ESA speaks on E3

 Posted by (Visited 26189 times)  Game talk
Jul 312006
 

The formal announcement.

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.

I think it’s safe to say that most people won’t think of that as “E3.” 🙂

  11 Responses to “ESA speaks on E3”

  1. While I can see the need to move E3 back to being more of a trade show than a media event, it seems wrong to throw away what you have.

  2. […] speaks on E3 ESA speaks on E3: “The formal announcement. The new E3Expo will take shape over the next several months. Ascurrently 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. […]

  3. Not if the costs were getting out of line with the benefit.

    95% of the benefit most people got at E3 could be accomplished in a large room with ample seating. It was the person to person networking, not the titanic booths and mind numbing sound systems…

  4. Raph wrote:

    I think it’s safe to say that most people won’t think of that as "E3".

    Isn’t that the point? 🙂

    Rik wrote:

    While I can see the need to move E3 back to being more of a trade show than a media event, it seems wrong to throw away what you have.

    They’re not discarding E3. They’re just transforming the event to focus more on companies than on the industry, which is honestly part of what’s needed to improve the significance of individual businesses. Remember the Magid study? Buyers are barely concerned with the publisher or developer. Brand building is not only less expensive when concentrated but also more powerful.

    Although there’s economic reason in getting people to spend money on games wherever, there’s also no competitive sense for one company to promote a competitor. I’m not an economics expert, but I’m pretty sure that what we have is close to perfect competition whereas what we need is monopolistic competition.

    There are a lot of problems with organizing around this concept of an "industry". You’ll see some of those problems on the IGDA forums, where aspiring entrants will ask questions such as, "How much does the industry pay?" Or people will talk about the business of games as though every games company were the same. We also have a problem of tribalism, where those employed in games are termed "insiders" and everyone else is called "outsiders". The latter term has even been applied to serious games developers. In terms of what’s good for the industry, buyers need to be more concerned with the publisher and/or developer, and to encourage buyers into that line of thought, we need to shift general attitudes of professionals and nonprofessionals alike.

    Changing up the E3Expo certainly will not immediately produce the appropriate shift, but repositioning and restructuring the event is a solid first step.

  5. Morgan-
    I’ll agree with your assessment as far as conventions are concerned.
    Especially since Ive never been to an E3. However I hope (especially since this applies to my company) that they dont have a really high barrier
    of entry (cost, to ensure your “press events and small meetings” even get on the radar) for small companies just starting out.

    I think that might have been the point of:

    the happy accident of finding a cool game tucked in a corner will probably be reduced

    Random foot traffic (coupled with origonal presentation) in a convention hall (any convention, for most industries) is sometimes better for small players than controled conventions with scheduled events.

    If I have a media event and I’m a small start up versus say a huge gameing company like Nintendo, whos going to get the 10:30 slot and whos going to get the 6 am slot? Worse yet, take the same situation, but give both players the 1030 slot….Yikes, former has an empty room, later has the house packed.

    I mean Im going either way, but I sure hope if I assume the expendature that its worth the time and effort and dont regret allocating tight budget dollars that could have otherwise been spent with online advertising or something. And therin lies the rub, is the expendature going to be worth it for the little (heck even the medium) sized organizations in a controlled convention enviornment? Big players win in both types of situations, sometimes this isnt so with the smaller ones….

  6. Allen Sligar wrote:

    I hope that they dont have a really high barrier of entry for small companies just starting out.

    I don’t know if E3Expo or some form of E3Expo will be accessible to smaller organizations; however, if not, then smaller organizations will simply have to do what they’ve always done to be successful and that is to select the marketing expenditures appropriate to their business situation. Case in point: should a small business whose clients reside in a specific region of a specific state in the United States spend on national broadcast advertising? There’s reach, and then there’s overreaching… If E3Expo or some form of E3Expo is not accessible to smaller organizations, then E3Expo will simply not be an appropriate marketing expenditure for many small businesses.

  7. I think you have to separate out two services of E3: hype and networking. The hype is what is going away. E3, it seems, won’t serve as an outlet for the big companies to hype their new systems, games, etc. A lot of that doesn’t impact the smaller companies too much as those companies are more interested in the networking: finding publishers or partners to do business with. They’ll still have that, more or less, if E3 still attracts suits from most of the industry.

    We will lose the chance that a small company in the corner of Kentia will gets a spread in some magazine, but let’s face it, 99.9% of the hype was going to the next big consoles and big releases from the major publishers anyway with a with only a few rare articles saying “hey, look at this weird **** we found down in Kentia”. Now it will just be the responsibility of the big publishers and systems designers to do their own hype. This kinda sucks as E3 acted as a good way to make companies compete for attention and competition is good. But the hype machine is so manipulated and brainless these days that honestly I don’t think it’ll make that much of a difference.

    I’m glad I got to go to E3 at least a couple times. 🙂 It was crazy and a lot of it was pointless but it was also a lot of fun.

  8. I guess what I was trying to say is that E3 never was a good marketing tool for small companies. Small companies go there to network and if they can still do that, then great. If we want a good forum for small indies to show off and get some attention then we’re going to have to come up with something completely different anyway.

  9. NG-E3.
    .
    .
    SWG fans will get it. 😛

  10. I’m really disappointed in the direction this is going –

    yes, the big publishing houses will have smaller solo shows, announcing their lineups, and those will get some coverage (if the company name holds enough weight) in the print media, and possibly tv. I’d expect to see 1/3-1 page of coverage in ‘game informer'(for example) about Activisions upcoming lineup after their show. 2-3 pages on sony, or so, and sony might get a 15 minute segment on g4 tv as well.

    but this years e3 was the biggest success for the media following public in history. As a gamer, I was able to dvr and watch 9 hours of e3 coverage on g4, plus other coverage on network/cable news. I had hours worth of demos and videos available on the xbox360 live marketplace. There were full e3 coverage editions of ALL major game mags, both domestic and international.

    With the combine show you get a mass infusion of everyones ‘best’ offerings, and you get to see them lined up. you get a real feeling where the ‘buzz’ is. Yeah, sometimes that buzz pans out, and sometimes its overdone hype (remember the disappointment over the failure of fable or doom3?)

    break all this down into 10-15 solo shows, and you lose the massive media coverage, and the respective marketing dollars needed to get the word out about your product will increase. Even if the companies throw 3x the money at the product, will they be effective? I think they’ll be lucky to get the same coverage for 150% the cost. I’d expect to see marketing costs double before they break even in coverage/placement

  11. Brew brings up another good point in the last paragraph about barries to entry (a different facet of it). So far everything I’m reading isnt pointing to the GMM team going because the money could be better spent elsewhere, which dosnt preclude my attendance personally, but I’d rather have my team there with me.

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