E3 is frequently touted as the biggest event of the year for the gaming industry, but this time around it looks like some companies have begun to question that significance. A few months back, Electronic Arts announced that it is skipping E3 and hosting its own, simultaneous event, and in recent weeks Activision, Disney, and more have also revealed that they won’t have booths on the expo floor. With prominent names such as these passing on the show, one has to wonder: is E3 still as relevant as we’ve always thought it was?
According to the Entertainment Software Association, the organization that sets up and runs E3 each year, yes, it absolutely is. In a discussion with MCV, ESA’s Rich Taylor stated that E3 is “beyond relevant, it is essential and critical to the game and entertainment industry calendar.”
“The ‘is E3 still relevant?’ question gets asked every year, and then gets answered in June of that same year with a resounding ‘yes’.
“E3 is beyond relevant, it is essential and critical to the game and entertainment industry calendar. It changes, it has never been a stagnant show and this year is no different. Last year if you asked most people, in the aftermath of E3 how they found it, many will tell you it was the best E3 they can remember. But in the ramp up to that show, I was answering the same sort of questions that you just put to me.
“One of the things we do at the close of every E3 is that we talk to everyone we can… and we try and figure out how to change the experience and make it better. We’ve done that this time, and we will be making adjustments to guarantee it is going to be a tremendous show. There are a number of press briefings going on – a record number,I believe – that starts a few days before E3. That’s a reflection of the fact that people realise that this is the place to make news and break news, and have that amplified around the globe in a way like no other show can.”
— Rich Taylor
Even with big names like Activision and Electronic Arts missing the show, Taylor remains optimistic, stating that “if people aren’t there, we will find others to be there” and that they are talking to “a number of entities and developers, and encouraging them and inviting them to be a part of the show, when perhaps in the past they have not been.”
He also addresses the common question of whether or not regular consumers could be allowed to attend the show; last year, many of the gaming industry’s attendees were provided with passes that they could distribute as they wished. Taylor indicates that this practice will likely return this year, along with, possibly, “some additional elements on top of that.” Additionally, he notes that the ESA is “always trying to figure out what we need to do, such as finding ways to better accommodate and facilitate YouTube personalities.”
Fortunately, it looks like E3’s roster will continue to be high this year, if the recently published list of attendees is accurate – though, given that EA’s name is included in it, we’re not sure that it is. What do you think of all this? Is E3 still as important in 2016 as it has been previously? Or is its relevancy fading? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!
Source: MCV UK