E3 2007: Anyone exhibiting? Anyone covering it?

So E3 this year seems to be an unknown quantity. The only real news that has hit about it is that everyone’s going to have identically sized little booths, with identically sized little monitors. Most of my media buddies haven’t heard much in the way of folks saying they’ll be announcing or showing new stuff there.

Those of you in game publishing… Do you still plan to make announcements this year at E3? Or will you be looking at other venues or just making independent announcements?

Are the media guys sending full teams, or smaller contingents?

Just trying to wrap my head around whether this will still be a very news-filled event, or something more akin to an X06 or TGS as far as new products/announcements.

We’re going to go, but at this stage, it seems like nobody knows what’s going on. I’ve talked to PR people from several different companies and the response is more or less a shrug of their shoulders. I predict disaster, with an outside chance at mere disappointment.

It sounds impossibly dull this year but I’ll probably go for the beer.

I expect this year’s E3 to be very much like last year’s for the average forum-goer/website reader.

Shouldn’t the question be “are you going to E for Everyone”?

I’ve got one client going, several not going. I have no clue if I’m going to be there, as it’s impossible to get any info about the show if you’re not an exhibitor or one of the people who got on the invite list. As predicted, a lot of smaller devs and publishers have been effectively shafted as far as getting their products in front of a large number of journalists by the new E3, and a lot of second-tier websites now have no chance of comprehensively covering the event. Gong show. They should have just taken a year off and figured out something useful.

I predict that European shows will now take on an ever greater role in the scheme of things. Last year’s German games show was just the beginning.

I think that the people who wanted the old E3 taken apart have gotten exactly what they wanted. Shafting smaller devs and publishers, and keeping critical mass blogging like the Wii Explosion last year from happening this year was probably something they were actively hoping for.

I won’t be going this year. No one has contacted me about covering it, so there’s no need for me to be there.

GC Leipzig was a ton of fun, very useful from a business standpoint, and I’d recommend that show to anyone. It’s just too expensive for most people to get to (at least those from North America)… I still think North America needs the OLD E3… just apply some damn restraint in who you allow into the show. Is it really that hard?

Absolutely. The problem with that is that all those companies can afford to host their own Editors’ Days or whatever, while the smaller companies now have nowhere to reach a broad group of media. Unless these smaller companies have great PR representation, you can bet your ass we won’t see as many sleeper hits or whatever you want to call them – games not backed by a massive publisher, which you’d usually find buried in Kentia at E3.

It’s hard to say that one’s been “shafted” when one doesn’t even know if they show is going to be successful or not. Perhaps your clients are being saved tens of thousands of dollars that would otherwise have been pissed away at this giant mega-publisher circle-jerk.

This year is definitely the Year of Chaos™ in terms of trying to figure out what’s going to be worth the time and money for trade/consumer shows.

This is also my first choice for a replacement for E3 (until we find out how E4All is going to do.

What about GenCon in Indianapolis this year? I know they’ve set aside a very large space dedicated to computer and console game developers and publishers, and were actively trying to recruit E3 “castoffs” last year with the open letter from Peter Adkison.

Seems like if your goal is to put products in front of people to generate word of mouth than GenCon offers a pretty large gathering of gamers in one location. While they may be there for D&D and CCG action, a very large percentage of the atendees also play computer and/or console games. In addition, there is always media coverage of the event, though nothing on the scale of E3 in years past. However, if enough publishers and devs sign on, and all the smaller media outlets that were pushed out of E3 attend GenCon instead, it could add up to a decent amount of coverage.

An E3 without booth babes is like baseball without hot dogs.

Totally. I could see enjoying roasting them over a grill and eating them with some mustard. Then eat hotdogs!

Seriously though, wouldn’t E3 without booth ladies be more like basketball without cheerleaders?

You have me.

How’s this:

It’s like going to watch the Dallas Cowboys without the cheerleaders.

That reminds me, I heard that the LA police ran off the vendors who sold the delicious bacon-wrapped dogs outside the convention center a year or two back. That’s really disappointing.

— Alan

It’s weird. The only person in our entire office who got an E3 invite this year was the dude from Canada who barely contributes to the magazine and who hated E3. Our entire executive staff got ker-snubbed.

Yeah, and you guys are even a magazine… seems like a lot of sites that get a million hits a month still only got one invite, too. Retarded.

What about PAX?

Not a traditional option.