E3, the worlds largest gaming convention, would have taken place this coming weekend. The event was cancelled earlier this year due to the Coronavirus outbreak. But this need not be the last E3 we see. Though many have, and will continue to argue that E3 no longer has a place in the industry, there are far more pro’s to the convention than issues with it. The reasons for this are many, but in this article, we list exactly why E3 must return in some form next year.
Having a majority of game showcases in one place is good for gamers
One thing the organisers of E3, and the publishers that support it, do so well is clearly outlining when you can expect to see conferences that might interest you. For example, you know that the Bethesda conference will always be around 8pm on the first day of E3. It is the opening conference, which sets the stage for the convention.
The week following on, you can expect to see conferences from Xbox, Playstation, Ubisoft, EA and the PC Games Show, among others. We love the clarity of how things are structured. Events take place within hours of each other and the whole thing is covered extremely well by news outlets. Every game you need to know about is shown off within days of each other.
This year, it appears that everyone is taking a crack at their own online conventions and conferences. This means no centre-point and no structure as to when you can expect to see announcements.
E3 draws a great deal of hype and anticipation
Gamers and gaming news outlets have a date. They know when to expect the press releases and announcements and can plan accordingly, months in advance. The articles released in the period leading up to E3 draw an incredible amount of excited speculation about what will feature at the event.
With the lack of a focal point, there is less anticipation and more confusion. Gamers don’t know what to expect and can’t pinpoint when they’ll need to free some time to watch their favourite conferences. It will leave many feeling frustrated and uninterested as they don’t have time to do the research and figure out what might be of interest to them. E3 has always given clear and concise timelines for when people can see the announcements they want, from the publishers they like.
Even covering this from a news writers perspective, it is difficult to get excited as a large chunk of time is spent trying to decipher where to be, and at what time, to get the most relevant content to put on the site.
Many developers will lack an outlet to show off their new creations
E3 isn’t all about Bethesda, Activision, EA and other publishers. There are a great number of smaller studios that benefit greatly from the exposure the event grants them.
The main reason E3 helps these studios, is thousands of people on the expo floor are rushing to try newest big demos. This means queues and lots of waiting around, giving people plenty of time to try out, and quite possibly fall in love with, a game they might not have looked at before.
Without E3, many of these small developers would be fine, however it will damage the games industry. As the big publishers can afford to throw cash at marketing, smaller studios will suffer, finding it increasingly hard to spread the word of their passion project.
The lack of an all-in-one event showcase will hurt the industry, but changes need to be made
My last point encompasses everything I’ve spoken about so far. If E3 disappears, the hype and anticipation of what has come to be a festival of gaming in June will wither away, at least slightly. Developers of all sizes come to show off new products. Gamers and media come to report on, and play them! Publishers moving to individual conferences changes things. No more will you be able to stay in a hotel for the week, attending each conference. Now, you’ll require multiple hotels for multiple venues, possibly travelling across the world multiple times if you want to see and experience all of the new reveals and demos.
That’s not to say it’s perfect, however. Like any evolving service, changes to E3 will have to be made.
It is far too expensive to set up a stall and put on a conference at E3. More and more over the last few years, publishers have pulled out of the listings, opting to go it alone with their own independent conferences. This comes down to it being cheaper to set up at a neutral venue and stream the conference online.
The style of games on show have changed too. The organisers of E3 need to recognise that games are evolving. Gamers now expect their games to be fully supported, with consistent content streams and quality of life fixes. They are no longer just the physical disc you buy from the store and plug into a console. In a similar vein, consoles are no longer just gaming machines. They are home entertainment systems, internet browsers and social media platforms now too!
Not the end, but a new beginning
So it’s clear that, while the platform needs changes, E3 is an absolute must for the gaming industry. Without it, we may see a decline in an industry that’s been growing year on year since it’s inception!
What are your thoughts on E3? Do you agree with us? Or do you think it should be replaced, in favour of a more individualist display from publishers. Let us know in the comments box below!