Monday, July 31, 2006

Or Not

From Ars Technica:
Contrary to reports across the web, E3 has not been cancelled. Next-Gen had hoped that they would blow the lid off of a hot story by revealing that the show had been cancelled, but some quick fact checking shows that they are simply incorrect.

Sources close to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) tell Ars Technica that the show can and will go on, but that big changes are planned.

...Now in theory, these shows are primarily geared towards connecting businesspeople. To that end, E3 was (again, in theory) only open to industry folks and journalists. In recent years, however, the number of people attending have skyrocketed, in part because E3 registration was a moderately open process.

One source I spoke with told me that media access is indeed a problem, but it probably does not factor in greatly to the decision to downsize the show. Nevertheless, there are plenty of complaints from insiders about how "blogging" in particular has made the shows more difficult, if only because floor people are instructed to speak only of what they are approved to speak of, lest another half-baked headline make the rounds.

To translate that last paragraph, "the industry" doesn't want to see a single negative comment.

I completely understand the issues around expense. The degree to which companies went to put on their own little circus was totally ridiculous. But we didn't make them do that, did we? All we wanted was information about the games themselves, not a bunch of distractions to draw our attention away from the games. In fact, the singlest biggest complaint about E3 over the years has been exactly that: companies were spending more time distracting us than showing us the games. So to a significant degree, I think the industry is whining about problems that they created.

If you guys have been competing with each other for the "best" (translation: over-the-top) exhibit, that's not our fault.

Plus, whining about journalist access is really poor form. The industry wanted publicity. Journalists provided that publicity by covering the event. Don't cry about journalists causing problems.

I still think the unspoken subtext is what happened to Sony this year. They spent a fortune, provided uncontrolled access to the PS3, and got an ass whipping from everyone. So say goodbye to uncontrolled access. From now on, games and hardware will be presented in more tightly controlled environments, where the entire presentation can be stage-managed and relentlessly positive.

Which completely misses the point, really. The reason the PS3 got an ass-whipping was because of the utterly ridiculous price and the state of the games, not to mention the comedy cavalcade coming out of the mouths of Sony executives.

Access wasn't the problem. Sony was the problem.

Site Meter