Monday, July 31, 2006

ESA confirms restructuring of E3

The Entertainment Software Association, organizers of the E3, have issued a press release, confirming previous rumours of a restructuring of the event. Here´s the press release.
Entertainment Software Association Announces Evolution of E3Expo for 2007


Contact: Stacey Wade
202-223-2400 or

Washington, DC (July 31, 2006) – To better address the needs of today’s global computer and video game industry, the 2007 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3Expo) is evolving into a more intimate event focused on targeted, personalized meetings and activities, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced today.

“The world of interactive entertainment has changed since E3Expo was created 12 years ago. At that time we were focused on establishing the industry and securing orders for the holiday season,” said Douglas Lowenstein, President of the ESA, the trade association representing U.S. computer and video game publishers and the owner of E3Expo. “Over the years, it has become clear that we need a more intimate program, including higher quality, more personal dialogue with the worldwide media, developers, retailers and other key industry audiences.”

The new E3Expo will take shape over the next several months. As currently envisioned, it will still take place in Los Angeles, described by ESA as a “great and supportive partner helping to build E3.” It will focus on press events and small meetings with media, retail, development, and other key sectors. While there will be opportunities for game demonstrations, E3Expo 2007 will not feature the large trade show environment of previous years.

“E3Expo remains an important event for the industry and we want to keep that sense of excitement and interest, ensuring that the human and financial resources crucial to its success can be deployed productively to create an exciting new format to meet the needs of the industry. The new event ensures that there will be an effective and more efficient way for companies to get information to media, consumers, and others,” said Lowenstein.

Additionally, the evolution of the video game industry into a vibrant and expanding global market has led to the creation of major events in different regions, such as the Games Convention in Leipzig, the Tokyo Game Show, and company-specific events held by Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, and others around the world. As a result, Lowenstein said, “It is no longer necessary or efficient to have a single industry ‘mega-show’. By refocusing on a highly-targeted event, we think we can do a better job serving our members and the industry as a whole, and our members are energized about creating this new E3.”

Additional details about the new E3Expo event will be forthcoming in the next few months.

Well, we knew this was coming. And let´s not quibble over details: E3 is dead. At the very least, it will never be the same again. I still cannot quite believe it, but that is the way it is.

Though Lowenstein steered clear of specifics or reasons, there are some subtle hints that show us what ´the new E3Expo´ will look like. After recognizing the importance of the "Games Convention in Leipzig, the Tokyo Game Show, and company-specific events held by Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, and others around the world", Lowenstein concludes that "it is no longer necessary or efficient to have a single industry ‘mega-show’" and continues to talk of ´refocusing on a highly-targeted event´ for the sake of the members.

This pretty much confirms that the publishers ganged up on the ESA because of the phenomenal costs of E3. They prefer other, cheaper events like TGS and GC. As such, E3 really is no more. I attended all seven shows since 2000 and, even though it was always stressful, far too loud and far too busy and everyone was always behind schedule, I shall miss those days.

EDIT An indicator of the implications of the announcement can be seen in the ESA removing the provisional date for E3 2007 from the show´s website entirely.

It used to read:

Planning is already underway for E3 2007. Mark your calendars:

E3 2007
May 16-18, 2007
Los Angeles Convention Center

Next Gen has a good analysis piece up on what led to the E3´s downfall. GameSpot explores the consequences for the ESA and the City of Los Angeles very well.

In contrast, and somewhat ironic, Ars Technica, who bitterly lashed out at Next Gen, are not even aware of the ESA´s press release yet.

EDIT Incidentally, SPOnG have nothing better to do than jump on the bandwagon and contribute to the bonfire of vanities, also taking a stab at Next Gen (who turned out to be completely right - after all, people are just interpreting the same facts mildly different).

‘E3 finished’ claimed a report on website late last night. (...) Well, it turns out when one decides to check the facts, this is simply not the case, but why let facts get in the way of a good scoop, eh, Next-Gen?

They end the article with the sentence "SPOnG will bring you the official line from the ESA as soon as we have it" and - poetic justice in full effect - no, they haven´t got it yet. Why update your news site when you can just lash out at others, eh, SPOnG?

EDIT SPOnG have finally woken up to the ESA´s press release. They´re now in a position that they have to downplay the whole thing: "E3 will simply shrink" is their comment. A ridiculous euphemism when you consider that E3 will relocate from the LACC, most likely to a much smaller venue. We don´t even know the full extent of the planned downsizing, but they are happy to comment on it already.

Ars Technica still haven´t posted a news story. There´s just an entry on their blog. Way to hide information!

Source: Entertainment Software Association


Anonymous said...

Wow, I've never even been to E3 and I'll miss it. It was kind of an embodiment of the industry to me. I agree, E3 is dead. This sucks :(

Falafelkid said...

Yes. I really am still in shock. I am beginning to see the reasons why the publishers did what they did. But I still have a long way to go before I can really understand it.

I am just glad I never sold my limited E3 2005 Xbox360 faceplate or the other stuff you got at the pre-show conferences - or even the little stuff you got on the showfloor.


Anonymous said...

RIP e3.

all i can say, is thank god the last (real) e3 ever was totally pwnt by nintendo. i love the thought of that.

well, not only that; i also love that sony failed miserably.

-"superfan" tactics.

Falafelkid said...

Hi Tactics. Yeah, good point. You know what? That just made me feel a whole lot better somehow. Nintendo ended the show with a bang.

Anonymous said...

and falafelkid: i agree about e3 swag... i have a badass little silver nintendo wiimote pin, a nintendo badge lanyard, and a nintendo "e3zero6" black wiimote t-shirt, all acquired through ebay, from this years e3... this announcement makes them much more valuable to me.

"what was e3 grandpa?"
"well children: (holding up wiimote shirt) e3 was nintendo's stomping grounds, back when there were actually companies other than them trying to make videogames."
"wow grandpa! those companies were stupid worthless pigs!"

-"superfan" tactics.

Anonymous said...

cool man! glad i could help a little :)

-"superfan" tactics.

Realmy said...

This is a good thing for gamers. No more arbitrary dates for development cycles to meet an unnecessary deadline to show demos. Now game development can carry on at a pace that they really need.

Plus, this means most companies will hold individual shows of their own. This is good too, because things won't get overlooked in the masses. The resurrection of Space World, anyone?

Falafelkid said...

Hey Tactics.

I have a badass little silver nintendo wiimote pin.

Aaaargh, that sounds too cool. I never saw those. I guess you are talking about some stuff seen in this eBay auction. I only have the bag. Actually, I nicked four of those ;)

Falafelkid said...

Hi Realmy. Good points. But for us general interest media, it was the best solution to have one central event each year, rather than lots of little events.

This minimized expenses for us and maximized the material we got out of it.

Mind you, there are the X06 events now, there´s the GC which we have always attended. And back in the days we always travelled to London´s ECTS. So I guess there were always other events distracting from E3.

Only E3, as you rightly point out, had the power to change developers´ production schedules. And they won´t mind to be free from those chains, for sure.

Of course, my girlfriend is hard at work on a GC demo at the moment, so other shows will influence deadlines as well. But maybe to a lesser extent.

Anonymous said...

yes! on that auction page, you'll see the 6 thumbnail photos... my pin is the right-center photo. shame you can't see it too well, but it's really cool: a wiimote with the nintendo logo parallel to it.

but back on topic, the more i think about e3 being dead, the more mixed feelings i get. i always looked SO forward to the whole "who will win e3?" buzz every year... i'm really going to miss that.

at the same time... this will definately be beneficial to the industry as a whole, i suppose. i can totally understand smaller companies being ticked off that they can't compete with a billion-dollar nintendo booth. it's totally understandable.

either way, i think that some peoples bitter accusations that EA and Sony were two of the biggest culprits in killing e3 may actually have some merit - just from a political standpoint. sony was quite literally the laughing stock of e3, and i'm sure they know it. if i were them, i wouldn't be happy either - and we all know what happens when someone pisses sony off... look at michael jackson ;)

yes, i'm serious about the michael jackson thing. e3's demise, i feel, is just another example of the fat kid that pissed off the neighborhood bully.

-"superfan" tactics.

RGB said...

No more stupid media companies giving BS coverage to Sony and not even mentioning Nintendo (ie Australia). Ah good.

Falafelkid said...

You made me laugh out loud, Tactics.

i'm serious about the michael jackson thing. e3's demise, i feel, is just another example of the fat kid that pissed off the neighborhood bully.

Brilliant comparison. And I think there may be a lot of truth in it, too. However, the GameSpot article mentions ´Sony, Microsoft, Electronic Arts, and THQ´ as the main instigators of change.

And consider that Sony would have looked just as stupid if they had held their own event. RIIIIIIDDGGEE RRRAAAAAAACCCCERR!

Falafelkid said...

Hey Grandmaster.

No more stupid media companies giving BS coverage to Sony and not even mentioning Nintendo (ie Australia). Ah good.

That´s a very good point. If every company holds their own events at different times and probably one in each of the three biggest regions, then Sony cannot overshadow Nintendo anymore.

Media that would otherwise be drawn to the current home console brand known to most people will now be able to devote an equal amount of time to each of the three console manufacturers. Good point!

Anonymous said...

hahaha you made me laugh out loud too, as you are correct: no matter WHAT the circumstances, "RIIIIIIIIIDGE RAAAAACER!" would have been equally ridiculous.

i hadn't heard about MS and THQ also being blamed... i wonder why MS is pissed? they had a pretty good showing - and a lot of it had to do with journalists 'round the world commenting on the lack of differences in the graphical capability (as of yet) between the 360 and the "omg" ps3... microsoft should be friggin happy, i'd think!

thq on the other hand... ugh. they're digging their own grave. i mean, really: i have nothing against spongebob games or whatever - i'm sure they'll be cool for the youth demographic (and the teenage-LSD-user demographic) and such, but if THQ is complaining about not getting enough coverage, they should try securing, developing, and releasing licensed titles that people actually give a shit about. spongebob had his hayday - it was like, 2k4-2k5. he's still riding high, i know, but he's fighting a downhill battle from here on out ;)

anyway... it's always so fun to catch you here and get "live" responses from you, falafelkid. you should consider starting an IRC chatroom or something. also, while i have you here, thanks for gettin' back on the ball recently and updating regularly again. some of us were just lost without this site.

-"superfan" tactics.

Falafelkid said...

you should consider starting an IRC chatroom or something. also, while i have you here, thanks for gettin' back on the ball recently and updating regularly again. some of us were just lost without this site.

That´s a good idea there. I´ll look into it after my videogame shoot (the proposed date of which has been confirmed today btw - yahoooo!) and after GC.

Oh, and thanks for the compliments. I´ll have to pass them straight back to all of you guys. I often visit other blogs that look much more professional than mine (and have a proper .com domain) and see a maximum of three or four comments on each article... I am thrilled to bits of the traffic I get (that´s not to mention quality commentators) and hope to do my best here.

Jason said...

This is better over all. There will be no more wasting of advertising dollars that could be used towards the games in development and completion.t

Anonymous said...

"wii prove our promise"

Anonymous said...

Nintendo commits to E3 07

Anonymous said...

The E3 did always suck, too much hype around nintendo and then afterwards they did disappoint like always! I am afraid that history will repeat when launching the Wii. Too much hype buthing nothing in the hood !

Shoxware Games said...

Nintendo just lost Camelot as a developer... ...

Anonymous said...


On second thought lets not go to Camelot, tis a silly place.

Anonymous said...

go away. nobody likes you.

-running gag-

Falafelkid said...

Hey Shoxware. that would be quite a surprise. What´s your source? Cannot find anything on the developer website.

Falafelkid said...

Also, Camelot ending its partnership with Nintendo appears highly unlikely. Apart from the Sega Saturn, they have only ever developed on Nintendo platforms, as the IGN developer profile shows.

And their new RPG is most likely coming to Wii. Though that´s not confirmed yet.

Shoxware Games said...

Sorry folks... It's true!
It's on every german newssite like gamefront!

Falafelkid said...

They wrote that Camelot wants to concentrate on their PC golf game. Ah well, it´s not as if they jumped ship then. They will be missed by the fans. But I have never been a Golden Sun fan, so it´s no skin off my nose.

I´m just wondering what will happen to the next-gen RPG project they had announced early in the year? It was very likely being developed for Wii, as I said above. Guess we´ll have to see.

Gamefront quotes Gemaga magazine. So if anyone can read Japanese, please have a look at their recent posts. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Could Shigeru Miyamoto's, who noted that he is working on a secret project that will be announced within the next six months, will be a game that let you play a ghost who posses objects and characters, like a mouse or a dog?



Anonymous said...

After reading the news about the E3, we must consider that nintendo has lost an important place, where it won always the interest of the media! I think, the lost of the E3 will hurt nintendo more than the competitors, because they have always generated a great hype during E3. I think that this will also not help them to be succesful in future. In my opinion the focus of gaming is really lying in next generation and not some new kind of gaming. I think that the Wii will have the same future like the N64. A solid hardware but not comparable with the competitors.
The Wii is going to suck, obviously!

-running gag-