Sunday, July 30, 2006

E3: Finished

I didn't see this coming (from Next Generation):
Senior industry sources have revealed to Next-Gen.Biz that the E3 industry event, in its present form, has been cancelled for next year and the foreseeable future.

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) shindig has been a staple of game industry life since the mid-1990s. However, we understand the larger exhibitors have jointly decided that the costs of the event do not justify the returns, generally measured in media exposure.

Publishers believe the multi-million dollar budgets would be better spent on more company-focused events that bring attention to their own product lines rather than the industry as a whole.

Well placed sources say the news that larger exhibitors were pulling out had prompted urgent meetings among publishing executives. They decided that, without the support of the larger software publishers and hardware manufacturers, there would be no point in continuing.

Full story here.

Here's what I'm wondering: did other companies look at what happened to Sony this year and decide they wanted a much more controlled environment in which to demonstrate their products? And by "more controlled environment" I mean "much less chance of negative feedback." The article does mention that "larger exhibitors" were pulling out, and I wonder if Sony was in that group.

E3's really been kind of a pain in the ass, but hanging out with Nicest Guy in the World Ben Ormand for several years running and eating lunch annually with the Gamers With Jobs guys has been great.

There's definitely a much more interesting story behind what's happened than what we're hearing now, and it lies somewhere in that phrase "larger exhibitors have jointly decided." Hopefully it will leak out in the next few days.

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