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Monday, 21 July 2008 07:06

2008 E3 was a bust!

Written by David Stellmack

Image

Revamped show not making the grade

The E3 show used to be one of the hottest shows of the year and it was one of the shows that we looked forward to covering every year. While gaming publishers and hardware manufacturers complained that the show has just gotten too big and expensive, it is now obvious that tide has turned and the new scaled-down version of E3 just isn’t making the grade at all with those exhibiting at the show.

While many companies have elected to pull out of ESA, which is the organization that hosts E3, the show has gone so far in the cost-saving, scaled-down direction that now it just does not make it a show that is worth covering for the media. While attendance has fallen from its highest of around 60,000 to around 5,000, top executives are now speaking out saying that the show has just gone too far in the wrong direction.

While some companies have moved to hosting their own private events, the cost of hosting such an event is also expensive, and may not get the attendance and media coverage necessary to make it worthwhile. While many companies did host private events during the week of E3 the problem was not only with the show itself, but the fact that the announcements and new products announced just didn’t set the gaming world on fire.

Top executives from EA and Ubisoft were among the first to recognize the problems with this year’s E3, and are now speaking out and saying they are dissatisfied and unhappy. The good news is that by speaking out we are hopeful that the powers that be will see the need for change and work toward bringing that change about.

As far as the product announcements at E3, the surprises were few and far between and really did not leave consumers with a lot to get excited about this holiday season. While there were several exceptions, the smaller E3 has led to a lack of coverage for new titles that would not otherwise get any press. Of course, many retailers just didn’t make the trip at all.

While the old E3 was loud, difficult to conduct business in, the new lack of flash and substance just isn’t good for business. It is hard to say what will happen to E3, but we can be sure of the fact that change is going to come; but if they can’t get the media and retailers interested in attending it will translate to fewer sales, which can’t be a good thing for the industry.

Last modified on Monday, 21 July 2008 07:45

David Stellmack

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