Over the years the event has changed, growing exponentially along with the boom of the gaming world. With its steadily growing popularity, the E3 Expo became one of the largest consumer electronic events globally.
Held in over 500,000 square feet at the Los Angeles Convention Center, the event exposed gaming enthusiasts, journalists and media outlets to the world of gaming. Several hundred publishers and gaming developers rent space in this behemoth to show off their products and services. The games, of course, are the main feature of the show and big names including Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft come out.
Over the last seven years, I've attended all but one of the E3 events. Along with many of my friends, I have been a faithful follower of the gaming world since we could hold a controller, and so E3 certainly holds a level of sentiment to us. But for some time now, we've pondered whether E3 actually made sense. Those that rent space at the LACC during E3 pay quite a lot of money during those few short days. We've wondered whether their post-E3 sales make up for the cost spent during E3.
Monday, the ESA announced that the format and structure of E3 2007 and future expos will be changed, "evolving into a more intimate event focused on targeted, personalized meetings and activities." I guess this sort of answers our question. So what happens to the huge lines, the submissive lights, "booth babes," concerts, celebrity sightings and tons of free stuff that would fill a suitcase? What about playing tons of free demos and talking up close and personal with the people behind the games? Is it safe to assume that publishers no longer wish to pay $10,000 or more in booth fees alone, not to mention the employees, venues for parties and of course, the booth babes?
Does this mean that E3 will be reduced to boring meetings in stuffy conference rooms, with way too much technical jargon which amounts to nothing? Will any big name publishers and developers be in attendance, or should we expect a bunch of nobodies?
This is a sad day for gaming!