Some big publishers might still not show up
. If the expo is going to be reduced to just meeting rooms in a hotel, some large publishers might decided not bother with it and instead invite the media to their own local press events. Indeed, before the announced retrenchment most publishers already had pre-E3 press events where they show off most, if not all, of their E3 builds beforehand.
The amount and type of press at the new E3 will be cut down considerably.
Itís hard to imagine the G4 TV cable running a whole week of coverage of the new downsized E3 from a hotel room location. Having the new E3 will certainly give journalists more access to games but it makes for less exciting spectacle for the mainstream press. Expect a lot less attention for the new E3 from outlets like the major TV networks, newspapers, magazines and web sites. CNet Networks, the parent company of the largest gaming web site on the planet Gamespot.com, reported in their most recent financial results that page views to Gamespot went up 32 percent while covering E3 last May compared to E3 2005. Itís hard to imagine that kind of attention being given to a cut down E3. Of course, less hits on major gaming web sites next May due to a revamped E3 will affect advertising revenue on gaming web sites.
LA will be hugely affected.
Even though we donít like LA, we canít ignore the fact that people do live there and they all need to make a living. E3 has been by far the biggest convention held at the LA Convention Center every year and during the five days of E3 related events every May the 60,000 + visitors to the city generate tens of millions of dollars into the local economy. Even though the event will stay in LA it certainly wonít be the huge all-encompassing event as in the past. Without that kind of money coming into the city, there could be some people who could suffer such as downtown restaurants, taxi drivers, and more.
It just wonít be quite as fun:
Yes, for us in the media, a smaller and revamped E3 would make our jobs easier but secretly I think we kind of like some aspects of the E3s of the past. The parties that we canít get invited to, the celebs that show up to promote a game product and the booth babes that are the subject of many a web siteís galleries (including this one) are all a part of the show we have grown accustomed to. Having an event thatís just in meeting rooms doesnít really sound like a celebration or a party on the surface. Weíve read complaints about the so called restrictions that the current E3 has but we donít buy it. A retrenchment to a meeting room format would actually be more restrictive and less spontaneous.
So what will become of E3, and indeed of the entire industry, with this new version? Itís hard to say since we suspect even the ESA doesnít have all the answers but perhaps the new version of the expo shows that the industry is finally grown up and has decided that the games, rather than the expensive shine of exhibits, parties and booth babes, should be the focus. Iím not sure what the final form will actually look like but I look forward to seeing how this new E3 will rise from the ashes of the old and I look forward to heading on that plane in July to see it. It wonít be the same...but then again, not much else is these days.
So what has the industry reaction been like to the downsizing of E3? Here is a sample of the responses we have gotten so far. By the way, FiringSquad attempted several times Sunday and Monday to contact the ESA for comment via phone and email and aside from Monday afternoonís press release they have not responded to our inquiries. Several other representatives of major publishers either did not respond to our inquiries or choose not to comment to us.