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
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Stacey Wade
202-223-2400 or email@example.com
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:
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 Next-Gen.biz 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