Sunday July 30, 2006 7:53 pm
Reports: Future of E3 In Doubt
Reports have hit the Internet from both Next Generation and Gamespot that the future of the gaming expo hosted by the Entertainment Software Association is in doubt. Next Generation reports this more strongly, with the headline “E3 Finished.” Next Generation also reports that a number of high profile exhibitors were leaving the exhibition, and that without that support, there would be no point in continuing the event.
Gamespot reports that the ESA plans to downsize the event greatly. Industry sources reported to Gamespot that the show would move out of the Los Angeles Convention Center to “a location that would support exhibitors in meeting room space only, with with companies showing their wares to a select group of attendees…” The rising costs of attending the conference for diminishing returns was identified as the largest reason for exhibitors leaving E3, and moving to a smaller format might help give companies a better return on their money. Beyond the monetary cost of attending, there is also an associated loss in man-hours for the companies trying to get stable game builds ready for the show; witness the massive effort that Epic made in getting Gears of War playable for the expo.
This does leave smaller exhibitors in a bit of a tight spot. While it may have been hard to garner attention at E3, there was at least a chance that a particularly good game could receive notice at the exhibition. Larger companies like Microsoft and EA already host their own private gaming events, and this should continue. Gamers could possibly see the writing on the wall, with the three big hardware companies choosing to host events before E3 to highlight their upcoming offerings, rather than make presentations from the show floor. Still, if reports are true, this would mark a large change in the way the industry communicates its intentions for the year.
Read More | Gamespot
Read More | Next Generation
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