E3 06: NCsoft nailed for noise

[UPDATE]: Publisher fined $5,000 for blasting noise, exec responds by blasting Sega, ESA.

LOS ANGELES--Apparently, the Electronic Software Association (ESA), the organization that owns E3, means business when it comes to enforcing regulations intent on making the show floor a more user-friendly place to do business.

Schmidt addresses the crowd.

This afternoon, the organization fined Austin-based NCsoft, creator of Auto Assault and Tabula Rasa, $5,000 for violating certain expo regulations, according to an NCsoft rep.

The company is promoting its upcoming massively multiplayer online role-playing game Tabula Rasa via a stage show featuring musical sets played by Mutaytor. This is the second year in a row that the game company has used a musical act and stage show to promote its games.

"We've been doing our best to comply [with regulations]," the rep told GameSpot News. "We think there are a lot of booths louder than ours," he continued. However, the rep was not able to comment on whether the speakers in the NCsoft booth were, in fact, facing inward toward the booth--a new requirement of exhibitors this year.

[UPDATE]: As Mutaytor finished its set with fire-swallowing and dragon dancing, the audience was implored to get as loud as it could, and the booth shook with reverberations from the music.

Once the band wrapped up, NCsoft vice president of strategic development Fred Schmidt took the stage and addressed the fine. He blasted Sega (which inhabited a neighboring booth during the show), saying they had three people with decibel readers monitoring NCsoft's booth for the slightest infractions. Schmidt said the company made every effort to keep the noise within five decibels of the restricted limit, and for the most part did that successfully.

Schmidt then turned his attention to the ESA, essentially saying this whole experience has the company reconsidering its annual E3 presence.

"We're not sure we're on the same plane with this organization… We have been harassed for three days straight, and I'm not sure we're coming back here, but we are going to have a party next year--real near here--and we hope you all will come."

Schmidt then said he requested E3 show management's presence at the booth, held up a credit card and said if they wanted his money, they'd have to come and get it from him. When nobody came on stage to take his card, Schmidt said the ESA didn't want to discuss it in public "because it's much better to have it in private of course--beat 'em up behind the scenes. But I'm sure I'll get the bill somewhere."

Schmidt finished his speech by shouting, "Rock n' roll, people!" to the cheers of the crowd, and then informed them that a Guild Wars PvP tournament and award show would be the publisher's final events of the show.

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Discussion

180 comments
sj420
sj420

$5000 well spent, ncsoft. we're still talking about you!

Jbentkowski2
Jbentkowski2

Now those ESA idiots are just commiting suicide. Good, i hope Ncsoft and many other companies leave them until we get the REAL E3 back.

DeadlyOnez
DeadlyOnez

This is not a book reading people, Expect noise! and why would you yell out "ROCK AND ROLL" if you want people to quiet down >_

ensignro
ensignro

To all new commenters: please learn to read. This news is from last year.

osxgp
osxgp

Oh well, they can afford it.

mehoff88
mehoff88

Screw em, ill start a new E3!!! Hit me up NCSoft.

Cloud737
Cloud737

E3 is getting dumber and duller. By this pace, there won`t be an E3 after 3 years or so. And I`m wondering if NCsoft really has to pay the fine. Those regulations were made by an agreement from all companies, and even if it were to be a contract of some sort, the determining of the infraction would be pretty subjective (especially since NCsoft followed the rules most of the time, with only few minor exceptions due to some douches that monitored and tracked every tenth of a decibel). I`m pretty sure NCsoft can refuse to pay the fine and get off with nothing done to them.

poofly02
poofly02

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Blazer88
Blazer88

Cool they obviously deservered it.And yeah they fined them because they are foriegn,..dumbass

linmukai
linmukai

I can understand the guy's anger. Either enforce the stupid unenforceable rule on every single booth or don't have the rule. Simple. I vote for no rule on sound. Don't like it? Wear ear plugs. Problem solved. Sensitive to loud noise? Wth are you doing at E3? omg... lol

JephirDromulus
JephirDromulus

Oh come on... I'm watching the video of the thing right now and it ain't loud at all compared to what the other booths were like.

lepps4563
lepps4563

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

geckosprouch
geckosprouch

Little people trying to make themselves feel big...

ITK1T1
ITK1T1

comment is interesting. The enterprise cannot obey the rules.

santana4064
santana4064

I really cant imagine an E3 without noise. lol

alhemapu
alhemapu

NC has all the right to behave the way they did. Screw regulations at E3, soon all that will be allowed will be a disney booth. Without the noise and the girls at E3, the show would not be as fun. Sure the games are at the core, but the environment itself is very important to promote these games.

roy_008
roy_008

Rules are rules. Every company should abide the house rule and rules should be applied to everyone. In the context of noise, ESA should be critical to everybody. In this case, I can't quite believe that NCsoft is the only one who have violated ESA's noise level regulation or maybe there are some technicality issues involved in the violation (i.e. speaker placement, etc.). On NCsoft's part, I think they should have handled the matter professionally and not act out of rage. Just my 2 cents.

Jackov
Jackov

WTS?! They were fined THAT MUCH for loud noise?! wow

MagicPink
MagicPink

Good. Schmidt is acting like a spoiled brat. It's about time they cleaned up the cesspool that E3 was becoming. Getting rid of those sickening boothbabes was a GREAT first step, now handle the idiots who think they can attract a fan base by being loud.

SnowFarmer
SnowFarmer

E3 and the ESA have jumped the shark. E3 will dry up and end up like the CES or SEMA shows. A whole bunch of nothing and no real reason to go there. Oh wait it is like that now...

Maraxusofkelds
Maraxusofkelds

Rofl so NCsoft deserves a punishment for raising the noise level from 130 decibel to 135. Whoooo.......................

DevJin
DevJin

just release that game for ps3 if they want to sell BIG.

90420
90420

I hear what others are saying.. First they ban the babes, I mean it's not like they were walking around in their underwear or victoria's secret for cripes sakes.. Now they want to impose fines for noise? Umm someone help me out here, was this the E3 conference, or a neighborhood watch filled with cranky neighbors.. Honestly, we all know this relates to one main evil.. That is politics.. It all started with the "Hot coffee" incident last year, and now everyone in the hierarchy wants to kiss the bottoms of the politicians and the higher ups who have been either paid off or blackmailed in some sense.. Like what is the world coming too? Crap, let's go back to the days of the atari 2600.. And just for the record, I grew up with a 2600.. Still a classic and a pioneer to the gaming age of today. But really, this politically correct crap needs to stop in the offices.. Leave the games alone, they can't vote dammit.

rbarahona
rbarahona

I hope that they can come to an arrangement. NCSoft is a grat company and it would be a shame if they miss the next year's show.

WDJ-Dude
WDJ-Dude

This reminds me of an old case where mccy d's was sued because the hot choc was 1 degree too hot (very very old news but i bring it back for comparison) Basically they must respect the show floor rules indeed, but personally i believe when i say this (and that 99.9% agree) that since you go there to have fun and check out the new games, a little music from the next booth dosent annoy you but you'd rather enjoy it! Seriosuly who goes to E3 if they hate loud sounds anyway!

struong
struong

Kfoss wrote: "mAn OOOOoooooOOo there above the noise level..WHO cares!!! its E3 is not crappy CES...i say take E3 to Las Vegas...and screw the ESA... " __________________________ Uh-huh, guess who owns E3.... it's ESA. Gamers on this forum is acting all self-righteous about companies having the *right* to do whatever they want. I got news for you guys, E3 is not for gamers but for industry professionals and the press to view products and hold meetings about the upcoming holiday. It's wrong for one company to break the rules and make it impossible for their neighbors to show off their products or give presentations when people have to yell in order to be heard.

kappachan
kappachan

If NCsoft decides to pick somewhere outside LACC to blast their music, they'll probably have to deal with more than just ESA. Like the LAPD and the residents that live around that area. And the likelihood of NCsoft getting the Staples Center is pretty close to none especially if the Lakers are playing there. I agree with others that say that NCsoft was being childish about it. It's more of an embarrassment to be airing your dirty laundry out in public than in private, and ESA did want to discuss things in private. If they were targeted, they maybe because they were the only ones (as far as I know) that brought a rock band to their booth. Do something flashy to get attention, you'll also be getting the unwanted kind, too. It's the same reason why red cars get caught more often than any other color car on the street.

BananaJello
BananaJello

Way to go NCSoft! Show those guys that game companies can indeed have fun. If ESA wants to complain, forget 'em. NCSoft's games kick butt anyways, and their presence should reflect their game style. Kudo's to NCSoft!

spacklechack
spacklechack

$5,000 to get thousands of people talking about them, and feeling empathy for their "plight". Worth every penny.

MartinMan
MartinMan

That's right FIGHT THE POWER!!!! lol

yboucher
yboucher

"USA Only" ? Do you go out of your country at all, dude ? It's like that everywhere.

guille2015
guille2015

If someone breaks regulations, they should get nailed for it. But it needs to be enforced. No matter which company, broken rules are broken rules. Leniency is acceptable at some point, thats why people can drive 5 miles/hr over the speed limit. (not that its legal, but cops will not really bother with those, and will probably just give you a warning) [note: USA only]. NC-Soft attempts to boycott I find it childish. There presence in E3 is not a requirement. If im not mistaken, they have to pay to be on it. Its called publicity and you definitelywant those 60,000 people to see your game.

GKBeetle
GKBeetle

Schmidt sounds like an immature idiot. Makes me not want to buy NCSoft games if this guy is in control there.

Icekxg
Icekxg

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ...oh *ahem*, sorry, must've fell asleep behind my desk at work. ANYWAY...who cares? Don't like it then go to the next booth!

pangitako
pangitako

i love ncsoft and their games, but rules are rules. you go their house, you sign an agreement, and you abide by them. you cant just agree to something then just blow it off.

Wyndia_Highwind
Wyndia_Highwind

Audio can indeed sell a game...If it can be heard over other audio. It's just a case of "They're loud, so I'm gonna be louder. " NCSoft's Schmidt sounds like a spoiled little kid to me. As I am sensitive to sound, I would have AVOIDED that booth.

staticvoorhees
staticvoorhees

im sure e3 just needed a few extra dollars,its bullcrap,im sure if nintendo,microsoft or sony were blasting away they wouldnt get fined

FrozenBabylon
FrozenBabylon

Yeah. Screw the ESA who defends against idiots like Jack Thompson... Who regulates copyright ingrinfment... Who combats government imposed censorship... Yeah... Totally screw the ESA. Man I hate those guys.

Kfoss
Kfoss

mAn OOOOoooooOOo there above the noise level..WHO cares!!! its E3 is not crappy CES...i say take E3 to Las Vegas...and screw the ESA...