radical changes in store for e3 expo

July 31, 2006

e3.jpg
The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) today announced that the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo, a showcase for video game software and hardware makers, will see a signficant change in format and focus in future incarnations, beginning with the 2007 conference which has been rescheduled to July of next year; previous E3’s were held in May. The event, traditionally a massive four-day spectacular spanning multiple venues in downtown Los Angeles and costing untold millions of dollars, will be downsized to an “intimate event focused on targeted, personalized meetings and activities,” the ESA said.

The press release portrays the 12-year-old “mega-show” as neither necessary nor effective–at least from a cost/benefit perspective–at generating the media coverage that industry companies require but expresses optimism that the new format will maintain the “excitement and interest” with which avid gamers fixate their collective attention on it. I am personally indifferent to the change; it’s tough to shake the feeling that the old format was more self-congratulatory celebration than informative trade show, and the new direction should mean that instead of lumping media releases into one overstuffed weekend, developers will parcel it out in more digestible nuggets. Hurrah for progress.

–D. S. W.

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