Death to E3!

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Michael Betts:
I think I see E3 as simply a celebration of our hobby.

This. Shamus's article has many valid points, but his practical thinking is overtaking any love of chaos, excitement and madness. E3 is fun. People love going and being overwhelmed by the news, announcements, demos, and preposterous amounts of sequels - at least this year.

Barry93:
My main problem with E3 is that there are a lot of bad games that get overhyped that makes people like me go out and buy them.

same idea basically.

Michael Betts:
As for why non-press hate a period of free celebration (for them), I can only imagine.

Because when a game is released with an obvious bug or a feature is cut, I blame the developer-soul-sucking E3 as the reason. ;-)

Jumplion:

shMerker:

Jumplion:
Personally I always love watching E3 and finding out the breaking news and such. It's not just a big advertisement thing, it's a place where gamers from everywhere can come together and play the latest games that they're interested in. Someday I'll finally be able to go to E3 and I'd be playing the demos all day long.

That's PAX you're thinking of. E3 is press and industry only. Most of us gamers just hear about it.

E3 is open to the public, albeit still limited to some people. PAX is good to but that's more for the indie games.

From the E3 site:

Please note that E3 Expo is a trade-only event and is not open to the general public.

At PAX last year I played Battlefield Heroes, Left 4 Dead, and Mirror's Edge. I also saw people trying out Star Craft 2 and Fallout 3. But the majority of the exhibits at PAX are from major developers and publishers. Indie games are a comparitively larger part of PAX because indie outfits can't afford to get noticed at E3, and because PAX is attended by gamers, who don't care how much money you have, only if you have a game they want to play.

If you want to see gaming celebrated by gamers, come to PAX.

This article DOES make a good point that we don't need E3 anymore, because we have websites and most gaming magazines now cover multiple platforms and even dedicate some pages to actual hardware.

shMerker:
Condense

Okay then. Go to both, problem solved :D

I can't. I don't work in the industry.

good artice, sound advice

too bad developers don't care

I truely agree. Didn't hear about Assasins Creed 2 trailer for like 3 days. Then I saw it, and Fangasm'd

want to know how to make E3 better? MAKE IT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!!! now we only get to watch demos and decide to buy or not if we could get people into E3 and try demos they can decide better which really do you buy a game you saw on tv being played or one that you tried and know is good, at least sell tickets!

I sometimes wonder if writers like Shamus Young are a dying breed--those who truly grasp and love crisp exposition, surgical-precision analysis, flawless introductions, themes and transitions.

Within the massive mob of cloyingly unfunny and clearly thoughtless works here on the Escapist, there exists a number of truly awe-inspiring creators: Andy Chalk (in his analysis of video game narratives in "You Can't Be the Hero if You're the Rapist"), Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw (his Zero Punctuation reviews are an exercise in the adroit manipulation of verbal cues, syntax and diction) and Susan Arendt (who provides consistent, unrelenting yet academically uplifting humor in her reviews). These people, these truly adept thinkers, give me reason to believe that video games are more than products of consumer culture--video gamers like Shamus Young assure me that Video Games are far beyond the temporal framework of commercial consumption.

That the world of video games and video gamers may possibly be the incontestable products of human ingenuity, rationality and development.

Liked the article, but "A half million"?

I work in the exhibition business and let me tell you, those booths at E3 ( the ones for the major players) from what I saw in the vids, are A LOT more expensive then that. Half a million will probably buy you the floor space for some of these booths, and just that. And those huge led screen walls are expensive, trust me.

It's probably about triple that, from 1.5 and higher depending on how crazy the booth is.

As soon as they let Nintendo showcase their latest Wii crap it meant the end of E3, hell, if it weren't for Microsoft and Sony(and i don't like microsoft much) E3 woud have had this verdict handed to them alot sooner, of course the article does point out that gaming magazines and websites have almost made E3 obsolete long live the good gaming companies.

loremazd:
Honestly I think it's all in good fun, and there are simply so many alternatives as far as advertising goes that I really don't think smaller developers miss out on much. It's more a geek fair than anything substantial, and an opportunity for developers to show off a bit and brag over what they've done.

I agree, I mean sure there are somethigns they drag on about or whatever, but if that bothers you, just ignore E3.

Honestly shamus all i ever see your articlas about are just simply complaining about what bother you.

What's this E3 you are talking about?

Not being serious of course, but I don't follow it either, so that would mean I'm not a hard core gamer. I pick up bits and pieces of posts on this website, but that's it.

If the world would be better without an E3? Well it would make gaming land a bit more bland perhaps. Surely the developers need a good week of party, booze and whore's to blow off some steam from all the hard work. All the sensation around them makes them feel important, which is I suppose not a good thing at all.

I am undecided.

Barry93:

D_987:

Barry93:
My main problem with E3 is that there are a lot of bad games that get overhyped that makes people like me go out and buy them.

"Bad" is subjective opinion... so games you might not like may be hyped up - that doesn't make them bad games it just means they arn't your style.

Ok, by "bad" I mean really buggy, unfinished games. Mercs 2 got a lot of hype last year but turned out to have hundreds of bugs. I don't beleive anyone actually liked this game in the slightest.

I liked it, until I found out it's only about half as long as the first game and you're bombarded with annoying support characters. I mean I beat the game and all but then I traded it in.

scotth266:
I think that E3 is something to keep. Sure, it can steal news that would be released in adjacent months, but it's just... magical somehow. Even to us poor losers who couldn't go, E3 is a shining beacon that screams fun AND news at the same time. Just watching the press conferences gave me a distinct buzz, as most frequenters of the Gaming Discussion section know already.

The babes don't hurt.

TsunamiWombat:

scotth266:
I think that E3 is something to keep. Sure, it can steal news that would be released in adjacent months, but it's just... magical somehow. Even to us poor losers who couldn't go, E3 is a shining beacon that screams fun AND news at the same time. Just watching the press conferences gave me a distinct buzz, as most frequenters of the Gaming Discussion section know already.

The babes don't hurt.

Ah, did I forget to mention the booth babes? My bad. Booth babes are awesome.

Why does E3 need to die? I mean sure they hype up games but it's your fault you buy/play them. There's nothing wrong with it, it's just a convention for gaming like there's star wars/star trek conventions. If you don't like it then don't pay attention to it, it's that simple. E3 can stay as long as it wants, it's not harming anyone or anything. Stop bitching how you got hyped up over a game because of E3, it's celebrating/promoting games, they're doing their job. Hey if you got hyped over a game, it worked! Is that so surprising?

rockingnic:
Why does E3 need to die? I mean sure they hype up games but it's your fault you buy/play them. There's nothing wrong with it, it's just a convention for gaming like there's star wars/star trek conventions. If you don't like it then don't pay attention to it, it's that simple. E3 can stay as long as it wants, it's not harming anyone or anything. Stop bitching how you got hyped up over a game because of E3, it's celebrating/promoting games, they're doing their job. Hey if you got hyped over a game, it worked! Is that so surprising?

You could always read the article I wrote, and write a rebuttal for that one. Also, could you provide a link to the article you're talking about? If someone wrote about how hyping up games is bad I'd like to read it.

Thanks.

Oh, and because people are evidently stopping halfway through the article and missing the last two lines:

I'm not REALLY suggesting E3 should die. I'm suggesting that the smaller developers should stop wasting money on it. (For them, the entry fee is a hefty price, and they just don't get much attention, if any.) The last line of the article should make it pretty clear that the thing is crazy, expensive, and chaotic, but it's not all bad.

Shamus Young:

rockingnic:
Why does E3 need to die? I mean sure they hype up games but it's your fault you buy/play them. There's nothing wrong with it, it's just a convention for gaming like there's star wars/star trek conventions. If you don't like it then don't pay attention to it, it's that simple. E3 can stay as long as it wants, it's not harming anyone or anything. Stop bitching how you got hyped up over a game because of E3, it's celebrating/promoting games, they're doing their job. Hey if you got hyped over a game, it worked! Is that so surprising?

You could always read the article I wrote, and write a rebuttal for that one. Also, could you provide a link to the article you're talking about? If someone wrote about how hyping up games is bad I'd like to read it.

Thanks.

I was actually talking about how getting a game hyped up so you're persuaded to buy it before you know when it's good or bad. I'm not saying it's bad, I'm not saying it's good either. I'm just saying E3 is pure marketing, there's nothing more to it. And I'm not referring to your article either.

asiepshtain:
Liked the article, but "A half million"?

I work in the exhibition business and let me tell you, those booths at E3 ( the ones for the major players) from what I saw in the vids, are A LOT more expensive then that. Half a million will probably buy you the floor space for some of these booths, and just that. And those huge led screen walls are expensive, trust me.

It's probably about triple that, from 1.5 and higher depending on how crazy the booth is.

Interesting. I haven't been around a trade show booth since my company had one in the dot-com days, and I had to guess at how much that one cost.

1.5 mil? Man, that could buy a lot of playtesting and polish. It would be interesting to look back for games that failed due to budget shortfall or buggy launches, and see if any of them had a booth at E3.

E3 is where the big guys come to show off the latest and greatest tech.
E3 is the hype machine that keeps the gamers running.
E3 is about dreams only money can make.
E3 is what keeps me gaming.
E3 keeps me dreaming
and innovating.

I had lost faith getting dream job in games when e3 went dull. But when E3 came back, and went live on the internet, I started to dream again.

Didn't they try getting rid of E3 a couple years back? I think one year they tried to just "tone it down a bit" and focused it more on developers than consumers, but instead all of the hype just got redirected to other conventions like PAX and Leipzeig.

I think E3 is a great thing for the industry, it heightens the competition between developers and the big three manufacturers, which leads to a lot more innovation than we would have otherwise.

Shamus Young:
1.5 mil? Man, that could buy a lot of playtesting and polish. It would be interesting to look back for games that failed due to budget shortfall or buggy launches, and see if any of them had a booth at E3.

This is under the fallacy that marketing money is taken out of the game development money pit. I would assume that the marketing cubicle in the office is separate from the Q&A department, wouldn't you? While some connection between office spaces is necessary, it's not like the guys at Marketing go up to the Texture Department and say "Hey guys, can we dig into your funds for 10 mill or so? Thanks brah!"

And really, 1.5 million may seem like alot, but really it's chump change when you think about it. Last I remember, the average game budget is around 100 million or something, though I have no idea how accurate that is.

The marketing and development budgets come out of the same funds, therefore one can be increased at the expense of the other.

As far as your figure on the "average" cost of game development, I can't find anything to support it.

Ubisoft have said that their average budget for developing a PS3/360 title is $18M-$28M(Link).

This is significantly higher than the $10M budget that IGN reported was being predicted in 2006(Link) but still not up to the point where $1.5M is insignificant and nowhere near the $100M average you suggested. Do you have some kind of source for that?

shMerker:
The marketing and development budgets come out of the same funds, therefore one can be increased at the expense of the other.

As far as your figure on the "average" cost of game development, I can't find anything to support it.

Ubisoft have said that their average budget for developing a PS3/360 title is $18M-$28M(Link).

This is significantly higher than the $10M budget that IGN reported was being predicted in 2006(Link) but still not up to the point where $1.5M is insignificant and nowhere near the $100M average you suggested. Do you have some kind of source for that?

Hmm, my mind must have been thinking of the GTA4 budget, that I'm sure was 100 million.

But as for the whole marketing thing, taking E3 out of the picture I'm sure that $1.5 million is used on marketing just for the overall game itself (if you could find an article that supports that that would be great :P). E3 is just a place to hype up your game, but it's hardly essential for marketing.

I highly doubt that a one time a year convention digs that deep into a game's budget.

Ok, fine, they could better spend the money on marketing that actually accomplishes something. That doesn't change the whole "waste of money" part.

Also, it's not just the booth, it's also the time spent on getting a demo ready. Either way, you have the numbers right there, if that $1.5M figure is to be believed, then yes, it does dig in. You have the numbers right there.

Interesting points you make. I think back when E3 started in 1995, video games were still considered to be a pretty underground movement. I don't think anyone ever expected them to grow into the phenomenon they have become today. Consoles with fanboy armies large enough to take over countries.

E3 is an example of what happens when tradition is allowed to run rampant and out of control. In alot of ways, E3 is like Christmas. Would you do away with christmas simply because it's become the largest consumer holiday in the world? No of course not, but at the same time, it feels a little tainted celebrating it and pretending it's still about getting together with family and friends.

Crash486 nailed it. I was looking for words to express my thoughts, but his second paragraph did it for me.

Oh geez Shamus, why do we have Cannes? Premiers? Grammys? Oscars? Why don't we just release every piece of entertainment quitely and without any fuss?

Because it's the entertainment industry, that's why. You don't see this sort of event for Antivirus software or Wordprocessors, and there is a good reason- because no one is that interested in Norton's next big push into the foray of network security. I mean, some people might be camping out to get tickets. Some. But not a lot.

Trade shows like this is a great way to generate buzz. And E3 is the marque games industry trade show- the gold standard, the Cannes or Oscars of the gaming world. Without it there will be something missing. Like they just cancelled Christmas.

Shamus: How dare you suggest they cancel E3? E3 is the gamer mecca! E3 is everything lowly gamers like us could ever aspire to! E3 is the LITERAL THRONE OF GOD ON EARTH! And you, you plebian dictator, you suggest that they abolish it? How dare you? /smite /smite /smite

/sigh

Yeah, E3 IS entertainment. Know another thing that's entertainment? Shamus' article, nowhere in which does he indicate that E3 should actually be canceled. I think people have gotten into the habit of skimming things without actually processing the words in front of their eyes on anything beyond a superficial level.

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