Tuesday, August 01, 2006

New ´E3 Media Festival´ to take place in two hotels

Next Gen have the first details of the new event to replace the E3, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal.

Here are the shocking details:
Lowenstein said that next year’s event is tentatively titled the “E3 Media Festival,” and will have a target attendance of 5,000. To put that into perspective, E3 2006 drew 60,000 attendees--and that number was down from 70,000 in 2005.

In addition, the event will move from its traditional May dates to sometime in July next year, and take place in suites and conference rooms in two L.A. hotels. E3 has normally been held in the enormous Los Angeles Convention Center.

"Some companies were frustrated because E3 was such a huge, sweeping event it became increasingly difficult to get their messages out," Lowenstein told the WSJ.

5.000 visitors are less than a tenth of the previous attendance numbers. Holding the event in the meeting rooms of two hotels shows how irrelevant the event will become to most people who previously attended. It seems to me the new event is supposed to do away with media attendance in general and exclusively focus on the trade and retail people. At any rate, this piece of news really drives home the message that E3 has died.

EDIT Yahoo News carried the story already some hours ago and they have further details on the event:
_The usual date in May will be pushed to early July, closer to the holiday season. In recent years, an increasing number of exhibitors were compelled to show off their upcoming products but were unable to present demonstrations that could be played.

_Attendance will be by invitation only. Although the event had always been closed to the general public, almost anyone involved in the industry could previously attend. Attendance is expected in the "thousands" instead of "tens of thousands," Lowenstein said.

_The number of exhibit booths will also be decreased.

The trade show will aim to provide a setting for "high-quality" meetings with media, developers, retailers and other key industry audiences, Lowenstein said.

So, apparently, media will be able to attend. We will have to wait and see what is meant by the ´by invitation only´ admission rules. Certainly, the bulk of internet sites will be barred (with the possible exception of sites like IGN or Joystiq). It´s my guess that the event will also cater to US and Canadian professionals only. I mean, why would I travel to LA for a limited number of booths in two hotels anyway?

EDIT There is a lengthy interview with ESA president Lowenstein on this blog, courtesy of game editor Brian D. Crecente, who often writes for Kotaku. Here are some excerpts:
"We are talking about no show floor in the sense you go to the convention center and there are big booths and the other accoutrements associated with that." (...)

The new system will rely on invite lists created by developers, though Lowenstein said they haven't figured out exactly how it would work.

The ESA is still in the process of planning the new event, but he said that it will still likely feature demo areas, though most of the event will take place in private meetings with individual publishers and developers. (...) "We found that what works best at E3 was what was behind closed doors. That means the show floor pretty much ends." (...)

"There will be some people who are part of the E3 family right now who will not fit into the new model, that's inevitable," Lowenstein said, adding that the show is still trying to figure out a way to give smaller game publishers a chance to showcase their products at the new event.

"It might be something set up in a hotel ballroom," he said. "We might create opportunities for them to do small displays." (...)

"You are not going to have the sensory overload and on the other hand we are still going to have a set-up where you are going to have an opportunity to see everyone you want to see and eliminate the overload of E3," he said. (...) "We will still have some of the enjoyment and fun and glitz of E3."

Lowenstein said that while developers' rising costs for putting together booths for the show was a factor in the decision to overhaul E3, it wasn't the deciding factor.

"The question wasn’t are people willing to spend money, it's how do you get the highest return for your money," he said. "Many felt the investment was no longer as compelling as it was."

It was to be expected that there will be no more showfloor. The most astounding piece of news from this article is the explanation of the ´invite only´ policy. If the attendance list really will only be drawn up by the publishers, this new event will become as spectacular as the EB / Gamestop managers conference - and there will be probably not much more media coverage either.

Source: Next Gen, Wall Street Journal
Thanks to: Game|Life, FEU, Kotaku


Anonymous said...

Hey Fal, Camelot just left Nintendo.


Falafelkid said...

We discussed that in the comments to the previous post. They want to focus on their PC golf title. At least they didn´t jump ship. That´s a slight relief.

Falafelkid said...

Shouldn´t forget to say thanks for posting the news, though. ;)

Falafelkid said...

The Wall Street Journal link works now, thanks to the good people at Joystiq.

Anonymous said...

"FESTIVAL"? this hardly sounds like a "festival"...

good reportin' falafelkid.

and by the way... i never liked Golden Sun either.

-"superfan" tactics.

Falafelkid said...

Hey Tactics.

"FESTIVAL"? this hardly sounds like a "festival"...

So true. The official ESA staement is also full of bullshit euphemisms like ´evolution´ (when they should really be speaking of devolution, or at least drastic downsizing).

Lowenstein going on about the new event retaining ´some of the glitz´ or what ever he said... that´s complete bollocks either. There will be no more than 5.000 people attending and no showfloor. Glitz my arse!

Anonymous said...

Eh, I don’t see this as too big of a deal. There are still plenty of other events around the world such as GDC, TGS and GC.

On another note; I like how the ESA is attempting to save face, as if they chose to downsize. From all of the reports on the web it seems that EA, THQ, MS and Sony along with a number of small companies said no more massive expo due to high cost. ESA had no choice, what are they going to do have an expo with no exhibitors.

Besides I don’t see this affecting Nintendo in any way.

910do said...

R.I.P E3.

Anonymous said...

well, i have to say it again: at least the last e3 ever was completely owned by nintendo.

...and at least we'll forever have good memories of the last e3: "riiiiiiiiidge racerrrrr!!!"

-"superfan" tactics.

Falafelkid said...

Hi Some Guy.

I agree with you totally about the ESA. That´s quite a sad attempt at PR there, I believe. A bit more honesty never hurt anyone. Or is the ESA floated on the stock market or something?

I don’t see this as too big of a deal. There are still plenty of other events around the world such as GDC, TGS and GC. (...)

I don’t see this affecting Nintendo in any way.

Well, now that E3 is effectively dead, there will be big changes awaiting all big software publishers and the three hardware manufacturers especially.

They will have to rethink their marketing and PR cycles completely. Where will they make big announcements and show off their most recent products in future?

As far as Nintendo is concerned, they will have to decide if the revival of a yearly SpaceWorld is cost-effective or whether they should rejoin TGS.

But there´s more to decide on. How will you reach out to the US market? They won´t attend any event in Japan (or in Europe, for that matter) in big numbers.

So will Nintendo host little SpaceWorlds in each region? Or will they look for smaller events in each region to participate in?

It´s a tricky question. E3 may have been expensive for everyone, but it was also damn convenient to pretty much have the world´s media (both general and special interest), all relevant trade and retail people and every single publisher and developer under the sun converge on one place. That leaves quite a vacuum to be filled.

Big decisions to be made over the next weeks and months.

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-

Anonymous said...

Was Nintendo's overwhelming success the cause for downsizing the E3?
I don't know if the years before were as good as this time for Nintendo, but maybe the E3-Bosses feared that the other companys loose interest in E3 with such a strong show from Nintendo like this year.
Maybe I'm just totaly wrong, but why should someone shrink down such a event. I can't believe that such a expo is too expensive for companies like Sony or MS, bc they also get normaly a shitload of publicity by E3 - but maybe this time not enough, bc of Nintendo.

Anonymous said...

go away. nobody likes you. shouldn't you be praying somewhere?

"you are the equivalent of urine."

Anonymous said...

oh i am sorry !!! wii is the best console ever i am rly sorry ! e3 was dumb and nintendo is best !!! i am a son of whore !

Anonymous said...

@ running Gag

I hope you're wrong. And I'm pretty confidence that Nintnedo, this time have thier ass covered. Coz I'm getting into something that would really make you folks say - wow!!

And that this "wow" are coming from a console witch being considered by many very very underpowered.

But I'm confident now that Nintendo never lie to us this time. They never did claim it will beat the Xbox or PS3. But that it will be stunning visually!

It will indeed be a slittle modified IBM PowerPC 750 along with addtional instructions. And that the from August 1~3, 2006 you can see what Wii\s graphics capability in Boston at SIGGRAPH 06.!


Falafelkid said...

Hi Superuser.

I don't know if the years before were as good as this time for Nintendo.

Last year was pretty much a disaster for Nintendo. Everyone wanted to know about Revolution and all they got was a glimpse of the console. No controller, no games. Just loads of news about DS, some of it even really corny (Nintendogs presentation). At the same time, Sony showed graphics demos for the PS3 that looked totally awesome (but now turned all out to have been prerendered). Anyway, E3 2005 was pretty weak for Nintendo.

Anonymous said...


you know where I can find (on the smae location) all press talk made by Ninntendo and or their partners?



Anonymous said...

...guys! don't forgett about the distobution patent mentioned here...

Let think about it. Dell and similar companys like Coca Cola are/is cutting of their middleman and do it hem self. In case of Dell. They got even bigger when selling directly to end user.

I think even Nintendo, like Microsoft and Apple before it saw a apportunity on digital distrobution.

And now when Nintendo have won half the race my capturing everybodys attention. Even many Industry Analyst have fall off their office chair. Nintendo has only to place their cards well. Coz if they to succeed they will grap the glory of being the first of bringing such tech into a broad audience. Business wise - if you have something valuable and offer it before the competitors...the market/ the people will remember you as the one and only.

Nintendo did it with NEZ/Famicom and I'm sure they can do it again ;)


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