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There Is No Point To E3 100

Modesitt writes "Corpnews offers some thoughts on how E3 has changed for the worse. Several factors are mentioned, but the increased number of people sporting 'Exhibits Only' badges courtesy of Best Buy, CompUSA, and EB Games is focused on as a cause of the descent of E3." From the article: "The only legitimate purpose to E3 is as a media event, for companies to show off their products to the public via the media (after all, such a tiny sliver of the gaming public could go to E3, even if it was open to the public, that the press must inevitably mediate this process), and it is failing terribly at that. Companies are no longer courting the press, or even attempting to develop new contacts among them; now, it is an established siege war between giant website network and shitty magazines, and arrogant companies who divulge the merest crumbs and act as if this were a thunderous pronouncement from Yahweh."
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There Is No Point To E3

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  • Bitter. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WhatAmIDoingHere ( 742870 ) * <> on Saturday May 28, 2005 @12:27AM (#12662290) Homepage
    The feeling I get from R'ing TFA is that the writer is bitter about people not blowing him as soon as he steps near a booth.

    "Worse yet, the private hallways are becoming more and more hostile to media they are 'unfamiliar' with- and by that, I do not mean small, nor do I mean only to Corp writers. Corpnews is a medium-large website in the videogame industry now, and I am not the only media badge to have experienced outright hostility at my inability to name-drop at the front entrance to this or that booth. Companies like Vivendi and EA will ask for a name right off the bat before admitting you to their corporate Shangri La, Blizzard was running World of Warcraft media demos on the noisy show floor, and Nintendo did not even have enough press kits for all media, saying "We only give these out to major media outlets". Well, fantastic, I'll be sure to tell ABC's crack video game department to saunter on by and hear how you plan on not eating #3 dust in the next round of the console wars, smart guys."

    The guy's got an inflated opinion of his Blog (that I've never heard of) and he's crying about it.
    • Re:Bitter. (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Seumas ( 6865 )
      Well, as much as I don't care for G4, I have to say that their coverage of E3 was in-depth and quite decent.

      This guy is like the punk kid who starts trash-talking his underground band as soon as they catch a break and become popular.
      • In depth? You must be shitting me... Have you ever read a "real" gaming magazine like Next Generation? Not crap like GamePro and EGM...G4's coverage wasn't even as "in-depth" as what you'll find in those kiddy mags. I didn't RTF and dont' plan too, but the sentiment is correct. E3 is pointless, and has gone to shit. E3 has become way to flashy and's no longer about who has the best games, but who has the best booth babes to draw in the losers who don't know how to talk to women. It's more about
        • In depth? You must be shitting me... Have you ever read a "real" gaming magazine

          Uh... NO. Do I *look* like I walk around with a pocket protector in my shirt pocket all day? Or like I'd even wear a shirt with pockets?!

          "Real gaming magazine". That's the dorkiest thing I've ever heard....!
    • Re:Bitter. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Nasarius ( 593729 )
      Really, who are they kidding? I just took a look at their website, and it's a plain blog. They don't even have an archive of reviews!
    • Re:Bitter. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 28, 2005 @12:51AM (#12662399)
      I say you are spot on. Kind of funny that they complain about stuff like "giant website network and shitty magazines, and arrogant companies who..." and then go on about how their site is special/different and they should be devoted more attention.

      What we have here is someone with a no-name blog/site(anyone here even know about or visited this site before this article?) whining about how they didn't get as much attention as the big name sites/magazines, and how these companies didn't bend over and let him have his way. I don't blame the companies, it isn't like they have all the time & resources to give an interview with every Random Joe Gamer Site/Blog or give them each a $400+ trinket.

      At least some of the other gamer run sites don't let this junk go to their heads, and have provided us with E3 coverage that is often as good or even better then the big name site/magazines.
      • I knew about the website. Basically, it was created by the author of this article (Mr. Poppinfresh) back in the days when Lum the Mad was the main MMOG rantsite. While the main LtM community slowly morphed through various iterations (Slow News Day, the first, being the only one with any sort of official sanction from Lum, then Player2Player, then Waterthread) Corpnews existed as the occasional B-site, kept alive mostly through the zeal with which its members believed that they were the heart and soul of the
        • Re:Bitter. (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          I used to write for CorpNews back in the days when it first started as Mr. Kenickie. I was with them for a good five months or so and contributed very regularly. The site is total crap. It was started by some investors who knew next to nothing about the industry and thought that Mr. Poppinfresh and the others were comic geniuses. After they ran out of money a few months later, the site closed down for several years until just recently. Now Pop thinks that he's owed some kind of great honor and respect
      • Re:Bitter. (Score:5, Informative)

        by iocat ( 572367 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @06:22PM (#12666312) Homepage Journal
        I used to work a big game magazine, and I can confrim that most companies perform a pretty intuitive, brutal, and sorry-for-the-little-guys, accurate triage of people with media badges before they hand out kits, interviews, or sample copies of games.

        Pretty much if you didn't book an appointment in advance of the show, they can't be bothered with you. This is as true for the big guys as for the little guys -- there are only so many half hour press slots at E3, and a good PR perosn works to fill them in advance with the biggest outlets she or he can find for their products. Just having a media badge doesn't count for much if they've never heard of you, and E3 isn't the place to try to make initial press introductions.

        As for the "point" of E3, although PR and marketing use it as a great opportunity for press, it's as much for those much-disdained-by-the-poster folks from EB, Best Buy, and Wal-Mart. At the higher, closed-door levels, publishers want to impress buyers with their wares, including what's on the floor and what's several months out past that. At the "exhibits only" level, the idea is for salespeople to get to play the games so they can make informed comments to their customers who didn't go to the author's blog.

    • ... check this other comment [] in that site.

      Ah, E3. Just about the only place where you (and when I say 'you,' I mean us) can see the most awesomest audio hardware ever on one day and witness geeks lining up in a restroom to shake piss-soaked hands with a famous Japanese game designer on the next day. Quite a motherfucking experience. Between avoiding 40 year old boothbabes trying to score a free lunch and running the slalom through stupid fucks that paid $250 a pop to attend, we saw some pretty cool stu
      • Check the comments for the "Story".. Someone says "I've never heard of Corpnews before this story" and one of the CorpNews guys replies "Doesn't speak well for your company"

        Why should everyone know of some guy's Blog where he masturbates his ego in public?

        This didn't deserve to be a story.
    • Re:Bitter. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Metaphorically ( 841874 ) * on Saturday May 28, 2005 @08:15AM (#12663381) Homepage
      Not only bitter, but totally without justification. Have a look at the archives []. Specifically the post titled "(Old, Repost)E3: French Wookies 2003 Redux " from E3 in 2003. Here are a few choice excerpts:
      Some people recognize the Corp web link on our press passes, but few have ever actually read the site enough to know what a monumentally thorough mistake it is to let us into anything official. Between our unquantifiable-but-legitimate press passes, and Mr. Poppinfresh's ability to ninja-speak our way into VIP demos, we drift through E3 in a strange grey no-mans-land, where we see all and are required to produce nothing of quality in return.
      Okay, now why is it that they can't get media kits? Maybe there are so many closed doors at E3 because a few years back him and his pals walked in to demos with this approach
      Raph: This is the character creation screen. As you can see, there are many well-known races already... Pop: MAKE A WOOKIE!
      It's one thing to complain that you're having trouble getting newsworthy stories at a tradeshow, but this guy clearly states the reason why is that he's ruined for himself and the rest of us.
    • It seems some of the bitterness is due to his disappointment after he managed to snag a coveted Media pass, unlike those lowly serfs who wallow around with their "Exhibits Only" passes, only to find out that it doesn't mean squat.

      E3, for all intents and purposes, is a public event -- anyone who truly wants to go and has the means to get there can find the means to get in.
  • This is true (Score:1, Informative)

    by Vektuz ( 886618 )
    I've gone to a few E3's. There's honestly no point to E3. Publishers aren't really there, at least, not accessible. The people you see out there are promoters, hired to generate hype. They are promotion and PR firms. If a developer is there and willing to talk to you not as part of hype-generation, you're extremely lucky. Don't get me wrong, its an 'impressive' show, but its not really a trade show. Its more like walking down advertizement lane than any actual trade.
    • I've never gone to E3, but isn't that the point? To generate hype and get the fanbois excited about things that don't exist yet?
      • Re:This is true (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Vektuz ( 886618 )
        The point of the article I think is that E3 used to be a 'trade' show, and now its a 'hype' show, and thus useless as a tradeshow. Its for organized PR teams to hype products to consumers, not for individuals in the trade to conference with each others (publishers & programmers, programmers & middleware)
        • Re:This is true (Score:4, Interesting)

          by badasscat ( 563442 ) <basscadet75@y a h o o . com> on Saturday May 28, 2005 @01:12AM (#12662464)
          The point of the article I think is that E3 used to be a 'trade' show, and now its a 'hype' show, and thus useless as a tradeshow.

          Exactly. It was originally an industry gathering, a true "convention", like there are in a lot of other industries. The media started covering it because, well, games are popular and a lot of games were being shown there. And that has ended up transforming what E3 fundamentally is.

          I wouldn't say E3 serves no purpose. But I do think that it's ultimately irrelevant. Nobody buys a game machine because of what goes on at E3. They buy it because of what happens after E3. I could list you so many years and so many companies that supposedly "won" or "lost" E3, or that had particularly good or bad showings, and then went on to do the exact opposite of what everybody predicted they would do in the real-world marketplace (Sega and Microsoft being at the top of the list with their respective late Dreamcast and early Xbox showings).

          There is too much importance placed on E3 by the media. It is ultimately a sideshow. It's interesting, and if you read between the lines you can glean some useful info, but it is basically just a bunch of PR reps trying to put their best face on. Ultimately, the companies that show well at E3 are just the companies with the best PR departments or PR agencies. But that says absolutely nothing about either the actual quality of the games or their ultimate marketability and popularity.

          (God, did I just use the word "marketability"?! I've officially crossed to the dark side.)
          • You know what else is interesting... Why do random celebrities get invited to E3? There are tons of actors and bands that attend who have nothing at all to do with the game industry... I mean, it was really cool getting to meet Orgy [] back at the 2000 show, but do these guys really deserve to be at the show? Are they any more deserving than the average gamer? It's clearly part of the over marketing hypefest and has nothing to do with showing off an actual product.
            • ummm... they deserve to be there because:
              1. they're famous
              2. their music gets put on soundtracks
              3. they're famous
              • That's the problem.

                If you are famous, but not a gamer, you can go to E3 and be a pretty face promoting the newest video of what this new game should look like.

                If you are famous, and a gamer, you can go to E3 and actually try out the newest build of new game X.

                If you aren't famous, but are a gamer (ie: the person they want to buy the game) you aren't allowed to go, and get what bits and pieces G4's talking heads spout out, which is basically nothing more than fluff and hype.

                That's where the bitching gener

          • I don't know what predictions you've been making but judging from what I saw at those shows, I predicted the fall of the Dreamcast and the sputtering of the Xbox just fine. Before, I was able to make value judgements from what a company was showing at their booths.

            But no longer. You are correct that the show has basically become irrelevant. I've been hoping it would come back around, and get honest again, hoping the media would only pass along E3 awards to games that were actually playable on the show f
          • No, it's not true. E3 has always been about the media, and preparing games/consoles for the Holiday Season (Christmas). E3 has always been about getting the word out to retailers, and getting them to place their product in front of others.

            There was a G4TV segment on the history of E3 that I think explained this all very well. E3 was actually spun-off from CES.
    • > are promoters... If a developer is there

      The whole / large part of the Development team
      of PlanetSide was at E3, inside the "SOE castle".

  • Yes, I went to E3 as an "Entertainment Industry Professional", but the whole thing felt like a big joke. You could stand in line for 1-2h to see a demo of some new technology or game or to get some freebee, like a t-shirt.

    The press get treated really well, they get all kind of vip treatments and benefits.
    • Doesn't that make sense? The press is who it's for. The press reports on the shiny video that Sony/Microsoft/Whoever Else shows and the people who already made their minds up use the reporting to say "See, x is going to kick ass!"

      They have the Best Buy and EB guys there so when they go back to their stores they can say "OMFG DOOD x-product WILL KIK AZZ!!!11"
      • That's kind of funny actually... I went while I was working at EB back in the day and I came back with more "this game is going to suck" and "where are all the good games?" in my
  • Boy, why'd they have to go and ruin all the fun of a group of nerds in business suits by bringing in all those boring scantily-clad females? Boy, do I hate it when that happens... On a serious note, I understand the author's point that it's changed from a proper "trade show" to a media circus, but that's the nature of things in the entertainment industry; To say it serves no purpose is rather self-centered, and doesn't give the event enough credit for what it does for the gaming public; it's still a plac
  • Booth Babes (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Booth Babes, need I say more?
    • Re:Booth Babes (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ZephyrXero ( 750822 )
      " Booth Babes, need I say more?"

      Yes, actually you do... are you for them or against them? Personally, I sure as hell don't mind looking at them...but really they're not necessary if you have a good game. A lot of female gamers I know are very turned off by them as it helps keep down the female gaming population...which is a Bad thing.
  • I do find that allowing companies like Best Buy, EBGames, Gamestop, etc. to be givin badges is a bit over due for a cut off. They sell the games. They aren't reporting on them, trying to learn new technologies or education's about them(Besides personal use). I think for media it's great, the games get more exposure and things can be reported to many parts of the world live from the show. But I believe the reason E3 is not a public show is because it was or should be geared more towards the people in it's in
    • Who the hell do you think buys the games from the publishers? Not some student from UAT. The publishers want visibility. They want buyers for major retailers to notice them and their games. They want shelf-space at Best Buy, EB Games, Gamestop, etc. They want pre-orders, integration into the retailers marketing plans.
      • Grandparent was right for the wrong reasons. It's not that Best Buy, Gamestop, etc. shouldn't have representatives there to check out the new stuff. It's that they let nearly any schlub who works for a retailer selling videogames get a pass.

        Of course, the linked article gets it wrong, too, in that he makes the leap that E3 is supposed to be all about the press. Yes, the press is important to the event but just as important are the retailers and, in the case of the smaller exhibitors, the publishers.

    • E3 is not about the inner workings of games. If you want to learn about technology go to SigGraph. E3 is about marketting and sales, it is not career day for college students. It is more appropriate to have manager Joe Bob from Best Buy there than a talented aspiring programmer asking about a game's implementation details. Sorry, but E3 is the wrong venue for that. E3 is about sales not development.
  • by Wraithfighter ( 604788 ) <> on Saturday May 28, 2005 @12:34AM (#12662327)
    Yeah, the bullshit factor has probably increased significantly over the years, but who cares? It still remains one of the few times when projects are released en masse. The pre-show press conferences are basically the "state of the console" addresses for the big console makers.

    Also, something that the author forgot to mention, there are a lot of little developers there, making games that might not have distributors yet or need investors in order to continue making their game.

    If you don't care about the huge companies, and actually want to see something, then don't head to the big main area: They're only courting the IGN's and GameSpots and EGM's out there, the news outlets with millions of readers (or at least a few hundred thou), because they're just showing off.

    The little guys need as much press as they can get, and they will probably be more than willing to show you their game if it means an article on any kind of gaming news site.

    Over a thousand games at the con. Look for the 90% that people don't know about if you want to do news!

    • Aaaa.... but these shows are not like home-shows or car-shows where you can really invest in the product if you bring CA$H.

      You can't go home with a PS3 even if you had money. So it's strictly marketing BS. Big fish have big displays, small fish have their booths. In the end, you go home with a T-shirt.

      • Car shows aren't like that either. Unless you count the ones that aren't trade shows at all.

        Ever been to the New York Auto Show? It's just like E3. Some stuff they showed when I went in 2000 never mad it to become production vehicles (K5 Blazer concept based on the old school full size, but built on a Tahoe platform), other things did (Chevy SSR). Neither of those could be purchased at the show. Or immediatly after for that matter.

        "Car shows", the things that are organized at your local soccer field,
  • Wow. You don't see the word "shitty" on the frontpage of slashdot a lot.
    • Re:Shitty? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      You also don't see the unspeakable name of God on the front page either. I know that religion is generally unpopular around here, but it would be nice if the editors didn't go out of their way to offend people.
      • You or others getting defensive about something like is your fault, not the fault of the writer who has no intention of offending anyone.

        Despite the idiotic dictionary definition, to be "offensive" requires intention -- that is some kind of "offense" -- otherwise those generating those thought of ill will are just getting defensive for no good reason.
  • He is right to some extent; even as someone who simply follows the games industry from an outisder's perspective, I feel like I get less and less real information from E3 as the years go by. We get specs that may or may not have been created in an alternate universe where teraflops are something wholly different than they are here, dummied up tech demos that aren't even close to realistic, and game demos that are more smoke and mirrors than they are gameplay. That being said, he doesn't really get to any of
  • Okay, so he's whining because:
    A) On the one hand, the retailers are running along the exhibition floor. These are the lowest level of marketing: the geek in the store who moves the product.
    B) On the other, blogging and those with "media" access have skyrocketed, so that developers are limiting the access to the "good stuff" to media sources that are likely to have a major impact (=broad readership)

    So E3 is and has been for some time, a media frenzy. In pseudocapitalistic terms, you've got developers with a
  • a) this sounds a lot like E3 has become the new Comdex

    b) E3 in the late 90s (I used to go when I could) wasn't much better

  • There is still plenty to see and do at E3. People talk about it like it's all about the booth babes and the swag. If you get hung up on that and don't go any furthur then of course you're not going to get anything out of it. Should Sony run up to me and hand me a PS3 when I walk in the door? You have to work a little, man!

    When I went to E3, I talked to developers that worked on Age Of Empires, Kinetic (for Sony Eyetoy), and others. I saw very informative, very accessible presentations on the Unreal 2007 e
  • by Taulin ( 569009 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @09:11AM (#12663557) Homepage Journal
    The purpose of E3 is to show games that are about to be released. For example, I still remember seeing demos for games like Duke Nukem Forever.
  • I went to E3 this year, and it was my first E3, so I can't really compare first-hand, but I've talked to people who've been to previous E3s, and this guy is right. Having gone as media, I can say that I was treated pretty shabbily. Considering the sheer ratio of "exhibits only" badges to media badges, you'd think we could have received better treatment. You had to strain to find a purple media badge anywhere; it was green "exhibits only" badges as far as the eye could see. The sad thing is, a lot of them w
    • When I was at E3 2004, it seemed that Media badges were allowed to skip past most lines. Media badges were also able to get into some areas I could not.

      It could be that you simply did not properly exploit your media badge.

      Or it could be a combination of Media Badge + Big Name.

      On the other hand, I am in the development end of this business. I cannot say that the troubles of small gaming media matter to me nearly as much as the problems of smaller developers.

      I do agree that Cox probably has no business
      • Very true. The smaller developers, like NCSoft and Turbine, treated us very well, while bigger fish like Nintendo and Blizzard dismissed us or just scraped us off their collective shoes. Really makes me want to support those big fish, eh?
  • Well, that's not entirely true. Suffice it to say i'd be hard pressed to name more news that came out of E3 than out of last years PAX. Over time distributors and 'serious' media will eventually shift to these less inflated, less over promoted venues that target their niche audiences within the video game industry.
  • I dissent. (Score:3, Informative)

    by LordZardoz ( 155141 ) on Saturday May 28, 2005 @01:52PM (#12664724)
    And Yes, I do make video games for a living.

    I was at last years E3, as were many of my co-workers. In addition to being a media function, it also lets developers get a look at the competition. E3 serves the following purposes.

    1) It shows up new games and hardware to the gaming media.

    2) It gets alot of developers and publishers together in the same place, allowing for deal making.

    3) It gets alot of publishers and retailers together, giving the retailers an idea of whats coming out, and helps them decide what to put on the shelves.

    4) It lets developers see what other developers are up to, and serves as a reality check for your own game. It also gets the delopers out from behind their desks to do something resembling a vactation. It also lets you catch up with friends working for other companies, allowing us to network a bit, let each other know if a given employer sucks or not, etc.

    I went to E3 as a develper, and was handed an Exhibits Only badge. The booth babes are getting a bit over done, but they are there more for the retailers then anything else. The booth babe gets the retailer to walk over to the display, and perhaps even see the game.

  • E3 should use the same plan that the Tokyo Game Show does. Day 1: media only. Days 2 and 3: open to the public.
  • A few years ago, I was filling out a webform for a ticket to ECTS [].

    I got to the part where you had to tell them your job title. Now, there were about a million slightly different ways of saying you were a marketer, distributor, retail buyer, till jockey, etc, but the jobs Programmer, Engineer or even the more generic Developer did not feature in the drop-down list.

    I emailed the organisers to say "Hello? You remember us? We're the guys who actually write the games? You know..?" and their reply was basi

  • I agree with a lot of the points the article poses. E3 nowadays is more about the glitz of the upcoming deluge than the deluge itself. Booth Babes (and hey admittedly I check out the pics just like most guys do) are entirely superfluous. It's like if I took a bunch of cheerleaders to a shortlist presentation.

    Yet, I can't blame the developers from being picky about letting in some grassroots media types, such as bloggers, from the insider information. In this day and age, it's tough for the industry to

Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later. -- F. Brooks, "The Mythical Man-Month"