Getting hyped for E3 is fun. Some will say it’s dying but the anticipation of huge surprises and cutting-edge trailers for games we’ll play (in three years) is still intoxicating. But the presentation needs to change.
The gaming industry has been ahead of the content-distribution game for years now. Twitch/YouTube, and the gaming personalities we love have been forming incredible connections with viewers and gamers that tv/film producers would kill for.
So why in the hell do they completely abandon what works when big conferences roll around? Why do I cringe when watching brilliant game devs struggle to speak on a gigantic stage in front of thousands in attendance and millions online? Why do they bring in clueless celebrities and obnoxious hosts to further push me away from the content I came to see? That’s enough questions for now.
The answer is that they’re trying to entertain the 52,000 people (2015 numbers) that attend the live event that is E3. But 52,000 physical attendees is nothing compared to the 1.5 million that watched EA‘s not-E3-but-right-before-E3 stream. Big companies can simply post a video or host a twitch stream and the viewers will come. The over-saturation of gaming coverage guarantees it will be promoted more than adequately and for free by the countless gaming sites/channels all hungry for views themselves.
Focus on the content. Show us the trailers and gameplay and we’ll see the coming holiday 2019 at the end of the video. If you still want us to hear your dev talk about how cool the systems are then pre-record it in a comfortable environment, with as many takes as necessary to deliver the message. Don’t even put them on camera if it freaks them out. Millions of Let’s Play commentaries are watched every day so release two versions of the trailer, one that stands on it’s own, and one with commentary. I’d watch both and I’m sure a huge majority of other gamer’s would as well.
I see both sides of the ‘E3 is dead’ argument. In regards to it’s demise, I’d personally prefer a live stream event every month from a different Publisher/Platform like we’ve recently seen from SquareEnix (Final Fantasy XV) and EA (Battlefield 1). Isn’t it better to open presents all year ’round instead of only Christmas time?
But on the other hand, E3 might always have value. An event this big gets attention and snags the interest of less hardcore gamers and casuals alike. That would explain the celebrities and whizbang glamour or the whole damn thing.
That’s what it really comes down to, as E3 isn’t really for the hardcores. It’s for Ubisoft to convince your neighbor to try games again…because Watch Dogs 2 has cool things that cool people like…right? E3 is the Superbowl of gaming and publishers are banking that Snoop Dogg and The Game playing Battlefield 1 might be enough to lure in a casual customer with disposable income. Hardcore gamers may bitch about season passes and broken games but still keep buying games year after year. Publishers want fresh customer meat and they’re using Zac Efron and Jamie Foxx as bait.
Happy E3 everybody!