Chris Sherman on E3


The executive director of the Austin Game Conference took a few minutes to give us his reaction to the news about the Electronic Entertainment Expo’s demise. Full text of our exclusive interview…

What was your reaction when you heard E3 was over?

Surprise. Just wanting to know more information about it, really. I had heard some rumblings about dissatisfaction, but the idea that the whole thing would be cancelled, it would seem far-fetched.

What does this mean to a show like Austin Game Conference?

Good question. I don’t know if I can answer that yet. According to the statement the ESA issued, they’re still putting together what the “new E3” will look like. I think what we’ve been hearing from some of our sponsors is ours is better. People can achieve a higher-profile at a lower cost with shows like the Austin Game Conference. With the changes to E3…that will allow us to continue to fill a need.

Did you view E3 as a competitor to AGC, or a companion?

Neither, really. Definitely a different audience. They’re reaching the media, and retailers, and buyers. We consider ourselves the third largest trade event for the game industry, in the United States. E3 being number one, GDC being number two, and us being number three. But at the same time, even though we’re all three trade events, we all serve different needs.

What is the difference between trade events, consumer events, and ones that are content based or exhibit based? You’re sort of in each of those territories, some more than others.

Well, we’re open to anyone, but we cater to the trade. We cater to the people in the industry. E3 has always claimed that they were industry only, and with regards to the content being displayed there, one could argue that it certainly had a consumer focus to it. But the goal was to keep the show only open to the trade.

Certainly with GDC, and the Austin Game Conference, our content is trade-specific. There’s very little playable, “fun” if you will – from a consumer perspective. What people are getting is education, networking, career advancement.

How do you think this will effect future Austin Game Conferences?

It’s really too early to tell. It depends on what they’re going to do with E3. My goal would be to raise the profile of Austin Game Conference. As I’ve said, we’re the third largest trade event in the US. I don’t think we’ll become the second largest. We only had two-thousand people. It’s a good size, we’ll do two-thousand twenty-four hundred this year. My guess is, if they redefine E3 it’ll be a larger event than Austin Game Conference.

Anything you’d like to say in conclusion?

No, we’re just watching the landscape like everybody else.

Thank you very much for your time.

You bet. Thank you.

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