In what appears to be a growing trend, two more game publishers have announced that they will not have booths on the show floor of E3 according to VentureBeat. Disney Interactive and Wargaming have left the show, though they haven’t announced if they will be holding events at the same time.
Two major game publishers have already pulled their show floor places as well. Both Electronic Arts and Activision have said they won’t have a booth on the show floor. EA will be holding its own event in the days leading up to the show. Activision is planning to rely on Sony to show off the upcoming Call of Duty title.
E3 is an annual trade event put on by the Entertainment Software Association. Rich Taylor a representative of the ESA told VentureBeat:
“Individual companies will make their own decisions in each iteration of E3. Overall, E3 for the past several years has been among the best shows we have ever experienced. E3 remains a dynamic and valuable and preeminent show of its kind in the world for video games, entertainment, and innovation. It’s still the place to be. We have a record number of press briefings this year in the ramp to opening the show. That’s an indicator that folks recognize how valuable a launch pad it is. Being a part of E3 adds rocket fuel to the attention and eyeballs and interest and visibility of new titles and hardware and innovations that our industry produces each and every year. E3 is a strong, critical, and integral part of our video game ecosystem.”
It’s interesting that he mentioned the number of press briefings. Even though those happen around the time of the show and typically in Los Angeles, E3 itself is not a part of those plans. Game publishers and developers arrange and pay for the press briefing themselves. More and more companies have found those briefings to be more important than showing off games on the show floor, which is only open to people who work in the industry.
EA certainly feels that the restrictions of the trade-only audience make the show less valuable. Their event will be open to the public.
In my opinion, with so many fan shows popping up all over the place, E3 will need to evolve if it hopes to compete. We may see a shift in the show next year to take the model of Gamescom, which is held in Germany every year. That show has a couple of days devoted to trade-only attendees and then a couple of days that are open to the public. That event had more than 300,000 attendees and is the largest gaming event in the world.