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17 years ago

Trite!  Pandering to the uneducated masses!  Really Jay, I’m disappointed.

This is really about bang for the buck.  As with any trade show, the
spectacle starts to outweigh the value of the event itself.  All the work,
as beaten to death by the articles, occurs behind closed doors.  This is
OK– this is how business is done, everywhere. 
Your key decision makers are only about 5% of any company or event and
are meeting together in their rooms with cigars and cognac to determine the
fate of the world.

The issue really is that all of the developers, big and small, are dumping a
lot of money into this event: for a big developer, it’s tens of millions, for a
small one, it might be tens of thousands, but per capita, it probably works out
to be the same: work stops for months and money is spent, when you’d rather be
making video games.  And now the industry is questioning why: what with
the invasion of every gamestop employee or guy with a website can get in,
with very little value to the developer to be on the conference floor.  It’s a big public wankfest instead of a legitimate

Still, because their competitors are doing it, there is no choice for
companies but to have stages/strippers/live skateboarding (Tony Hawk
rules!).  All of the work is being done behind closed doors still, but
there is a cover charge of millions of dollars to get that done.  What you have is essentially an entertainment
arms race that has caused the whole event to spiral out of control in terms of
costs and energy spent.  Imagine the catastrophic results if any of the
big three or major developers pulled out completely: everyone would assume it
was because their games suck, not because they were tired of wasting time and
money.  If ESA steps in, it saves the
entire industry a great deal of time, money, and face, because it’s a third
party.  I’d throw a conspiracy theory out
that this ESA decision was well backed by every major sponsor of the show… and
then wonder if ESA wasn’t losing money to voluntarily scale back the whole

The down side, of course, is all of us geeks who loved
going for the spectacle, but that’s really an exercise in vanity.  Sure, if you’re lucky enough to have
consistently attended you’ll miss it.  It’s
got tons of free video games, scantily clad women, and free stuff: it’s really
quite amazing and fun.  But the truth is,
99% of gamers don’t get to go, so it’s stupid that those who are internet
blog/cartoon/review celebrities put their own needs first.  If the industry feels that it’s time and money
better spent on serving the customer through more time on developing
more/better video games, then more power to them.  The idealist in me would like to think that a reduction
of E3 chaos will mean we’ll see better video games because of a refocusing on
the consumer.  The realist in me says the
elite who get into the show (myself included, being a GoldenJew, that’s how I roll)
will just miss the fun and parties that we’ve come to expect every May, and
video games will remain the same.   

17 years ago

Is Golden Jew immune to satire, or is this his own brilliant reply? :p 

17 years ago

GoldenJew Racial Traits: Satire: -75%Self Importance: +100%Monetary Transactions: +50%Wang size: +50% 

17 years ago

I enjoy looking at breasts.  I enjoy looking at video games that are going to come out in 45 years.  Therefore I think I would enjoy E3. 
Though I always wondered why it was an Electronics Festival, and you rarely hear anything about the new surround sound system or DVD players coming out.

17 years ago

Fr0g:  You know, you got a point.  Yes, the name of the show is the Electronic Entertainment Expo, but aren’t DVDs and whatnot entertainment.  True, its always been games and nothing more, but the name’s a bit misleading.

17 years ago

Fascinating tidbit at Penny Arcade (aka Jay’s favorite website)– now, with E3 gone, their PAX conference is positioned to become the massive exhibition geekfest leader.  Probably the best thing that’ll ever happen to the PA guys careers.