The Official WordSo here's the official announcement by the Entertainment Software Association concerning E3 (thanks Gamasutra):
"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 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.
This really does have some stink coming off of it.
Not that E3 doesn't have problems, and changes did need to be made. What they're saying between the lines, though, is that they don't want the general public to have access anymore, and that's just crap. It's not like people were getting in free, and it's not like it was cheap. I know that most industry people hated that aspect of E3, but I always thought it was an opportunity for anyone to take a look at the future of gaming.
Now that opportunity is gone.
Hey, it's easier to just set up appointments with people you know to be sympathetic. Heaven forbid you let anyone who might form their own opinion get inside.
I'm still betting that Sony said they were pulling out of next year's show and everyone followed. That could be totally wrong, but Microsoft and Nintendo did very, very well this year, and somehow I doubt they were dissatisfied.
What I really find discouraging about this is that what they're specifically eliminating by going to this format are the chances for people to test out games in progress without a company represenative giving them a controlled, canned presentation. Does anyone think that will actually be an improvement for the people who actually buy the games?