In less than a couple months, E3 will be taking the video game universe by storm, but there’s been a lot of controversy surrounding the ever-popular video game convention. A number of publishers have dropped out of the event, some looking to pursue their own event during the week of E3. And while things keep looking dimmer for E3, I think there’s a number of things E3 could do to create excitement again.
First, I think it’s important to note who has dropped out so far. As of today EA, Wargaming, Activision-Blizzard and Disney Interactive have dropped out of attending E3. EA has gone as far as creating a whole other event to run alongside E3; you could probably call it the anti-E3 party. It’s called EA Play and rather than have a separate press conference through E3, they prefer to run their own show—and it will be open to the public. You could almost argue that EA knows what they’re doing. It’s probably fair to say the other companies who dropped out won’t stay quiet during E3 either. I wouldn’t be surprised if some other special events popped up during the week similar to EA Play.
You probably already knew this was coming, but the first thing E3 has to do is make the event open to the public. I’ve heard my fair share of video game developers complaining about how corporate E3 has gotten and how they absolutely hate having to attend every year. Meanwhile, the public sit back and watch with puppy-dog eyes as many of those very same developers live out the number one entry on all of their bucket lists. I personally don’t understand the negative attitude about E3 because it’s almost a snobby thing to say. I spent my childhood watching E3 announcements and coverage on G4 back when it was a gaming channel. Going into the event, sure it might be a little more corporate and stuffier than events like GDC, but I feel privileged just to be there. With so many other people who would kill to attend (like I used to feel), it’s hard for me to feel like E3 is a waste of time or “boring” or lame or however you want to put it. But I think if E3 wants to survive the next couple years, they’re going to have to open up to the public. It’s time.
I’m honestly a little worried about the future of E3, and at the same time I’m not. It’s very possible that E3 may be obsolete in the coming years and maybe these publishers dropping out is just the start of it. But then again even if E3 disappears, the video game companies won’t stop finding cool ways to announce their games. They might even follow EA and create their own massive early summer events to showcase what they’ve been working on. Either way, I feel like E3 has got to do something different, otherwise they will disappear from the gaming world entirely.
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