Are E3 Expectations Too High?

Every year the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or better known as E3, rolls out with promises of exciting new games, brand new console experiences, & launch timeframes with precise accuracy. However, none of that is true. Those are the promises that consumers have falsely created through years of up and down presentations and a misguided sense of ownership of this event. It was primarily designed to provide a more exciting sneak peak for the investors of these major companies in order to get an idea of how they will see a return on investment. Every year, the front rows are populated by people who mainly are there to see the crowd reaction to whatever incredible footage is displayed on those massive screens. The following rows are taken up by journalist and members of the press who report on what they have seen for the general public and also for those investors who aren’t at the event. For investors, they get an idea of how interested the general population really is. The furthest back seats, now filled with consumers and fans, were used as camera pits for documenting the entirety of the event. Just taking seating arrangements into consideration, it is pretty clear the general public were never the intended audience and most likely still are not.

Prior to E3, game publishers needed to attend other trade shows, like the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), to showcase upcoming products, both software and hardware. After a few unprofessional mistreatments, a crafty idea backed by powerful funding, and a micro war between CES and what would become E3, the new expo was born. Since its first show in May of 1995, E3 has grown to be the premier video game industry showcase in the world, but not without a few bumps along the road of course. The largest point of contention throughout the history of E3 has been the topic of public access. This includes times like allowing too much general public & non-industry bloggers through the doors, (making it difficult for investors to attend press conferences) to the more recent opposite end of the spectrum where publishers are pulling out of the event due to a lack of public access. Ultimately, the goal has always been to please the vendors of the event and the vendors’ primary goal is to financially benefit from the event.

It seems that by attempting to maximize the financial possibilities, companies have allowed themselves to blindly cater to the audible demands of the consumers which unfortunately know no boundaries. Major publishers have made every attempt to pressure developers in to pumping out incredible new trailers for potential new products. Many of these take 3-4 years to release after their first announcement. Other times, they get axed and never actually coming to life. Much of the blame can be placed on consumers’ insatiable desire for more.

Gamers still push for more, knowing they still have plenty on their plate to digest. The outcry is nonstop and hardly are the gamers universally satisfied with the amount of announcements, regardless of quality. Some gamers are satisfied with the mere splash screen of a new game supposedly in development while others require the deep in development showcase of in-engine gameplay. Regardless there will always be an argument for why whatever was displayed by the publisher just was not enough. The craving for more never goes away thus leaving most gamers feeling extremely dissatisfied with the showing of products at every single convention.

E3 has the potential to continue being the greatest and most important event in the entire gaming industry. The consumers are the only ones holding it back. It will not be until the gamers realize that they alone hold the key to the sense of impression and surprise (or lack thereof) that they feel after the event. Every conference can not present an onslaught of new game announcements while at the same time presenting release dates for new games when the video game development cycle on average is 3 years.

June 16th, 2017 by