E3 is one of the largest gaming events of the year but publisher 2K Games isn't planning to attend. The company announced today that they won't have a booth at the annual trade fair.
It's not that 2K Games doesn't have anything to show off at E3. They've got WWE 2K14 and NBA 2K14 both coming this fall. Their subsidiary Firaxis Games is working on the Brave New World expansion for Civilization V and iOS version of XCOM: Enemy Unknown. There's also a big Borderlands 2 DLC pack on the way.
However, instead of showing these games off to industry professionals and press, 2K has decided to go straight to the gamers. They're going to show off new footage from their upcoming titles through their Twitch.TV and YouTube accounts. They mention that they'll be announcing news throughout spring, so they're not just sitting on videos until E3.
2K's decision not to have an E3 booth isn't a big shock. Fellow Take-Two publisher Rockstar Games has typically abstained from the show as well. That likely won't change, even though Rockstar plans to release GTA V this fall.
Now that publishers can directly communicate with gamers through social media, industry events aren't quite as vital as they used to be. Companies don't need to rely on the press to get the word out about their games, especially when it comes to established brands like WWE or Borderlands 2. Why compete with dozens and dozens of other companies for attention at E3 when you can release material at your own pace through YouTube?
E3 2013 will be held in Los Angeles from June 11th to June 13th. Even though 2K isn't showing up, it should be an exciting time. The next Xbox and the PlayStation 4 will be shown off in great detail by Microsoft and Sony, along with their software lineups.