The ESA is currently retooling the E3 trade show. Publishers have complained that the show focuses too much on video games, which means the thousands of dollars they spend on presentation are largely wasted. Knowing this, we can only assume the ESA is recalibrating the trade show in order to shift focus towards what really matters — the spectacle.
The first and most important change to E3 has to be a relaxing of the entry system. Too few outsiders are allowed on the floor and this is a major blow to the atmosphere. What is spectacle without hoards of people? The arbitrary entry restrictions also make it difficult for professionals to enjoy their time spent watching stage shows. Last year I found it very difficult to satisfy myself in the bathroom every 30 minutes whilst trying to take notes on which companies hired the hottest models. If I were able to bring my secretarial staff next year, I could excuse myself to the men’s room and still fulfill my role as a professional journalist.
Spectacle also depends largely on the quality of stage shows publishers are putting on. The first step towards improving the shows is to kick all of those poor, unsuccessful developers out of the convention center. Instead of the main room being primarily a standoff between the big three companies, why not allow the company with the largest bank account to take the whole room and put on the finest stage show E3 has ever seen? The basement and empty hallways, now devoid of those worthless independent developers, can be used for the remaining big two’s stage shows.
Past stage shows have focused on sexuality, though they were often disguised as somehow game related. Any focus on games is wasted effort, but these old stage shows still had the right idea. Instead of games, though, how amazing would a focus on violence make the stage shows? Imagine the Tecmo strippers pole dancing to a heavy techno beat as grenades explode over head. Now that is a trade show.
But why stop at strippers? The few remaining game demo booths should be outfitted with glory holes. “Getting to LA was a bitch. Come, play our game. Come.” or “Tired of traveling? Step up to PC Real Time Strategy War Game 17 and take a load off.”
The final step to creating the perfect E3 is to make the show louder and darker. I’m tired of being able to almost hear booth babes threaten legal action. Not being able to hear my own thoughts or see three feet in front of me would make E3 totally immersive. Dimming the lights would allow publishers to save money by hiring ugly strippers and is also more earth friendly.
The ESA have yet to publicly announce how they are changing E3, but it is safe to say that most if not all of these predicted changes will be included.