E3 Rubbish, Say Bigwigs

By Alec Meer on July 18th, 2008 at 5:14 pm.

An E3, yesterday

From our comfortable slouch in front of our dusty LCD screens, E3 2008′s seemed surprisingly fertile after last year’s dampest of squibs. Perhaps there weren’t many omigosh new announcements, but it gave a glad chance to see long-awaited shinies such as Dragon Age, Fallout 3 (DON’T SAY A BLOODY WORD), Spore, Mirror’s Edge, Dawn of War II, Borderlands, Alpha Protocol and more in extensive action. Me = chuffed.

For those actually at the show… eh, not so good.

“I hate E3 like this. Either we need to go back to the old E3, or we’ll have to have our own private events.” – EA CEO (CEAO?) John Riccitiello.

“E3 this year is terrible. The world used to come to E3. Now it’s like a pipe-fitters show in the basement.” Laurent Detoc, president of Ubisoft America.

(Via Next-Gen)

Christ man, be careful what you say. Those pipe-fitters don’t take kindly to a dissing. They’ll come and loosen your pipes in the night now, you mark my words.

Odd, frankly. Clearly the industry didn’t dig the show, which despite all the hullabaloo only actually pulled 5000 visitors, so apparently it’ll be tweaked again next year. Yet it seems, from afar, to have been a bigger deal than in several years. On PC, at least. I hear the Sonintendosoft chaps didn’t do so well out of it. Meanwhile, I’m sat here barely able to contain my excitement about all the treats Autumn and beyond has in store for us. Squee!

Image by Gamerscoreblog, and is Creative Commonsed’n'that.

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31 Comments »

  1. AndrewC says:

    It seemed great from afar because all the announcements can be done online now. We got everything from E3 almost immediately in our living rooms. There’s barely any point, from the ‘reaching consumers’ pov, of having a physical event at all.

  2. joncfc says:

    was there owt said about gta4 ?

  3. John Walker says:

    The mighty Ragnar Tørnquist predicted this and stayed home for the first time in a decade:

    http://ragnartornquist.com/?p=469

  4. Andthensobecause says:

    I am quite sure pipe-fitters show nothing but class in their basement showings. Plumbers on the other hand…

  5. Al3xand3r says:

    The show isn’t for gamers, it’s for investors and industry partners mostly.

    People need to understand that before going all “OMG NINTENDO CONFERENCE SUCKS WHERE ARE TEH HARDCORE GAEMZ” or whatever.

    Though, for the record, here are some of them…
    http://wii.gamespy.com/dor/objects/887483/romance-of-the-three-kingdoms-11/videos/san11PV_trailer_071508.html

    http://wii.gamespy.com/dor/objects/14253678/madworld/videos/madworld_jumpingbackbreaker_071508.html

    http://wii.gamespy.com/dor/objects/14222041/call-of-duty-5/videos/callofduty5wii_071508.html

    http://youtube.com/results?search_query=the conduit&search_sort=video_date_uploaded

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUMpFq19STg&fmt=18

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qkjwZmYqyQ

    But really, for any system, people paid too much attention to the conferences instead of going out there and playing what was on offer… Several good games were shown for every system in my opinion, and especially for Nintendo’s system which gets the most of the “sucky E3″ flack…

  6. James G says:

    E3 is a different beast now, it seems silly to compare it to what it was of old.

  7. Olick says:

    I do agree that it is primarily for the media attention.
    E3 as an event still makes waves with gamers though. I’ve seen more news on this site about games I care about in the last few days than in a long time. And even if I didn’t keep up with recent news, knowing something like E3 is around might pique my interest to look up what the near future holds for gaming. Not to mention it gives unknown projects or companies a chance to share the stage with the big guys.

    E3 as an event doesn’t demand a physical event, but at this point the industry is definitely more comfortable with a physical event than not.

  8. Kieron Gillen says:

    My contacts at the show suggest at the moment this year it falls between two stools. In that next year will either be much smaller, or much bigger. And probably the latter – which, if it doesn’t get the footprint of attention required – will be the end of it again.

    KG

  9. Jae Armstrong says:

    Oh, ffs. You cannot gut the event and expect it to be the same beast as it was in its heyday. This smacks of trying to have one’s cake and eat it.

  10. heartless_ says:

    The biggest part I missed was the “hidden gems of E3″. Only big news this year it seems, with no little guys getting their shot. I think this was better for some bigger developers, because they got more time to talk with journalists, which was the big gripe of old E3. Nothing got accomplished at old E3 IMHO.

    Overall, great announcements, but if you simply blocked out E3, it would of felt like any other week on the Internet for game announcements.

  11. grumpy says:

    Weren’t EA among the crowd of big publishers complaining about the old E3 being a waste of time? Now they want it back?

    Sheesh…

  12. Monkfish says:

    The Games Convention at Leipzig out E3s E3, nowadays.

  13. Alex says:

    The people on the last GFW podcast (including a guy from Relic) suggested that for the people reacting negatively it’s an ego thing. They want a party, with everyone going “hurray for games!” or something.

    I don’t know. To me as a consumer, it seems nicer this way, much less shouty and obnoxious.

  14. Muzman says:

    You trying to tell me that scores of journos coming back and posting up a shit load of press kits and a chip or two full of booth babe photographs was somehow cheapening the whole endeavour?

  15. RichPowers says:

    @Monk

    Indeed. And, this could all be in my head, it seems that Leipzig has a greater focus on PC games.

  16. Edgar the Peaceful says:

    I’d like to thank Alex for continuing to have Kate Bush as his avatar meaning I get to see her beautiful face flashing past as I scroll through the comments. Sterling work!

  17. Meat Circus says:

    It was easily the second most tedious E3 evar.

  18. Whiskey Jack says:

    @ Al3xand3r

    “The show isn’t for gamers, it’s for investors and industry partners mostly.”

    Exactly. It is not a show to impress gamers in their living room, it is one to impress Wall Street and Wallmart. If the investors and retailers think that the manufacturer has a product that will sell (goddamn Wii Music!!!) then the show is a success for them.

    And I agree that looking at the three big conferences wasn’t the best way to get the best idea of the show. You had to look elsewhere to get gameplay footage of Borderland or Dragon Age.

    Also, Sony NEEDS to release Little Big Planet on the PC!!!! (or I could buy a PS3 I guess).

  19. Lake says:

    I had to look up chuffed before I could post.

    Just another case of ‘the grass is always greener’ syndrome. Before, showgoers were complaining about the noise, the gross Los Vegas-like spectacle, the booth babes and all the peons, not in the industry, crowding them out.

  20. Cigol says:

    Is this why RPS wasn’t personally present, or just a pleasing coincidence?

  21. andy says:

    par for course, i didn’t even bother to follow it online, i seem to vaguely recall everyone more or less yapping about maybe 6 or so games the last 3 days. over and over and over…releasing the same trailer material respliced 10 different ways every other hour.

  22. Steven Hutton says:

    You know if they’d just released the trailers that they released at the show onto gametrailers I literally wouldn’t have noticed the difference.

  23. kuddles says:

    Yeah, from the standpoint of an outsider, it seemed like a great E3 to me. I learned a lot of info about games I’m interested in, as well as ones that I was on the fence about, not to mention a few surprises.

    Also, I think E3 is being a whipping boy no matter what happens. The same people whining about how dull and restrained it is are the same people who whined about how it was an impossible to cover annoying circus for years leading up to these changes.

  24. No Problem says:

    IGN PC didn’t like this years E3 either, and I’m inclined to agree with them, Charles especially.

    http://pc.ign.com/articles/891/891899p1.html

  25. MeestaNob! says:

    I don’t keep up these things, can someone explain whats different this year as opposed to previous E3s?

  26. Muzman says:

    In previous years it was a proper full blown trade show cum film/music festival/convention; All the big names showed up to promote their wares in ever more elaborate booths and displays, while everyone else bought small tables in the back room and begged for publishers and investors (and the whole thing had a ‘Oh Yeah! Gaming knows how to throw a party too Hollywood!’ Revenge of the Nerds vibe to it if you ask me). Most importantly, I think, the public were allowed in.
    After a few years of that starting to look like a very big industry-media circle jerk in which the public show up to fawn, many articles were written about how it might be time to grow up. So last year they had the first toned down E3; industry only and sane regular schedules of talks and what not, leaning more towards a conference than pure marketing.
    And now in its second year of this approach it’s getting articles from people who miss the old E3.
    That’s one casual viewer/cynic ‘never going to get to go myself so I’ll throw stones’ version. There’s probably other important details

  27. Alex says:

    Most importantly, I think, the public were allowed in.

    No they weren’t really, but it was easier for them to worm their way in. Anyone who had a blog mildly related to gaming could apply, as could people who worked at gamestores.

    Mark Noseworthy of Relic (Dawn of War, Company of Heroes, etc.) said he once was talking to this guy for 15 minutes about his game and at the end asked who he worked for and the guy said he was there for his high school newspaper.

    E3 has become a lot pickier about who gets an invite, which has made a lot of people crap their pants in frustration and anger.

  28. Okami says:

    I guess this E3 wasn’t too bad for PC gamers. I mean, we could be Nintendo fans. Then we’d be really screwed…

  29. propanol says:

    Obviously a lot of video game developers don’t like the new format. The old E3 made them feel like rockstars for simply being involved in the creation of games somehow. The new E3 puts them back in reality where they’re businessmen and have to act the part, which is exactly how it should have been from the beginning – not the free for all marketing extravaganza the old E3 was.

  30. SwiftRanger says:

    Do these execs know what they’re saying? The scaling down thing happened in the first place because the publishers themselves said the stands were getting too big and expensive, the whole show became too big with too many titles and too many visitors.

    And it probably went from one extreme into the other although the worst thing about this E3 is that we haven’t seen much from smaller publishers (Disciples III and that’s it I guess?). I get the impression that with the downsizing it’s becoming more of a US event rather than a global event. Hopefully Leipzig can compensate for that.

  31. iainl says:

    Nintendo fans are just annoyed that the company quite rightly talked about what they expect to shift a metric tonne of units on. I like Mario as much as the next poster (probably more, given this is a PC site), but Animal Crossing and Wii Summer Sports are going to be the big sellers; bigger than anything Sony talked about, for instance.

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