This is my response to an article over on Kotaku about E3 either being fixed, or killed.
E3 has definitely been a real rough and rocky road hasn’t it? I agree with the article that it was the Christmas for gamers (if Christmas was about being promised presents instead of given), and every year I would gather round the TV with friends or by myself and watch the conferences.Sometimes it was hard to but other times, I’m glad I did. I won a bet about when Nintendo would reveal their next home console, I almost wanted a Vita, I squeed for joy when Metroid: Other M was announced and when they showed Pit for the first time for Kid Icarus: Uprising (I mainly care about the Nintendo conference if you couldn’t tell). It was always the best way to end each school year.
“If they want to put on a show for gamers, they should put on a show for gamers. If they want to show investors the latest TV channel their console plays, or casual application that looks great on Bloomberg, then they should do that somewhere else. Some other time. Because trying to half-ass both at once isn’t helping any of us.”
See, I never thought of E3 as the gamer’s show. Other conventions like PAX are that, one where gamers can go there. The fact that gamer’s aren’t allowed in E3 anymore pretty much ensured that E3 is not for the gamers. Instead, it’s for the businesses. If we look at Nintendo for example, unveiling the Wii U was a way to show investors that what they have seems like a good idea and a solid plan. I feel like that’s why only major announcements are shown at E3 instead of the smaller ones that are usually regulated to other conventions. It’s also why, even though I hated it, the Usher concert was there. I read a YouTube comment on it about not being about entertaining us gamers watching the show, or to fill in time, but that it showed these businessmen that they have Usher advertising their new game.
In that sense, E3 neither needs to be fixed or killed, but gamers need to realize that E3 hasn’t been for them for a long time. I mean, it use to be that E3 was the only way to hear about these big announcements about all kinds of games, but now there are just so many way that are a hell of lot cheaper.
Also, as game’s become more and more sophisticated and scope become more ambitious, a year just isn’t enough time to show anything, especially risky games that won’t wow the business people as much as a big title like Mario, Halo, or Uncharted.
Now let me tell you why I still love E3. I feel rarely that we hear from the console manufacturers about what they’re doing. I remember getting excited about the Wii, Wii U, 3DS, Vita, Move, and Kinect, thinking about all the game possibilities that this new hardware can bring and I really want to see more games that show what the console or peripheral can do.
It’s also a way to get everyone besides gamers to know what the companies are up to. E3 is not just big to gamers or the game industry, but I know a lot of major magazines and newspapers report on what goes on at E3. These are the people would like to know that that Wi Fit U is coming out or the next Dance Central.
So as much as it sucks to say, but E3 is not just for gamers, it hasn’t been for a long time, and it doesn’t need to be.