break it even when it’s six months to a year away or more for making its debut. Timing is everything especially in the business with so much competition and so much scrutiny. As such we look forward to our annual coverage of this event and plan for it months in advance as regardless of what the distractors might say, the sheer number of exhibitors and attendees that will fill Los Angeles next week is a clear indication of just how in court and they still consider this event as remember their voting with their hard-earned cash and to me that is all the vindication that is necessary to justify the significance and importance of this event.