And he's the veteran reporter. The new guy, the even younger kid without the branded swag, has a stenographers pad with the cover folded back. It's crammed with notes, stacked single-spaced on every page. I can see over his shoulder as he watches a presentation and dutifully jots down everything he's told.
"We're making the AI even better than before," the associate producer says.
The AI is even better than before, the guy writes.
"We have twice as many levels as other games," the associate producer says.
Twice as many levels, the guy writes.
"We're adding stealth and limitless replay," the associate producer says.
Stealth. Limitless replay, the guy writes.
"We're taking everything out that's not fun since that's the bottom line. We want our game to be fun," the associate producer says.
The game will be fun, the guy writes.
And this is what will make its way to you, dear readers. These snippets of nearly worthless marketing patter, which may as well be transcribed from the publisher's web site or mock-ups of the box, pass for E3 coverage.
After years of doing interviews and email Q&A to preview games, I've learned that 70% of what I get back is useless. The trick is making an article out of the remaining 30%. But E3 is all about that 70%, with the useful 30% filtered out by the noise and time constraints.
Of course, E3 isn't for the press. We'd just as soon spread coverage out, and spend a bit more time with each title, asking more questions, maybe fiddling around with a playable build or interviewing the guys who make the game without some Yu Gi Oh song blaring from the booth next door. We’d clearly rather not try to cover 300 games in 3 days. And E3 isn't for the game companies. The developers can't possibly enjoy the days it rips from their development schedule to stop what they're doing and retool everything for an E3 build. Weeks of work are lost, ultimately adding to the expense -- and therefore cost -- of a game. The publishers probably don't enjoy having to pay for all that booth space and all those models and their warrior princess costumes, all to be swallowed up in someone's expansive superficial E3 coverage, detailing how many levels there will be in each game and whether it will have multiplayer.